MS Office, Ribbons, and you
devin_asay at byu.edu
Fri Feb 2 14:10:13 EST 2007
I'm trying to get my head around this. It is either simpler or more
complicated than I think. How is this different from a template
approach, as used in Apple Keynote or iDVD or Apple's Pages
templates? I don't have VISTA or the new Office to see how it works.
On Feb 2, 2007, at 9:22 AM, Richard Gaskin wrote:
> Last year Dan Shafer shared this URL with us:
> That's a blog by the UI lead for MS Office, and most of it
> describes Office's new Ribbons interface.
> If you haven't been following the story, the Ribbons UI is worth
> learning about, and the blog is a great read.
> Dan also shared this background article from Jakob Nielsen about
> the new Office UI:
> In a nutshell, the Ribbon UI breaks away from the primacy of menus,
> expanding the concept of the toolbar with a smart use of
> progressive disclosure to provide more visible access to a
> program's features. It's arguably one of the single most
> significant innovations in UI design since this industry first
> standardized on GUIs.
> It also represents a welcome return to the practice of having UI
> designers from an OS vendor publicly discuss their usability
> research methods. Tog used to do this with Apple back in the day,
> but Apple no longer has any regular public communication about
> usability research, at least none that I've seen since Jobs came
> back to Apple.
> Another interesting aspect of Ribbons is that it's possibly the
> most significant innovation Microsoft has implemented which didn't
> merely copy an existing Apple feature.
> But for all the commitment MS has demonstrated with rolling out
> this new paradigm in Office, the absence of Ribbons from Vista is a
> curious omission. Is Office merely a test case, and MS intends to
> use Ribbons in a future version of Vista? Or do the higher-ups at
> MS doubt the efficacy of the research that led to the design?
> And for Apple, we wonder whether something like Ribbons will find
> its way into their designs, or do they doubt the research or have
> had a relapse of their NIH syndrome (Not Invented Here).
> For us developers, it also raises the question of whether we'll
> take Microsoft's lead and adopt something like Ribbons in our own
> I've been prototyping a major upgrade for one of the apps I develop
> which is strongly influenced by Ribbons, but I'm not going all the
> way with it and will still have a full menu bar.
> Any of you thinking about Ribbons-influenced designs for your apps?
> What do you make of this shift?
Humanities Technology and Research Support Center
Brigham Young University
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