Noun Verb Zone! Menus get affected by Parts of Speech

Compare the appearance of these software

  • Inspiration 7 and Microsoft Visio 2003
  • Pages from iWork 2013 and Microsoft Word 2003
  • Voice recorder on iPhone and Windows Phone

Someone else: Do you think Windows has a more user friendly design in their apps? 
Me: That’s a hard question to answer because they’re not just trying to make it easier to get from A to B to achieve what you want. They are also trying to modify your behaviour, outside any procedural tasks you complete

Noun based menus vs Verb based menus

I'll polish this up in August

If you notice, the menus on Microsoft Office are verb based and for Apple iWork it’s noun based

File, edit, view, insert compared to table, chart, media, shape

Also Microsoft Office tends to put lots of options available on the one screen and have the user browse lots of different menus to see what’s available in advance instead of trying to find the best suited menu after an intended task is thought of

Microsoft Office wants you to browse all the menus once you’ve first started using it, to see what’s there. Apple iWork doesn’t. Apple wants to look at one or two menus once you’ve thought of your intended task I remember over 15 years ago, I went on the Microsoft forum and asked them 2 questions, wanting them to justify their usability choices. The forum doesn’t exist any more as it was before the answers.microsoft.com website.

  1. Why are the menus verb based instead of noun based
  2. Why are the menus and their subsequent options, sprawled out all over the screen, when they can be simplified into a smaller amount of menus

A microsoft EMPLOYEE answered my question. You would never guess what the answer was.

They said that because Microsoft Office has a collosally huge amount of users, they want to reduce the amount of threads made on their technical support forum. From their past usability testing from focus groups and real world data, it is not a good idea to make things look effortlessly easy and pristine. Because when you design in a way that spoonfeeds your users, they start to become under-confident in their skills and complacent, so instead of users then using their initiative to perform and solve simple issues, they instead the computer to steward, delegate and do everything for them. So users cognition, intuition and resulting behaviour while using the Office software actually becomes to end up significantly worse. That answer surprised me but it makes sense and I suppose that it’s true.

So to answer your question, it’s not possible for me to answer whether Windows or Mac is easier to use because within the context of Interaction Design, they both have different behavioural intentions for the user to follow, and each with good reason. That should answer that!

I want my designs to be inspired by escaping a trap maze room

[PC] Masters of the Elements (1997) - Full Playthrough
Lego Creator 1998 on Windows 10 64-bit
Stagecast Creator - Easily Create Your Own Video Games

You can definitely see where I got my inspiration from!

Examples of video games

Zone based menus

Examples of websites

  • Pearltrees (do you have an account?)
  • Myndpage (the website shut down, I’ll add screenshots later)
  • Dokuwiki (the wiki software you run on your own website, not the dokuwiki website. It won’t make sense, unless you’ve used it.)
  • Compesh (my own website) For some tutorial screenshots, click the “how to/tutorial” link after visiting this image gallery.

Conclusion