[OT] Microsoft Office's New UI Blazes Some New Trails for Us
jbv.silences at Club-Internet.fr
Wed Oct 12 04:11:05 CDT 2005
> I must be missing the point of your post. MS claims to be providing more
> templates and making the UI easier to use. To use your example, they're
> adding even more presets and converting the tiny LCD into a full color
> display. Whether they succeed remains to be seen, but the goal seems pretty
> worthwhile to me.
> I think it's perfectly understandable that the musicians you cite didn't
> want to learn how to program the equipment. I'll wager the majority of them
> wanted to spend their time making music, not learning an arcane programming
> language. And yet that didn't stop many notable artists from making a name
> for themselves and learning how to push music technology.
> I will also wager that the upcoming Office Suite, just like many current
> Macromedia/Adobe products, will allow you launch the various apps without
> using a template -- in essence, starting with a blank page.
> I have to say I don't see how having more choices can be seen as a negative.
Again it's about the difference between theory and real life.
Let's go back to synths for a minute : when Yamaha launched the DX7 in the
80's, it was the first commercial synth that implemented a version of Chowning's
FM synthesis. That synth included presets that reproduced the sound of existing
instruments (electric piano or slapped bass), but it was mainly to prove the power
of FM synthesis, and the DX7 was clearly an electronic synthesis device offering
a new synthesis technique to the masses.
>From that point of view I feel it was a big waste to use that synth only for the presets
of electric piano or slapped bass. Of course, it gave the possibility of home musicians
(who couldn't afford a real electric piano, or who didn't have the skills to play slapped
bass) to include such sounds in their music, but anyway they were missing the
biggest part of the story. If an analogy is needed, it's like buying a Rev licence,
but never using Transcript...
As for computers UIs, I guess that, if a new trend of goal-oriented interfaces arises,
it won't limit to MS Office... And we might see a multiplication of templates in almost
So, to take the discussion a little further, here's what (IMHO) could be a step forward
to a real goal-oriented UI : users would have the possibility to describe (via a set of
commands or even a structured language) the goal they're reaching. And the app would
be smart enough to produce documents as closed as possible as the original description,
along with all editing possibilities to fine tune the result. In case of a description
little "misunderstandings" in the interpretation of the description given by the user could
even lead to some productive / exciting random "accidents"... A very limited set of basic
templates could be also provided, but not sophisticated enough to kill imagination.
IMHO this would be a very exciting challenge, both in terms of ergonomics and coding...
Note to the Microsoft guys who are listening : this is just a raw idea; I have plenty of
other similar ideas. Hire me as a consultant if you want to improve the image of your
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