What Not To Use: The Next Version Of Explorer

There is a TV show that my wife used to watch occasionally on the TLC network called What Not To Wear. The premise is simple: friends and family send in pictures and videos of a candidate, who once picked, is ambushed by the show’s hosts on camera. The candidate is given an offer that is hard to turn down: get rid of their entire crappy wardrobe in exchange for a $5,000 shopping spree for new clothes, plus a fancy makeover and hairstyling. While there have been periods of my life that I would have made an ideal candidate for an episode, that isn’t what this post is about.

The candidates for the makeovers fell into three categories:

  1. The I gave up years ago when it comes to looking nice type – typically a 30-something year-old mother that put everyone else before themselves
  2. The I’m so over Cosmo and Vogue telling women what is pretty that I wear whatever the hell I want type – typically someone whose clothing came from either a costume shop, thrift store, or a combination of the two
  3. The I’m so desperate for attention I’ll wear my tween daughter’s mini-skirt to the office type – typically someone overcompensating for insecurity issues

But no matter how bad or atrocious some of the attire the show’s candidates wore, there was a universal theme: fit. Fit is everything when it comes to clothes. An ill-fitting Armani is a mockery. An impeccably tailored $49 suit can turn heads.

What’s The Point?

A couple weeks ago, MG Siegler posted an article at TechCrunch about the new Windows Explorer interface. Here is a screenshot (via the Building Windows 8 Blog):

Windows Devolution
Windows Explorer 8 User Interface

In terms of the three types of candidates for What Not To Wear, I would put the new “ribbon” interface for Windows 8 Explorer in category number 3, although elements of all three apply. To be sure, this user interface design is clearly the end result of nearly three decades of death by committee. The overall design and experience is ill-fitting and decidedly un-flattering.

More than anything, it screams, “I’m so desperate for attention I’ll wear my tween daughter’s mini-skirt to the office!

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