Improvements to the Start Menu coming to Windows 10

Having revealed the upcoming Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Microsoft is planning a few UI changes with this update. During a session today, at Build 2016, Microsoft showed a possible change to the current All-Apps list on the Start Screen and Start Menu of Windows 10.

Using Sway, Microsoft’s Peter Skillman, Brian Uphoff, Eric Papamarcos, and Jen Gentleman discussed feedback and design changes to the Start Menu and Start Screen, to better tailor them for consistent experiences across devices and ease of use. To help with using the all-apps list on the Start Menu, here is what the team had to say:

The All apps list is essential to understanding which apps you have on your device. We’ve elevated this list to the top level of the UI to reduce clicking & scrolling. This makes it easier to access apps in the All Apps list. It also reinforces the consistent Start experience across form factors

Windows 10

Windows 10 (New) Start Menu (via MSPU).

Though the changes are subtle, users can notice the Power, Settings and Account buttons have been moved the a side panel of the Start Menu. Another change is the removal of the “All Apps” button, replaced with a list of the “Most Used” apps and an alphabetical order of your installed apps. These changes are designed in hopes of creating a more efficient way of searching for users apps and to reduce unnecessary actions (clicking and scrolling) to get to your apps.

For users of devices that take advantage of Windows 10 “Tablet Mode,” the Anniversary Update could potentially utilize a design similar to Windows 8.1. Many users of Windows 8.1 have expressed the Start Screen of the older Windows OS to function better for tablet devices (myself included). Microsoft has taken this feedback and applied it to a proposed update to the Windows 10 Start Screen, closely resembling the design from Windows 8.1, which the team had this to say about:

This view is predominantly designed for tablet. We’ve heard from Insiders that they feel Windows 8.1 start screen delivered a better tablet experience than what we have in Windows 10 today. We are addressing that and are looking to make the All apps list more usable in two ways:

Windows 10

Windows 10 (New) Start Screen (via MSPU).

Users will notice that this new Start Menu removes the All-Apps list, similar to the Start Menu design, and replaces it with a more consistent full-screen list of apps installed. The top group consists of “Most Used” apps, followed by an alphabetical order of users installed apps which closely resembles what Windows 8.1 offered. This view will only be available to users when in “Tablet Mode” on Windows 10.

As we move closer to the release of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, many UI changes and adjustments can still take place. In the meantime, users can leave their feedback on these proposed changes at this page. If you like the direction Microsoft is moving with these UI changes, let us know in the comments which changes you like or if you prefer a different design.

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