Focus

Pet hate about Windows: when you open an application, or click around to get an application processing something, then flick to another task to get something else done while it happens, and it keeps grabbing focus even though it hasn’t finished.

Example culprits: Outlook 2003; Internet Explorer 6.

Now hear this, app writers: Maybe you can’t speed up your app so it does its thing faster. That’s okay, I can live with that. I can get on with something else while it thinks about things. What I don’t want to see is that something else interrupted by your splash screen. I don’t want to read your splash screen. I don’t care how nice your logo is or how authoritative your copyright message is. I don’t want my something else interrupted by your half-drawn application window randomly seeking attention while it’s thinking about things. And I don’t want it flashing in the taskbar unless it’s ready for my input.

And for heaven’s sake, if the app is busy, change the goddamn pointer to an hourglass, so I know it’s busy.

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4 thoughts on “Focus

  1. Martin

    That’s one of my pet hates too. Funny how I have never seen it mentioned anywhere else before. Especially iritating is when you try and start something via the start button and up comes a screen or dialog and not only interupts you but kills the whole thing off forcing you to start again. Of course if you wait for the thing to finish then it takes forever. (In fact I am sure I have seen applications freeze during start up until you do press something.)
    Also annoying is applications that throw up a number of dialogs at startup in random order (Qualcom you know what I am talking about, but OK you are not alone). And just when you are about to enter you name or press a close button, up comes another dialog interupting you.

  2. Dave

    There’s nothing worse than when you start typing in one window, and a background app finishes doing whatever UI-freezing activity it is doing and pops to the front for no reason – suddenly your keyboard input goes to another window, everything goes to hell, and the next thing you know there is blood on drapes and the sherriff is at the door.

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