Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 21st Apr 2009 09:36 UTC, submitted by davidiwharper
Windows Windows Vista wasn't exactly a success, and as such, Microsoft needed different people to manage the development of Windows 7. One of those new people is Julie Larson-Green, who made a very good showing with Microsoft Office 2007, which took the bold move of replacing the menu-driven interface with the newly designed Ribbon interface. The Sydney Morning Herald (awesome name) decided to take a look at who, exactly, Larson-Green is.
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Channel9 interview
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 21st Apr 2009 10:22 UTC
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

Btw guys and girls, here's a Channel 9 interview with Julie, from about two years ago. Pretty interesting.

http://channel9.msdn.com/shows/WM_IN/Julie-Larson-Green-Leading-by-...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Channel9 interview
by segedunum on Tue 21st Apr 2009 19:38 UTC in reply to "Channel9 interview"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Thank goodness. Hoo-bloomin-ray. It's nice to see that there is someone reasonably sensible in charge bringing things together to try and make Windows 7 pleasurable to use. I also hope she'll bring some UI consistency to Windows with Office and all the neglected applications there has been in Windows over the years - Notepad, Wordpad etc. - that was sorely lacking with Vista.

This one lady alone might end up being worth several hundred million dollars. Mind that chair as Google tries to poach her!

Edited 2009-04-21 19:39 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Developers priorities vs. users priorities
by zegenie on Tue 21st Apr 2009 10:49 UTC
zegenie
Member since:
2005-12-31

I always find it strange that people tend to think of the UI as "a necessary evil that needs to be there in place for us to be able to perform all our cool actions". This is especially true for many open source projects.

I've always considered the UI as one of the key components of a graphical application, and downplaying the importance of "getting it right" - from a users perspective can effectively ruin an otherwise perfectly good application.

Designing a graphical application around the way it is going to be used, and making sure that the UI is good and intuitive, before designing the nitty-gritty functionality, seems to me like doing it right.

Unless you're working on a command-line tool where UI isn't really that important. Just seems that often it is the same programmers creating both kinds of programs leading to bad UIs becoming the standard.

Edited 2009-04-21 10:50 UTC

Reply Score: 6

dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

Designing a graphical application around the way it is going to be used, and making sure that the UI is good and intuitive, before designing the nitty-gritty functionality, seems to me like doing it right.

I'm sure most people agree, but many people find that the boring way to do things. Especially in Open Source software people do what's fun first and what needs to be done later (if at all). It's the nature of the beast.

I know, for examplem that on the open source app I'm currently hacking on I'm doing things exactly the wrong way. I should be looking at how users in the relevant domain currently work and what they actually need, then I should design a UI that focuses on those aspect etc. etc.

What I'm actually doing is starting with the fun low level stuff. Reading up on the current state of the art, trying out new algorithms, playing around with multithreading and clever data structures and having great fun and learning all kinds of cool stuff along the way. On the plus side I've tuned a bunch of things so that they run several times faster than then 'normal' approach. On the minus side I don't actually have anything useable for people other than me (and barely even that) yet.

Reply Score: 3

SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

I agree, but I would go one further.

CLI programs need a good, consistent interface too or at least consistent with the other CLI programs on that specific platform. This is one problem many UNIX admins have.

Take for example "find", available on all *nixs. Find has a syntax that is unlike any other tool I have ever found. If you are a new user and have just figured out how to start using the CLI, "find" can very quickly scare you off from trying to delve any deeper into the system.

It's a shame really as "find" is a very useful tool.

Reply Score: 2

samad Member since:
2006-03-31

I like your argument that command line tools also have a user interface. However, I wish to add to your argument. The reason why many people believe that command line tools lack a user interface is because they are at least an order of magnitude less complicated than graphical interfaces. It's no surprise. The amount of code and computer resources that goes into a graphical interface far exceeds command line ones. That's why people are so quick to dismiss the existence of command line interfaces.

Reply Score: 2

StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Take for example "find", available on all *nixs. Find has a syntax that is unlike any other tool I have ever found.


Ain't that the truth. Most of the time, I find it's easier to just resort to kludges like "ls -l -R | grep filename" than trying to remember the "find" syntax.

Reply Score: 2

ssa2204 Member since:
2006-04-22

My first experience with the Ribbon interface was not that pleasant, but it really did not take long before I realized why there was such buzz. After I became accustomed to it, and had the task of editing multiple documents quickly, I soon realized how much more efficient this interface was for me.


I agree, but I would go one further.

CLI programs need a good, consistent interface too or at least consistent with the other CLI programs on that specific platform. This is one problem many UNIX admins have.

Take for example "find", available on all *nixs. Find has a syntax that is unlike any other tool I have ever found. If you are a new user and have just figured out how to start using the CLI, "find" can very quickly scare you off from trying to delve any deeper into the system.

It's a shame really as "find" is a very useful tool.


In regards to syntax, I saw that Microsoft is offering their new Powershell tools through Update. Of course this is very limited/initial opinion, but I was simply shell shocked at just how inefficient the syntax was. To copy a folder from location A to B while keeping ACLs was not a simply matter of a small command to be given, but rather a long scripted line. Again this was a very preliminary look so I very well could have missed something completely, Afterwards I just thought how gratefull I should be that this is not in my domain anymore to learn this.

Reply Score: 2

Yes, the UI is the face to the customer
by pica on Tue 21st Apr 2009 10:49 UTC
pica
Member since:
2005-07-10

And the face to the customer counts more than the legions of technicans behind ;-)

Reply Score: 1

UI
by boulabiar on Tue 21st Apr 2009 11:14 UTC
boulabiar
Member since:
2009-04-18

UI should be called "User Interaction" and not "User Interface".

The world of user interfaces has gone from years, now it has became interaction because we can't see a real "interface" isolating user from computer.
We have new ways of interaction mixed and invisibles.

Reply Score: 3

Ribbon Interface
by ngnr on Tue 21st Apr 2009 14:01 UTC
ngnr
Member since:
2008-01-16

I know this is a little off-topic but I’ve read so many times that Microsoft “invented” the ribbon interface.

IMHO the “ribbon” concept was early introduced by Macromedia Dreamweaver MX ui back in 2002.

See this screenshot:

http://yfrog.com/791232image1j

In this example there is a menu bar, but you can also notice a group of "tabs" containing buttons to related tasks.

sounds familiar?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Ribbon Interface
by davidiwharper on Tue 21st Apr 2009 14:21 UTC in reply to "Ribbon Interface"
davidiwharper Member since:
2006-01-01

You may be right, but that screenshot clearly shows a bunch of toolbars and - unlike Office 2007, which does away with them - application menus.

Others may have opened the door, but Microsoft is the company that was brave enough not only to walk through it but to lock the door so that nobody could go back.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Ribbon Interface
by BluenoseJake on Tue 21st Apr 2009 15:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Ribbon Interface"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Except the ribbon in Office replaces the menu, and the ribbon like toolbar in Dreamweaver does not. The Ribbon also replaces the toolbar in Office, but there is a toolbar in Dreamweaver.

I guess Macromedia didn't really invent the Ribbon after all.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Ribbon Interface
by ciplogic on Tue 21st Apr 2009 15:35 UTC in reply to "Ribbon Interface"
ciplogic Member since:
2006-12-22

Yeah, you have right!

Before it was the discreet's (now Autodesk) 3dsmax releases. But for many people they were inaccessible.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Ribbon Interface
by Chicken Blood on Tue 21st Apr 2009 21:46 UTC in reply to "Ribbon Interface"
Chicken Blood Member since:
2005-12-21

I know this is a little off-topic but I’ve read so many times that Microsoft “invented” the ribbon interface.

IMHO the “ribbon” concept was early introduced by Macromedia Dreamweaver MX ui back in 2002.

See this screenshot:

http://yfrog.com/791232image1j

In this example there is a menu bar, but you can also notice a group of "tabs" containing buttons to related tasks.

sounds familiar?


If that is "the original" ribbon interface then Borland Delphi had it beat by at least 4 years.

http://www.lisisoft.com/imglisi/4/Fax/20076delphi_spell_screen_shot...

Somehow, I think what Microsoft created is something different though.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Ribbon Interface
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 21st Apr 2009 21:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Ribbon Interface"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I can just hear that Borland interface going.. "Kill meee... Kill meeeeeeee..."

My god. Poor designer.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Ribbon Interface
by mono on Wed 22nd Apr 2009 08:14 UTC in reply to "Ribbon Interface"
mono Member since:
2005-10-19

Well, then Microsoft invented Exposé back in 1998:
http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/people/dcr/work/taskgallery/...

Reply Score: 2

Windows UI
by middleware on Tue 21st Apr 2009 14:55 UTC
middleware
Member since:
2006-05-11

Before check if Windows 7 is easier to use than Mac OS X, I am curious about the following points:

1. Does Windows 7 allow move a window when there is a modal dialog box on it?
2. When a dialog box pops up by system or another application, does it take the focus from the text field I currently working on? I can't remember how many times this happened when I just finish the input on a text field and press enter and a pop-up dialog pops up, accept the enter, and disappeared before I could see what it displayed.
3. When using non-English language, is any Windows input-method remain in the selecting status when the input window become inactive? As above, I can remember how many times when I am selecting among Chinese characters with the same pronunciation, a dialog box pops up and take away the focus and then the unexpected character was selected and I have to delete them and re-enter.
4. Does Window 7 has buffered-window so I don't get my break-point in the paint event handler hit repeatedly when I make my application active. That makes the active window jump to my debugger and I have to resort log files instead of more effective debugger.

All these troubles do not exist in Mac OS X at all. That is not things like how menu or controls are lied out or arranged. That is the fundamental architecture of the UI. I am curious if Windows 7 mimic Mac OS X in that aspect a bit.

Reply Score: 2

The ribbon
by DarKlajid on Tue 21st Apr 2009 15:22 UTC
DarKlajid
Member since:
2009-03-31

Disclaimer first: I'm a CLI guy most of the time, developer with strong attachments to decent shortcuts in my day job.

I know not a single person that is able to navigate the ribbon mess. Again I have to admit that I'm not the best example for the target audience: My usage of office products is very limited, thus is my knowledge. But even using Outlook with this interface hurts me every day. No kidding. I constantly search things (Outlook mostly done now, but still I have to move like mad between tabs and it's just a bling menu in that case. Worse for Word, Excel..) and curse the introduction of this UI element.
Again, I'm a bad example. But this company hosts lots of different positions obviously and even the "typical" office users over here (administration, project management, support) are constantly fighting the interface.

To make this a little less a rant and explain my distaste: I guess the big benefit that sells this thing is that you have only 2 (actually three for lots of office things, ending at a drop down menu) levels in your action hierarchy. That's a good goal. I guess you can argue as well that it supports certain options that would otherwise be in a toolbar or a dialog. Good idea as well.
Unfortunately the reality is a nightmare. Again, taking Office as example: The feature set of the applications dwarfs this approach. All tabs are cluttered and bloated. Some (a lot?) things are now "hidden" (at level 3 of the hierarchy). Trying to unite the different elements (dialogs, toolbars, menu bars) results in one concise element - which is completely retarded to use.

Rant finished. I actually started this post with the question "Is there anyone out there that likes this ribbon in the first place" on my mind. Feel free to ignore the rest of the message and only consider the question ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: The ribbon
by dagw on Tue 21st Apr 2009 15:53 UTC in reply to "The ribbon"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

I've yet to personally meet anyone who didn't like the ribbon after giving it a week or so to get used to, and know several people who think it a vast improvement and wish that other apps would adopt it.

Personally I'm not madly in love with it, but I don't see why it get so much hate. Then again I'm a very casual office user, and don't use it day to day.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: The ribbon
by DarKlajid on Tue 21st Apr 2009 16:21 UTC in reply to "RE: The ribbon"
DarKlajid Member since:
2009-03-31

I've yet to personally meet anyone who didn't like the ribbon after giving it a week or so to get used to, and know several people who think it a vast improvement and wish that other apps would adopt it.

Personally I'm not madly in love with it, but I don't see why it get so much hate. Then again I'm a very casual office user, and don't use it day to day.


Thanks for the answer. I'm really interested to hear that. Of course it _has_ to work for a large amount of people and I expect that MS did serious UI testing and after all it's in wide use. Anyway, it's good to explicitly read that someone made mostly/only good experiences with this thing.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: The ribbon
by Hae-Yu on Tue 21st Apr 2009 16:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The ribbon"
Hae-Yu Member since:
2006-01-12

I'm an Office power user and I love the ribbon. Training makes all the difference.

When our organization rolled it out, they provided desktop shortcuts that linked to both in-house and MS-supplied CBTs. They did this at least 2 months before deployment.

My dept was part of the initial test run (<300 licenses), so we did the training. We adapted without a hiccup. When it was rolled out to the whole installation (>10k licenses), some didn't get the training, for whatever reason and some didn't even get notices that this upgrade would happen. For the most part, they hated it.

Obviously, I can't work the way I used to with custom pallets. So you adapt. The time I lose from that is made up by easier to find/ use features that were once obscured. Excel charts used to be a pain in the butt. Now, any kind of chart: snap, snap, snap.

I only have 2 problems with Office 2007:
1) Template folder is buried and hidden! It's not an easy or intuitive process to just get and add a template unless it's through the Office site.
2) Styles can't be modified as easily as they once were. Can't put my finger on what changed, but the process is now aggravating.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: The ribbon
by Soulbender on Wed 22nd Apr 2009 11:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: The ribbon"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

My dept was part of the initial test run (<300 licenses), so we did the training. We adapted without a hiccup. When it was rolled out to the whole installation (>10k licenses), some didn't get the training, for whatever reason and some didn't even get notices that this upgrade would happen. For the most part, they hated it.


You know what's so funny about this? This is the exact argument often used AGAINST using other office suites.
"You have to do training", "It's so different", "everyone will hate" but suddenly none of this is a big deal anymore when it's an MS Office that requires it. It's all much better, improved and good for you in the long run.
Not saying the ribbon isn't good, it's just somewhat ironic.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: The ribbon
by darknexus on Tue 21st Apr 2009 17:58 UTC in reply to "RE: The ribbon"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Well coming from the perspective of a keyboard user... I fscking hate that ribbon! Try navigating that thing with the keyboard for a bit. That, plus the fact that some options change location depending on what I'm doing... that's not intuitive.
Fortunately I've been able to move completely to Openoffice, so I don't have to deal with MS Office's cludgy interface. From Word 97 onwards I've always felt that Office was trying to do too much--changing the menus based on your usage, auto-correcting things I did not want corrected... and now the freaking ribbon makes it even harder for me to work with it.
No thanks, Microsoft. Go back to the drawing board on that one.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: The ribbon
by ricegf on Tue 21st Apr 2009 21:39 UTC in reply to "RE: The ribbon"
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

I've used it for 8 months, and am still less productive than I was with 2003. When shall we meet? :-)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: The ribbon
by kaiwai on Wed 22nd Apr 2009 02:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The ribbon"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I've used it for 8 months, and am still less productive than I was with 2003. When shall we meet? :-)


So your failure to adapt is apparently the fault of Microsoft? the whole world should stop developing and improving because you, the precious snow flake, refuse to adapt to change? maybe next time Microsoft makes a change they should make an effort to ring you up and getting a vetting as to whether its a good idea *rolls eyes*.

I'ved used the ribbon and maybe because of my experience with Office on the Mac - I am already used to it; but it only took a matter of a few minutes and searching the help file to find somethings I was confused about. The so-called productivity loss you claim is exaraggated to say the least.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: The ribbon
by wakeupneo on Wed 22nd Apr 2009 06:27 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: The ribbon"
wakeupneo Member since:
2005-07-06

So your failure to adapt is apparently the fault of Microsoft?


Fair go Kaiwai. If it still isn't intuitive to him after 8 months of use then for him, it's not a better solution. Simple as that. And going by the general consensus, it appears it isn't the best solution for everyone...as much as MS would like you to think it is (while they plan to spray it all over the rest of their products).

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: The ribbon
by ricegf on Wed 22nd Apr 2009 10:22 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: The ribbon"
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

Of *course* it's Microsoft's fault if I find myself less productive with a ribbon interface than a menu-and-tool bar interface. Do you honestly believe one interface is perfect for everyone? If it works well for you and not for me, I'm a "snowflake"?

Have you ever considered that software should adapt to the user, instead of vice-versa?

And that changing an interface inconsistently and with little flexibility for how people's work varies in the real world isn't necessarily an improvement, but may just be a step in the *wrong* direction? Presenting a *totally different* interface for the *same task*, depending on whether you're using the Outlook main window or the Outlook email editor (for example), might be a *bad* design decision?

And isn't your arrogance exactly what *Linux* advocates are so often maligned for exhibiting in public?

Very ugly attitude. Very ugly indeed.

Reply Score: 1

UI Changes vs Expense...
by looncraz on Tue 21st Apr 2009 15:41 UTC
looncraz
Member since:
2005-07-24

The ribbon sucks for the old school. It sucks hard.

Sure, you can spend a few WEEKS/MONTHS learning the new interface until you become efficient again - or you can go save the man hours and switch back... oh wait.. can't do that?

There are literally millions of people who have been specifically trained to deal with one UI of Microsoft Office ( Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc... ) - at great expense. The interface change is causing massive headaches in more time-critical environments.

Sure, you can blame the IT department for doing the upgrade without informing staff - but what about colleges? These places change often almost as soon as a new product is released without any regard to usability.

My g/f had to do a paper as school - she knows Office 97 - 2003 very well, even their little subtle differences. She can use OpenOffice even better. She has taken two or three classes that were basically Microsoft Office training courses ( in the guise of computer science, no less ).

The school went to the new Office and she was unable to find her way around quickly enough to get her work done. She spent, as she said, half of her time trying to find a way to get it back to the old look - so she could get her assignment done. Thankfully she wasn't required to turn the work in that day, so she came home to do her homework.

Seriously, change is good.. but ALWAYS leave an easy-to-find back-door to the old UI. Most especially on such a vital product. WordPad is one thing, Word is quite another. Failing to do so could cause aggravation, cost money, and possibly ( with some UIs - not office, I'd hope ) even lives.

Good UI design is critical - consistency and intuitiveness are relative, however.

My perfect UI may be an expert's worst nightmare. You need to cater to both in critical applications - regardless of how good you think the new UI is to learn and master.

The lay user may get a little frustrated, a "pro" will have problems.

--The loon

Reply Score: 3

RE: UI Changes vs Expense...
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 21st Apr 2009 15:58 UTC in reply to "UI Changes vs Expense..."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Seriously, change is good.. but ALWAYS leave an easy-to-find back-door to the old UI


I am diametrically OPPOSED to legacy switches in user interfaces. If you need to include legacy switches it means you are not confident that your new UI is an improvement over the old one - in which case you might as well start all over again.

Legacy switches hinder progress in user interface design, and I'm delighted that because of people like Julie, Microsoft is finally promoting progress.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: UI Changes vs Expense...
by sbenitezb on Wed 22nd Apr 2009 03:57 UTC in reply to "RE: UI Changes vs Expense..."
sbenitezb Member since:
2005-07-22

Oh cut the crap with that progress word. Changing stuff just to make money out of it is not progress. The fact that they have to resort to another method of putting every f--king single feature in a crowded bar is not because of progress, it's because they need to keep selling their software. Seriously, with word 97 MS has achieved an office suite that does 100% of what 99% people need and more, and they keep adding shit to it because they need to keep making money. It has nothing to do with progress or innovation. There's too little progress today in the computer world. Evolution maybe.

Reply Score: 2

RE: UI Changes vs Expense...
by dragossh on Tue 21st Apr 2009 16:56 UTC in reply to "UI Changes vs Expense..."
dragossh Member since:
2008-12-16

There are literally millions of people who have been specifically trained to deal with one UI of Microsoft Office ( Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc... ) - at great expense. The interface change is causing massive headaches in more time-critical environments.

And that, my friends, is the big problem. You don't train people how to operate a specific piece of software, you make them understand how that piece of software works, so they can adjust rapidly to further changes.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: UI Changes vs Expense...
by StephenBeDoper on Tue 21st Apr 2009 18:14 UTC in reply to "RE: UI Changes vs Expense..."
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

You don't train people how to operate a specific piece of software, you make them understand how that piece of software works, so they can adjust rapidly to further changes.


I agree with the fundamental premise - with any sort of education, the ideal should be teaching basic principles which can then be applied to specific circumstances. That approach trains people to be adaptable.

The problem is that it's much easier to learn (and to teach) how to deal with specific sets of circumstances - so that's usually what happens, even though it results in people who are effectively helpless when confronted with circumstances that they weren't trained to deal with. E.g., in previous job I used to teach a basic "Intro to computers" course" - most of the students actually had used computers back in the 80s, but their training (and usage) had been completely limited to old DOS versions of WordPerfect.

It's basically the idea of "instant gratification" applied to education - and I see that as a problem with education in general, not just computer training.

There's an excellent essay on that topic called "How we confuse Symbols and Things":

http://www.arachnoid.com/lutusp/symbols.html

Reply Score: 2

RE: UI Changes vs Expense...
by sbenitezb on Wed 22nd Apr 2009 03:51 UTC in reply to "UI Changes vs Expense..."
sbenitezb Member since:
2005-07-22

Tell your g/f to use Lyx. For writing stuff is better than Word. It also produces high quality documents.

Reply Score: 3

RE: UI Changes vs Expense...
by kaiwai on Wed 22nd Apr 2009 03:56 UTC in reply to "UI Changes vs Expense..."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Just a couple of points (I was going to do a point by point critique but I found the post interpolated several issues thus there was no clean break between the points made) - oh, and I'll also add some comments of my own that are completely unrelated to your post ;)

1) The original interface was not scalable to the depth and breadth of features which the various Office applications have acquired over the years. The model used was based on a set of limitations that one assumed would never bet met. All programmers make assumptions based on a educated guess.

The reality is that Microsoft needed to address the issue upfront and needed to have an interface which would scale as features were added, and new forms of accessing it were developed. The ribbon allows it to scale from the desktop to the web browser.

It also allows many features that were once very difficult to find - bought to the forefront. I'm also happy to see that maybe they'll eventually come about creating a system where there is one way of doing something rather than 20 different ways. Create one way - and make sure that one way is the most efficient. Choice for the sake of choice doesn't help the end user in the end.

2) What Microsoft needs is a better user interface; and quite honestly I have never been a fan on how Microsoft designed their user interface. What is required is for Microsoft to go back to the drawing board and look at all the possible types of interfaces that have existed; from Amiga to Irix, From Mac OS X to the opensource desktops on offer.

My personal preference is an interface along the lines of Amiga OS with a dock like bar down the bottom (floating rather than taking up all the bottom of the screen) with the drives on the desktop along with a link to the control panel and a network browsing link.

3) I'd like to see drag and drop application installation where the applications NEVER touch the system files. There needs to be a definite separation between the user applications and what the system provides. The two should not, at any time be intermingled.

This is going off on a rant but I believe at no time should software vendors ever dump their files into the Windows directory. If you want to bundle DLL's to ensure that you keep then in your own directory - or in the case of application bundles, keep them in your own bundle; then it is either up to you to provide updates or fix your applications so it can work with the standard libraries included with the operating system.

4) Microsoft needs to implement a set of standards for their certification which allow software vendors to affix the Windows compatible logo. These standards include the interface fully conforming to the Microsoft HIG (if Microsoft doesn't have one, they need to develop one), using only the newest win32 API calls which Microsoft have listed as being safe, fully compatible in every regards to a multi-user set up etc.

This will result in many screams and complaints from software vendors but hopefully it will result in the endorsement of good quality products that raise the profile of Windows over all. It is third parties that ultimately let down Windows (although Windows has a lot to answer for in the way it is designed).

Edited 2009-04-22 04:15 UTC

Reply Score: 3

She seems like a reasonable choice...
by Tuishimi on Tue 21st Apr 2009 16:04 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

...to add some life back into Windows.

I can safely say that Windows 7 is, thus far, almost a pleasure to use. That coming from a BeOS / NEXTSTEP / Mac OS X / OS/2 fan. ;)

It still isn't revolutionary, but it is evolving into something decent. I find the "little things" they've done to make it more usable heartening.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by SJ87
by sj87 on Tue 21st Apr 2009 17:01 UTC
sj87
Member since:
2007-12-16

When I heard that Larson-Green would spearhead the GUI effort for Windows 7, I had confidence that Windows 7 would bring something new to the table on the interface front. Sure, it wouldn't come with a completely new paradigm, but it would make the Windows interface more consistent, more logical, less annoying, and most importantly, more intuitive. I wasn't let down, as I personally find Windows 7 to be a massive stride forward interface-wise compared to previous versions of Windows, to a point where I often consider it more pleasant to use than Mac OS X - again something I wouldn't have believed if you had told me that a while ago.


When I heard the "Ribbon designer" taking of Windows 7's UI design group, I thought it might be prove to be a great enhancement. I didn't expect it to turn into a copy-paste of Office 2007. Especially since Ribbon really isn't that useful anywhere else than in its origins, office applications (and maybe in apps like Adobe's Photoshop or Premiere). It's kinda a one-off.

I also consider it annoying to have a jumplist in place of a proper "right click menu" in taskbar. Mainly because the jumplists look awful as does pretty much everything else (considering graphics) in Windows Vista and therefore in Seven too. It'd be also much more consistent since the jumplists are there only for the taskbar.

Edited 2009-04-21 17:01 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Ribbon on netbooks
by vtolkov on Tue 21st Apr 2009 18:00 UTC
vtolkov
Member since:
2006-07-26

There is no much space on neetbook screen, and ribbon is a good way to waste it. Ideally the entire screen should be used by text area and all these ribbons and toolbars should appear and disappear as popup-things, as they are required only when we need to find a command. And extensive using of mouse is also inconvenient when working with text, when fingers are on their positions on the keyboard. Yes, there are shortcuts, but there is no word visible, so there is no mnemonic to remember.
I would say, that there are still no satisfactory editors on market, and new office does not make any difference, but just steals a little of my screen real estate. It is still has the same bad traditional UI design.

Reply Score: 3

the problem with office 2007
by renhoek on Tue 21st Apr 2009 22:31 UTC
renhoek
Member since:
2007-04-29

the biggest problem with the office ribbon is that microsoft made no transition from 2003 to 2007. i'm completely lost. the interface changed, but also all icons and locations. the grouping is not thesame as in 2003.

this is what they SHOULD have done :

make the toolboxes of 2003 dockable in a ribbon kind of way.

problem solved for everyone.. really, if you like the ribbon you group all your toolboxes (and maybe show only the ones you really use), or use the old fashioned way of having all toolboxes available at once.

come to think of it, can anyone explain to my why they didn't solve it that way?

Reply Score: 2

Source is wrong
by chully on Thu 23rd Apr 2009 23:37 UTC
chully
Member since:
2009-04-23

This story is from the Associated Press and has merely been published in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Reply Score: 1