Windows enthusiast Cullen creates “Copenhagen” user experience concept video

Once in a while we all, as Windows enthusiasts, come up with those great ideas the next version got to have. Some put it in writing, some vote (shameless plug), some Photoshop mockups, but rarely do we get concept videos as elaborate as Cullen Dudas’ “Copenhagen” user experience video.

Here it is for your viewing pleasure. (The real gem starts 1 minutes in)

If the vibe of the video leaves you wondering where you’ve seen it before, then that’s because Cullen draws inspiration from the infamous Longhorn “Rocks” concept video where a lot of radical UX ideas were thrown in the air.

Mostly composited in Flash and taking around 2 months to make, there are definitely some interest UI ideas presented building on top of some of the new UI elements we’ve seen in Windows 7. Whilst in my opinion many of the ideas are impractical in a real use scenario, my hats go off to Cullen for walking the walk and getting his ideas out there.

What does everyone else think of “Copenhagen”?

60 insightful thoughts

  1. I think some of it looks awesome, and makes me wonder why the Windows UX team hasn’t thought of implementing such things. The icon stacks could very well replace desktop folders for me, and it would be more useful. The quick doc preview also seems more useful than the current preview pane, which is just badly implemented. I even sent feedback on that to the Windows team. The start menu doesn’t look good though.

  2. @Imran – I think most of this stuff was planned for Windows, it seems to be a whole heap of concept art that put together.

    It looks very nice, and I would like to see it as a proper OS, but I can’t really see Microsoft doing it

  3. i liked it. but it is half baked unlike Longhorn Concept that was just way way advanced for its time. these concepts are not as advanced and there is nothing in it that could not end up being a customized WIN 7 desktop if someone bothered to build it. trying to build something like Longhorn Concept on the other was just…impossible at the time. even for the company that thought it up!!! :P

  4. Really liked the lack of taskbar and the fluidity of much of what was shown, but this would also be what many ordinary users would freak out at, as they like the common elements in the places they are used to seeing them. It would be nice to be able to ‘flick a switch’ and get this feature set as an option…..

  5. Some interesting ideas for sure, but the video seemed to be trying to hide the ideas, not showcase them. It jumps around too much and too quickly and concentrates more on the animations between modes than the modes themselves.

    If the purpose was just to create a whiz-bang video or a teaser for something else then fair enough. If not, I’d like to see it slowed down.

    I’ve made a handful of simple UI/tutorial videos and I know it’s difficult to get the pacing right, especially when you’re so familiar with the concepts being shown in general and the footage in the video in particular (after viewing it 50 times while editing).

  6. Moves around too fast, but seems real, doesn’t feel Flash. Forget the concepts, heck, MS didn’t even use WPF at all in Windows 7. UI doesn’t even use DirectWrite and Direct2D anywhere, it’s still GDI+. The animation when configuring gadgets for instance is so crappy. Whatever happened to the animation framework that was part of Windows 7? It’s only used in a handful of places like Magnifier.

  7. I’d say the real Wow starts now. I liked the new taskbar/dock thing. We got more desktop space for applications, and that is something we could use every day.

    For the rest of the video, I couldn’t really make up of what was going on. It was too fast. Oh and It would be much better if we didn’t have Internet Explorer there.

  8. I like some ideas shown in that video. But sometimes it’s just confusing.

    E.g. in the new explorer there are really nice ideas – but the text makes everything confusing.
    Furthermore, I like the taskbar of Windows 7 as it is. It has a big future and makes working with Windows easier and faster.

    Though, it’s well done. I like such concepts. Maybe MS should start a contest to collect some new innovative ideas for the next Windows? Or would that be too much Linux-like?

  9. @someone
    FYI, Windows 7 doesn’t use WPF because its a performance pig.
    So instead they created the animation framework which is using Direct2D and is fully hardware accelerated.

    Now they hardly used this new animation framework in Win7, which is a shame as they could have used it for creating animated stacks, and file rearrange animations, or even some semi 3d views like Phodeo.

    However, Windows 7 DOES use the animation framework for drawing the Taskbar and the window previews/thumbnails.

  10. As for the concepts in this video, yes its very Longhorn like for Explorer, and the “My Stuff”

    I personally like the left hand pane in Explorer where you can manage stacks and file arranging/sorting/grouping far better than what is available today.

    It might seem a bit complicated for the noob out there, but i they have to learn new things instead of playing dumb all the time.

  11. I like the video, some great ideas in their. But is goes completely wrong when it shows how the taskbar should work. Most people hate to click on moving things, and looking to that taskbar idea, everything moves. Going from left to right just skips one or two when your doing it a little fast, and the same for the thumbnails.

    But the idea to have the taskbar separated from the startmenu is interesting, but not usefull. Who wants to have a part of a always on top thing in the top and rightbottom, or any other different way?

    I prefer to see a taskbar with all things together, and faded out from the part where no more icons are shown. The time close to the startmenu or in the startmenu, and nothing more.

    And the startmenu…. maybe nice on how it starts with search-only (if I saw it right), but the way it looked after it…. no, not my taste at all.

  12. I have to say I love this concept. It looks pretty neat, especially with the dock thingy.
    Also, I love how Windows finds out that you often use some programs together, and automatically creates a shortcut.
    Plus, that start menu is just neat ‘n’ clean.
    Clean and snappy. I’d like that on my computer!!! ^_^

  13. It looked nice, but I have no idea how much of it would be practical in real life because it was all way too fast and zoomy to figure out what the hell was happening.

    I liked the lack of bar in the taskbar, though. I wonder if there’s a way to tweak Windows 7 so that the taskbar is fully transparent, and you’d just end up with a floating Windows orb, buttons and system tray.

  14. It’s good to see how it works, but the actual UI, looks a little KDE-ish and amateur. I am one for a UI change but think it should look professional.

  15. Here’s an idea: have someone develop these different UI concepts into actual, WORKING packages and then offer them for FREE for those of us who ponied-up for Vista Ultimate.

    Wouldn’t a sweeter, cooler UI make our versions of Vista truely “Ultimate”?

    –Scott

  16. Sorry but IMHO there’s nothing new (pretty much all of the ideas were/are already present in early Longhorn alphas, 3rd party software like BumpTop and even competing OSes) and nothing really usable in that video…

  17. Wow the Explorer looks even more shit and useless than it does already :) true nub design right there, course the explorer team at MS are probably nubs aswel… Nothing good to say about any of concepts.. or the gfx design used for that matter.. it wasn’t flash and none of looked useful…. it was amateur

    and yes everything on the taskbar was crap.. startmenu (seriously? more extra steps?) Win7 like crap task buttons, the tray area… .. but at least they tried i’ll give them that.. also could have done with less of the win95 presentation filler, although it was best marketing I think MS ever did for an OS release.

  18. I like the flud taskbar and being able to group multiple applications into one and manipulate that.
    I also think the concept of integrating StarDock’s Fences as an icon is interesting. @ 1:15

    And congrats Long for making the cut.

  19. Just a thought i want to share. Could this actually be the real UI of win7?
    Thurott believes we’ll see a new UI for the RTM build, so i’m figuring that without saying this is the new UI, they’re kind of testing the ground and getting a feel for which parts of the new UI they like and implement those parts and leave the rest. Eg. The new taskbar or lack of one will make it to RTM but the new start menu wont.

    The Longhorn concept was far far ahead of its time, this one, i don’t think so and i believe that MS may very well already have this kind of stuff up their sleeve.

  20. concepts are great, but there haven’t been any really big changes since windows 95, and i’m giving up hope for anything really cool and new. the new taskbar in windows 7 is a change, but it’s fundamentally the same. if MS does anything to windows to change it, hordes of people will get angry and bitch.

    i wish MS would create a mechanism to make the UI swappable, so that conservative people could stay with their “tried-and-true” windows xp (95, etc) UI, and those of us who like change and new ideas can try something new.

    and i don’t care if linux can already ‘do’ this

  21. a swappable UI could also allow the UI to change dynamically based on the user’s needs or input method. using capacitive touch? it changes to the touch-UI. using a pen? it changes to the pen-UI? keyboard and mouse? other?

  22. @gleko: spoken like a true anti-Microsoft OS biggot.

    Of course, all of this is ripped / stolen / copied from KDE & Gnome; how else could Microsoft get such cool ideas?

    FYI: the “cool stuff” displayed in compiz, beryl and such for Linux were actually demo’ed when Longhorn was first shown. The F/OSS codemonkeys then copied the concept, unveiled it as compiz + beryl and said that *they* had it first. So much for ‘Innovation” in the F/OSS space!

    Please go back to hugging your Linux Penguine plush-doll.

  23. @Scott Kindorf: hah. not many remember or have seen those longhorn concept demos. i would add that longhorn had coverflow too but as the 3 levels pseudo 3D Phodeo..among many many other concepts

  24. I thinkt his is a wonderful concept. I don’t think these are stolen from other ideas, it’s a buildup of psychological studies made to present itself to users with ease, while still being cool looking. However I do think a little more uniformity with current OS’s would be nice so people arent overwhelmed

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