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.
Thread beginning with comment 487620
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[2]: LALALALA I can't hear you
by boblowski on Tue 30th Aug 2011 11:14 UTC in reply to "RE: LALALALA I can't hear you"
boblowski
Member since:
2007-07-23

Perhaps I misunderstand you, but are you saying that the function of the ribbon is to give a visual representation of the options that were previously available in the contextual right-click menu?

In that case I begin to understand why I feel the ribbon is such an inefficient and cumbersome solution for a problem I never understood in the first place: why are the main menu's in so many Microsoft applications (semi) contextual?

For me the advantage of a classical text based menu is that it simply shows all possible actions. That an action is not available at the moment (greyed out) is very useful information for a user.

Again, I might misunderstand what you're saying.

The biggest advantage of the contextual right-click menu is that it directly shows what object the options relate to and that the mouse travel distance is kept to a minimum.

With the ribbon interface I'm wasting a lot of time with mouse movements. Which is made worse by the non-uniform presentation of the options. It feels a bit like a McDonald's menu to me, where they need a 6 meter wide menu board to present just 10~15 or so choices.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Spiron Member since:
2011-03-08

You sir are a power-user and while there is nothing wrong with that in itself you are not the market for which this is aimed. Power-users will mostly continue to do what they do, be it right-click menu or hotkeys. This move is aimed at the majority of users who are non-power-users and will not find a command if it is not in front of their faces. It is also probably aimed at the tablet market where right click is mostly impossible and a menu system becomes to awkward to implement.

Reply Parent Score: 1

boblowski Member since:
2007-07-23

You sir are a power-user and while there is nothing wrong with that in itself you are not the market for which this is aimed. Power-users will mostly continue to do what they do, be it right-click menu or hotkeys. This move is aimed at the majority of users who are non-power-users and will not find a command if it is not in front of their faces. It is also probably aimed at the tablet market where right click is mostly impossible and a menu system becomes to awkward to implement.


You honor me unduly :-) But I do have 10 years experience giving and organizing professional software trainings. And my experience with even completely new users is somewhat contrary to the findings of the article.

It always annoys me somewhat when choices (any choice for that matter) are defended based on what supposedly 51% of the users want. Architects work differently than how 98% of the people would go about when designing buildings. Does that mean that they should adjust to the majority, or that the majority can learn something from them?

What you call 'power' users, I would rather call 'users with a professional interest' -- users that are willing to invest some time in the tools they need.

The users the ribbon caters to, are (IMHO) instead users that expect software to not only tell them how they need to do something, but also take them by the hand and tell them what they want to do.

Don't take me wrong, there's nothing wrong with that. What irks me is not that software makers want to make their products accessible to more users (which makes moral and economical sense), but that the natural limitations of those users (such as lack of experience or interest) are taken as the 'better' approach.

It wouldn't have been too difficult to just make everybody happy and add a setting to present the information contained in the tabbed ribbon as simple classical text based menu's. Which for me proves this has more to do with brand and product identity (just like Apple's Finder with all it's limitations) than with useability.

Reply Parent Score: 1