Optimizing Windows Vista’s Interface2
Everything that connects you—the user—to the computer is collectively referred to
as the user interface. The basic elements of the user interface include the desktop,
Start menu, taskbar, windows, dialog boxes, and wizards. These basic elements
remain in Windows Vista, and you’ll be able to work with them in much the same
way as you have previously. Many other aspects of the user interface in Windows
Vista have been revised, however, making this the most sweeping overhaul of the
user interface in the history of Windows. Because of the massive changes, you’ll find
that you have to learn new ways of performing common tasks, and you’ll discover
much that is new.
The user interface has two key aspects: appearance settings and user profile settings.
Appearance settings determine the color schemes, screen resolution, and sizing for
window text, buttons, and icons. User profile settings determine where user files are
located and what interface preferences are used.
Like earlier releases of Windows, Windows Vista’s default appearance settings work
well. With the introduction of automated screen sizing, screen resolution, and win-
dow sizing, appearance settings typically are optimized right at the start, making it
easier to work with the operating system. Because a one-size-fits-all recipe would be
very boring, Windows Vista gives you many choices about the appearance and
behavior of your desktop, Start menu, taskbar, and other interface elements.
Your interface customizations are stored in your user profile. Because each user of
your computer has a separate user profile, you are able to customize the desktop to
meet your unique needs without affecting the interface settings of other users. This
means your preferred settings will be remembered and restored each time you log on
to your computer, and so will the preferred settings of any other users.