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Click on taskbar item with multiple windows RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Why is a multi-windowed taskbar item's click behavior the same as hover? This is epically counter-productive. Let me explain.

    First of all let's look at the hover behavior. Hovering over a taskbar item (regardless of window count) shows thumbnails for all windows and lets the user choose a specific window . This is the same when there is one window, two windows or 169 windows (ok then it actually goes to the list not thumbs, but still), etc.

    Now the click behavior, the main concern of this post.
    If a program (one taskbar item) has only one open window, clicking on the taskbar icon opens that window (and user predicts that will happen) -- the same as clicking on the only window's thumbnail. This is fine.
    The real problems start if a program has multiple open windows -- clicking on the taskbar icon, for some reason and a moronic UI decision, opens the same window selector as when hovering over the icon. Why? Why are we forced to choose a window, even more so if it's not a window? (Would be awesome to hear the opinion of someone from the design team.) A much better choice would be for Click to show/hide (depending on current visibility) the most recent window , mimicking the behavior of single-window taskbar items (showing/hiding a window.)

    Two examples:
    1. In the current setup it is not possible to minimize windows from the taskbar (without using keyboard modifiers like Shift or Alt or Ctrl - don't remember atm), which is another productivity hit, especially if you have to work with two windows which are, for example, too big to fit on your screen by Aero Snap. Clicking on taskbar item to hide the focused window would fix this. Also, this is the behavior predicted by the user, since single-window taskbar items work like that (and have worked that way since, like, Win95.)

    2. Internet Explorer 8 and the latest preview releases on Firefox have this feature of showing each open tab as a thumbnail in taskbar. This would be awesome, except it's not. Even more -- it's broken, and very much broken. Let me explain. If you, for example, have your browser (with all the windows/tabs) hidden/minimized, to return to your current tab, you have to manually find it between all the other thumbnails. This might not be a problem if you have 2 or 3 windows open. But what if you are a savvy browser who has no less than 50 tabs open at the same time? Or how about 150? How does searching through 200 tabs, just to find the one you were on, sound? It's even better if the tab you want isn't at the very beginning of the list. My point: when you try to un-hide the browser, you can't really get back to the one tab you were on, without searching for it in a list of all the open tabs.

    So yeah, this is like the biggest annoyance ever . You guys are not going to have the manpower to go through all the hate mail you're going to get from enterprises and regular customers once Win7 ships to stores.

    tl;dr - Clicking on a taskbar item should show/hide the most recent window/tab, not show the thumbs. Leave the thumb-showing to hover.

    P.S.: I would love the get a response from someone from the team.
    P.P.S.: In the Jump List there is a "Close All Windows" button. There should be another one for minimize/restore.

    Related: This thread . His idea about making the Click action cycle through windows could work too.
    Regards,
    Kristaps.
    Saturday, October 17, 2009 12:34 PM

All replies

  • To return to your tab with IE 8 minimized or any window minimized, select ALT+TAB and your tab/window will appear as well as any other open window  and can be selected.

    200 Tabs ???
    Saturday, October 17, 2009 4:23 PM
  • 200 Tabs ???
    Did happen once :D

    Regards,
    Kristaps.
    Saturday, October 17, 2009 4:37 PM