Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 29th Aug 2011 22:27 UTC
Windows Ah yes, Windows Explorer. One of the oldest parts of Windows, and yet, it's far from perfect. It's hated less than, say, the Finder (but that's no achievement), but most geeks I know aren't particularly fond of it either. For Windows 8, Microsoft is going to make the biggest change ever to Explorer's interface: it's getting the ribbon treatment.
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RE: Going in the Wrong Direction
by Laurence on Tue 30th Aug 2011 08:19 UTC in reply to "Going in the Wrong Direction"
Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

One of the few things I liked while using Windows, especially Explorer, was that it didn't waste a ton of real estate on gimmicks. Microsoft should learn from the popularity of Chrome and realize that filling the screen with more crud is not what users want. The first thing I have to do when using a Windows computer is disable all of the button bars in Explorer or IE.

Microsoft: just because the ribbon worked great in a feature rich application such as Office doesn't mean that we want it apps that don't provide nearly as much functionality. If you want to improve Explorer, add a column view similar to Finder in OSX or Dolphin in Linux.

To be honest, I don't even like ribbon in Office.

The nice thing about the menu interface was that if you couldn't remember where something was, you could find it with a textual interface that was (for the most part) logically laid out.

Now I have to scan through dozens of icons just to find something that's picture vaguely represents the task I'm trying to perform. Worse yet, some functions are hidden in menus behind ribbon icons.

The problem with interfaces like the ribbon bar is they expect users to learn the layout. To generate a mental map of where the functions are. Which is fine if all you use in your working life is MS Office. However I regularly switch between MS Office, LibreOffice and dozens of other productivity suites. I don't have the time nor inclination just to learn how to perform the same function I was regularly using 5 years ago.

People keep taking about GUIs and pictorial representations as the cutting edge of user friendliness, but I'm really not convinced. I'm not about to say that we should all be using the command line or anything equally absurd. However icons only work if people can identify with the graphic representation and GUIs are only use friendly so long as the form layouts are logical. Thus far I've found that the ribbon bar doesn't always tick those two boxes.

</rant>

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