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Microsoft Explains the Windows 11 Start Menu No One Wanted

Windows 11 Start Menu redesign
Josh Hendrickson

The redesigned Start menu on Windows 11 is something that you either love or hate. While it’s simpler than ever before, it’s highly controversial with users and has been since the first insider preview builds arrived.

In fact, the new Start menu is so odd that users immediately found a way to bring back the old Windows 10 Start Menu, Which Microsoft quickly killed, and nowadays, Win 11 Start menu replacements are everywhere.

And while we all can agree that more options and customization would be great, it doesn’t look like that’s happening anytime soon. Microsoft recently released an “Inside Story” video explaining how it built the Start menu, what drove its decisions, and it probably won’t make Windows fans all that happy.

Members of the Windows 11 Start menu design team talk about the difficulties of making sense of all the research that went into the redesign. One team member even mentions it was a “design problem,” but if you ask me, don’t “fix” what’s not broken. The Windows 10 Start menu worked great, so why change it?

“The process of designing is informed by research, and it’s challenging to make sense if it.”

Similar to the Windows 11 taskbar situation, changes to the Start menu were data-driven decisions based on feedback from what users and the community wanted. For example, Microsoft found that people didn’t care to see the weather but wanted access to an all-apps list and search bar.

In the end, the Microsoft team gathered data from users, researched several different options, and found that users always wanted a search bar, files, and applications together and easily accessible. So, that’s what Microsoft did. As a result, we have the most simple Start menu yet.

Don’t get me wrong, Microsoft is as least listening to users a little bit. The company recently confirmed folders and other features are coming to the Start menu, but the vast majority of users on Reddit still aren’t all that happy — and they’re not alone.

Some users love the simplified Windows 11 Start menu, while others think it’s a step back in functionality and design. As for Microsoft, it’s confident that the team built something that people will really like.

via Reddit

Cory Gunther Cory Gunther
Cory Gunther has been writing about phones, Android, cars, and technology in general for over a decade. He's a staff writer for Review Geek covering roundups, EVs, and news. He's previously written for GottaBeMobile, SlashGear, AndroidCentral, and InputMag, and he's written over 9,000 articles. Read Full Bio »