Upgrade to Windows 10: progress indication

Recently, I upgraded my Windows 8 to Windows 10. Good process – the upgrade was virtually transparent. It took me a couple of hours, but it went smoothly.

At some point, a couple of days after the upgrade and after some additional updates were installed, I had to restart the computer. While Windows was starting, I got several messages – probably 6 or 7 – in sequence. As I am using a corporate image of Windows, I am not sure whether these messages came from Microsoft or from my IT organization. My bet goes for our IT organization.

Anyway, I managed to capture two of the messages:

Configuring your W10
Configuring Start Menu Layout. Display will flicker and restart twice.

OK

And the second one:

Configuring your W10
Removing Windows.old from previous OS. Please Stand By.

OK

Both messages, as well as the other 4-5 that I did not capture, are part of a process – certain changes were made to my machine. I assume that the messages are intended to indicate the progress of the process so that I as a user can have a sense of what is going on. It does not work quite well.

Problems

  1. Mysterious title. The title of both messages is “Configuring your W10”. I can relatively easily guess that W10 means Windows 10. A more explicit statement will be better though, so I can now who is doing these changes.
  2. Generic icon. The icon in the title does not help associate the messages with any product. (The generic icon is one of the things that makes me think the messages are prepared by our IT folks.)
  3. OK or not? In both cases I do not know whether to click the OK button or not. On the one hand, the text asks me to wait or stand by. (I do not know why the two messages will use different wording. Nor can I guess why in the second case “Stand By” is capitalized.) On the other hand, the OK button asks me to take and action and agree with the message. If I click OK, will I still be waiting? Will the process continue or will I interrupt it? Maybe it does not matter whether I click the button or not. Then, why is a button necessary!
  4. How long? Neither of the messages provided any indication of remaining or elapsed time (yet another thing that points to our IT folks). Some of the messages disappeared so fast that I was not able to see what they read. The “removing Windows.old” message stayed there for 5-6 minutes or more – although I know what to expect, at some point I was already wondering whether the process was going well or not.
  5. There is an X button in the upper right corner. Such a button is usually equivalent to Cancel. It is even more unclear whether I can/should click that and what will happen if I do.

Fix

Design for humans: Unambiguously show who is making the changes. Preferably, use a single progress indicator. Use a progress indicator that gives a sense of progress. See Bruce Tognazzini’s piece of advice on Tactics for Reducing the Subjective Experience of Down Time in Maximizing Human Performance. Use only text, and if any buttons are necessary, make sure the button and the message of the text do not conflict.

20 November 2015 | Windows upgrade

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