Vista system tray UI needs work

I frequently utilize the system tray icons to change battery scenarios, viewing wireless networks, etc, especially when my Tablet PC is in tablet mode. I’m finding the user interface (UI) and experience to be frustrating.

Here is an example. When I take my mouse or pen, and hover it over the battery icon, I see the following pop-up dialog box (left). I get all the necessary information, which is very good. However, the Current Power Plan setting, which shows Balanced appears to be hyperlinked. If I want to change that and move my mouse or pen to the dialog box, it disappears. This is very confusing to the user because something appears hyperlinked, but you can’t do anything with the dialogue box but look at it.

 To actually change the power plan, you have to single click the icon, which displays this dialog box (right). What gets really confusing and shows the inconsistency in the use of colors and hyperlinks in these dialog boxes is that the “Learn how to …” text is hyperlinked and can be clicked on.




This is not relegated just to the battery power icons. The same experience and hyperlink color issues also apply to the Wireless networks dialogs (left). When you mouse or pen over the Wireless networks icon, a dialog appears that says “Wireless Networks are available”. That is great to know, but I can’t do anything with the dialog. I instinctively want to move my pen to the dialogue box and click “Wireless Networks are available”. Instead, I then have to single-click the icon which then lets me do something with it and choose a wireless network (right). The funny thing is that on the single-clicked dialogue box, the same text and icon appear that says “Wireless networks are available”, only I can click on it. So, I have two dialog boxes that look almost >the same, but I can only interact with one of them.

I’m going to submit this as a UI bug, even though it is probably too late in the release cycle. User experience issues like this are frustrating, but fixable.

Edited to remove references to “double-click”.