Microsoft’s app store was designed by engineers

It’s ugly, discovery is an issue, search is not obvious, it’s slow, the information you’re after is not presented in a friendly way, screenshots are tiny, usage scenarios are terrible and the app updating UX is awful.

Where do I start? (I’m not going to delve into the lack of apps as this is not due to the store’s bad design, well.. not directly anyway)

It’s ugly, large squares everywhere. I understand that’s the new design language but the designers look like they just used a template and went with it. You can show so many more apps if the Spotlight section was the default view with smaller app tiles.


Maybe this is intentional on Microsoft’s part because they know it’s going to take a while to populate the app store but currently finding new apps in the store is a bit of a pain. You have to scroll a really long way to get anywhere beyond the entertainment category. Pinch to zoom is not obvious.

Searching…. yes this can be done via the Charm but that doesn’t mean you can’t add an obvious search box or button on the app itself that’s visible at all times. Currently search is buried inside a gesture and touch or keyboard shortcuts. Make it easier.


It’s slow, nothing seems to be cached or fast. Retrieving such small amounts of data shouldn’t be this hard!

App pages show information all over the place without any flow. Arguably the main information for an app is it’s screenshots which are small and hard to navigate. Why do I need to find a specific area in the centre of left and right edges to be able to change the screenshot with the mouse? Why aren’t they expandable?


When it comes time to update an app it’s impractical to find the update release notes. I have to deselect the apps then reselect the app then click on the details button. Why can’t the apps be listed along with their release notes in the same view?


Microsoft have a lot of work to do here.


7 thoughts on “Microsoft’s app store was designed by engineers

      • I think the idea is that within a year it will be “intuitive” to most users to use the charms bar to perform a search (and share and access settings). There is definitely a learning curve to Windows 8 compared to iOS and Android, but Microsoft hopes that once users get used to it, apps that put content before chrome will excel compared to their counterparts on other services.

        We’ll see if Microsoft is right.

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