Windows 8.1 just like its predecessors has a good support for multiple screen. With the return of the start menu, you can “pin” apps to your taskbar. This makes an icon that allows you to quickly run an app. Even though the taskbar is exactly duplicated in every screen, clicking an app icon in one screen doesn’t guarantee that it’ll open in the same screen.
This behavior can be quite annoying specially if you’re using a projector. Here is a little image to illustrate the issue:
Mac OS X has the same issue. So when you run an app you really can’t predict where it will show up. It probably shows up where it ran last time, but that introduces an element of surprise since the user expects to see the action (click) and the effect (app) appear close to each other.
There are a few solutions to this issue.
- The easiest one is to run the app in the screen where the user has clicked the app button.
- When user clicks the button using an animation guide their eye to the screen that contains the app. Mac OS X uses this technique, though still the first solution makes it more predictable.
- If the designers can’t agree or confirm the design decision with usability tests, have some sort of setting in control panel that allows the user to choose weather the new apps load where they last showed up or close to where the run action is initiated.
- Allow the user to run the app in the current screen with some sort of right-click menu on taskbar. Something like this: