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Last post Author Topic: Windows 7 -- ribbons for everyone!  (Read 34242 times)

zridling

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Windows 7 -- ribbons for everyone!
« on: September 19, 2008, 09:06:16 AM »
Thom Holwerda has a new post at OSNews.com on Microsoft's ribbons for Paint and WordPad.
Quote
Microsoft blogger Stephen Chapman... claims that certain default Windows applications such as Paint and Wordpad have received the ribbon overhaul. "Yes, both Paint and WordPad have finally received the royal treatment. Via permission given to me to remotely access build 6780 to play around a bit, Paint and WordPad both look great and have much-needed updates." Not only the interface has been overhauled, but the feature set of both applications have been improved and modernised as well.

ribbon-wordpad7.jpg
Windows 7 -- ribbons for everyone!


ribbon-mspaint7.jpg
Windows 7 -- ribbons for everyone!


Love it or hate it?

jgpaiva

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Re: Windows 7 -- ribbons for everyone!
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2008, 09:14:48 AM »
Well... I love it in Office, but using it on wordpad seems like a bit of overkill, there's only one "tab"! (or whatever its name it)

Gothi[c]

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Re: Windows 7 -- ribbons for everyone!
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2008, 09:31:15 AM »
I think this new type of interface is a waste of screen real-estate.
Classically these tool bars were on the side of the screen, which makes more sense imo, because a monitor is typically more wide than it is tall.

jgpaiva

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Re: Windows 7 -- ribbons for everyone!
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2008, 09:35:21 AM »
Very good piont, gothi[c]!
I wonder how no expert in usability at MS thought about that  :huh:

fenixproductions

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Re: Windows 7 -- ribbons for everyone!
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2008, 09:53:03 AM »
2Gothi[c]
I think they thought about it pretty well.

People from the most of the countries used to read from left to right. So it is better to them to have any kind of information displayed horizontally. Even if it might take little more vertical space it is always easier to follow after all.

Consider placing ribbon on the left side of the screen. How usable it will be? How many information you can put on it?

Just remember that whole idea is the waste of the space for advanced users but computers are used by amateurs these days. Newbies wants to have i.e. labels for toolbar icons because they can learn app quicker this way. Even if it will take 20% of the screen's height, it seems to be better and more comfortable than taking twice as much for width (what would be needed for the same amount of information).

TucknDar

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Re: Windows 7 -- ribbons for everyone!
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2008, 10:00:44 AM »
The office ribbon confuses me. I'm using Softmaker office at home, but Office2007 at work. There's no way to turn the damn thing off is there?

fenixproductions

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Re: Windows 7 -- ribbons for everyone!
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2008, 10:16:47 AM »
2TucknDar
I couldn't find free solution (except hiding Ctrl+F1).

One of the commercial:
http://www.addintool...nuoffice/default.htm

tranglos

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Re: Windows 7 -- ribbons for everyone!
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2008, 10:18:56 AM »
The office ribbon confuses me. I'm using Softmaker office at home, but Office2007 at work. There's no way to turn the damn thing off is there?

You can minimize it, but there's no way to go back to the old menus and toolbars. There is a paid third-party add-on that restores the old-style interface in Office 2007, but I'm afraid I can't recall its name.

tranglos

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Re: Windows 7 -- ribbons for everyone!
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2008, 10:24:05 AM »
Well... I love it in Office, but using it on wordpad seems like a bit of overkill, there's only one "tab"! (or whatever its name it)

There's an interesting presentation by the UI designer who was in charge of the ribbon, over 90 minutes long:
http://msstudios.vo....x08/08_WMVs/UX09.wmv

He makes a lot of good points, made me appreciate the ribbon a little more, though I still don't use Office 2007. His narrative of gathering usage data and the prototyping process is intriguing. Near the end, during Q&A, he says exactly what you're saying: the ribbon is meant for applications with hundreds of commands and otherwise "busy" UIs. It was not intended for simpler programs due to the various trade-offs involved and the screen estate it takes. (And the idea I get from the presentation is that the ribbon was certainly not invented just to look pretty.)


tranglos

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Re: Windows 7 -- ribbons for everyone!
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2008, 10:30:01 AM »
I think this new type of interface is a waste of screen real-estate.
Classically these tool bars were on the side of the screen, which makes more sense imo, because a monitor is typically more wide than it is tall.

In the presentation of the ribbon design process (see my post above) the designer said they prototyped the ribbon as a sidebar, but abandoned it for two reasons. One, he says users felt more confident with commands at the top. Two - he was afraid if they placed the ribbon at the side, the ribbon would quickly develop a scrollbar, since vertical scrolling is such a common UI construct. But horizontal scrolling isn't so convenient, so placing the ribbon at the top ensured that no-one would try to do that.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Windows 7 -- ribbons for everyone!
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2008, 10:47:27 AM »
Well... I love it in Office, but using it on wordpad seems like a bit of overkill, there's only one "tab"! (or whatever its name it)

Yeah, ...I'm gona go with you and Gothi[c] in the hate it camp. It'll totally blow if they do that to Notepad.

tranglos

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Re: Windows 7 -- ribbons for everyone!
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2008, 11:02:04 AM »
Very good piont, gothi[c]!
I wonder how no expert in usability at MS thought about that  :huh:

It seems the usability experts at MS are aware of this. In this case they were probably overridden by the marketing dept.

mouser

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Re: Windows 7 -- ribbons for everyone!
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2008, 11:42:26 AM »
I think there are some nice things to like about the Ribbon.

But this whole discussion just underlines a point I have been trying to make: The OS designer/company should stop focusing on writing applications.

The very fact that the focus of "Windows 7" discussion is about adding ribbons to the microsoft applications which really have nothing whatsoever to do with the operating system itself tells you how far down the wrong path we have gone.

Paul Keith

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Re: Windows 7 -- ribbons for everyone!
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2008, 12:55:13 PM »
Just remember that whole idea is the waste of the space for advanced users but computers are used by amateurs these days. Newbies wants to have i.e. labels for toolbar icons because they can learn app quicker this way. Even if it will take 20% of the screen's height, it seems to be better and more comfortable than taking twice as much for width (what would be needed for the same amount of information).

This was my first thought when thinking of the new ribbon fenix but when I actually tried it, it just confused me just the same as when I was using the old MS Word.

It made me like the fact that I can see everything though but it's such a foreign ui that I don't think it really benefits total newbies.

The biggest problem with the thing is that it's nice that you can see everything until you want to go deep into the dropdown arrows and then you're back to having to know what a word processor does OR you have to settle for a bunch of pretty buttons tantalizing you of your own stupidity.

At least the old Word programs didn't make me feel lonely when I didn't know how to use all it's options.  :(
« Last Edit: September 19, 2008, 12:59:36 PM by Paul Keith »

Lutz_

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Re: Windows 7 -- ribbons for everyone!
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2008, 01:32:51 PM »
The ribbon in Office 2007 su#@*, ahemm.     :down:

Unfortunately the menu  items (ribbon items) are organized differently but not more logically than before.
In my experience it requires actually more clicks with the ribbon interface to arrive at the stuff that I need.

fenixproductions

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Re: Windows 7 -- ribbons for everyone!
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2008, 01:56:08 PM »
2Paul Keith
Partially I agree but I will still think that the target audience were the users who use Word as Notepad replacement. For them ribbon is salvation. I have seen enough diploma's thesises without paragraphs / automatic TOC, VBA etc. to know that many users needs the basics only. They don't even want to search for some functionality. If they cannot see it, it doesn't exist. Haven't you seen i.e. documents with overkilling Enter usage for placing the content on new page (instead of Insert -> Page break)? I did.

Whatever we say one thing is good in MS Office 2007 for sure: live preview.

I've always hated:
1. loading Properties dialog,
2. changing some values,
3. clicking OK,
4. looking for results,
5. pressing Ctrl+Z,
6. loading Properties dialog once again.

Now you can preview the results just by hovering some options. This is definitely better but it's just a drop in the sea.

jgpaiva

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Re: Windows 7 -- ribbons for everyone!
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2008, 01:59:31 PM »
But this whole discussion just underlines a point I have been trying to make: The OS designer/company should stop focusing on writing applications.
I'm not sure about that. I tend to think that MS's applications sort of create a "role model" and "interface examples", so that everyone follows the same pattern.
Unfortunatelly, with the recent applications (ie7, office 2007, wmp 11), they are introducing some interface changes that I'm not specially fond of. Particularly the fact that they're starting to use space that was previously saved for the title bar, and removing the good old menu bar (or even worse: hiding it like in ie7, which is utterly outrageous for someone who doesn't know about it).

Also, don't forget people that don't know what "install software" means, and want to edit images ;)

Paul Keith

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Re: Windows 7 -- ribbons for everyone!
« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2008, 02:16:57 PM »
2Paul Keith
Partially I agree but I will still think that the target audience were the users who use Word as Notepad replacement. For them ribbon is salvation. I have seen enough diploma's thesises without paragraphs / automatic TOC, VBA etc. to know that many users needs the basics only. They don't even want to search for some functionality. If they cannot see it, it doesn't exist. Haven't you seen i.e. documents with overkilling Enter usage for placing the content on new page (instead of Insert -> Page break)? I did.

Whatever we say one thing is good in MS Office 2007 for sure: live preview.

I've always hated:
1. loading Properties dialog,
2. changing some values,
3. clicking OK,
4. looking for results,
5. pressing Ctrl+Z,
6. loading Properties dialog once again.

Now you can preview the results just by hovering some options. This is definitely better but it's just a drop in the sea.

See, that's exactly who I am. Seriously, numero uno reason why I've since forgotten about MS Word is because I actually found Notepad! No kidding.

The thing about the ribbon is, I still can't see anything and now I have a bunch of squigly lines and preview things staring at me in the face. I don't think you're going to convince any newbies to format some paragraph if they don't know what it is when it's staring at them in the face.

Just to prove my credentials, 99% of what you listed made no sense to me. TOC? VBA? Page break?

Since when did seeing Japanese Greetings on my insert screen part of the basics of a word processor and what the hell is a "Text box"?

Why in the world is typing in a vertical line a part of the main visible options?

The mysteries of the ribbon are like playing the rubix cube. Sure, you can see everything but salvation? Not until the stars have aligned in your favor.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Windows 7 -- ribbons for everyone!
« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2008, 02:28:14 PM »
So get an applications development team to designe them and make them freely downloadable from their website. That way they would stop having all the srupid arguments with the competition regulators.

More than anything else windows 7 needs a complete strip down.

I would say be bold - drop all compatibility with non NT systems for a start. There are no preNT operating systems still supported by OS so why saddle everyone with compatibility layers etc.. If they want compatibility with earlier Windows why not redesign VirtualPC to run apps transparently on the desktop in the correct virtual OS?

Next, get rid of ALL the eyecandy nonsense. Have themes like in Windows 98 if you must but get rid of all the stuff that demands a specific graphics card type or capacity - windows should be able to run on a system with built in graphics with minimal use of memory.

Make all the current core apps are separate apps as above (so Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, Notepad, WordPad and all the the dross have to be downloaded if you actually want them). A minimal uninstallable browser could be added to allow you to choose what you want to download - or better supply them on a separate CDROM with the windows installer - or even in a separate folder on the OS disc.

For me one crucial idea would be don't install any services unless you actually need/use them. The first time you use an app that needs service X just install it at that point - they can easily sit in a folder inside the Windows folder to make this simple - and make it so that when you exit an app any services that you only use for that app are automatically stopped and unloaded. That way no one would need apps like nLite to strip out all the unnecessary CPU hogging processes that serve no purpose for 99% of users.

The emphasis should be on lean and light operating system that is easily and transparently extendible as required in use. That way it would be MUCH smaller (back to a CD ROM rather than half a DVD full of nonsense).

Anyone think this has any chance of happening?

jgpaiva

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Re: Windows 7 -- ribbons for everyone!
« Reply #19 on: September 19, 2008, 03:04:40 PM »
Carol: fortunatelly.. Not :)

I think most of what you mention really reminds me of some linux distributions, and there's a VERY good reason they don't prosper as much as windows: (i'm repeating myself) most people have no idea what it means to install software!
Most people really just want to get their stuff done, which ironically, is the "moto" of Apple.
Truth is, if windows did that, it'd loose pretty much all of its costumer base, as they'd turn to apple.
Actually, even though things are pretty simple in windows right now, loads and loads of people are moving to apple to have things even simpler!

Carol Haynes

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Re: Windows 7 -- ribbons for everyone!
« Reply #20 on: September 19, 2008, 03:40:51 PM »
I disagree - you could have 'stubs' of apps installed with windows but the apps don't get installed until you actually use them. Then they could install silently so no one would be any the wiser.

Most people wouldn't shift to Apple because it is too expensive and they wouldn't know where to buy one. Plus they'd wonder where the 'start' button has gone!

jgpaiva

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Re: Windows 7 -- ribbons for everyone!
« Reply #21 on: September 19, 2008, 06:52:19 PM »
I still don't think that'd be a good solution: if you go to somewhere without web access, you'd have to take the windows CD with you, or to install all the stuff you're going to need before leaving the house. Honestly, I don't think it's practical.

Truth is, I only use IE/WMP/notepad/Paint/wordpad very rarely (the last 2 I don't use at all), but I think they're VERY useful for most people..

jgpaiva

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Re: Windows 7 -- ribbons for everyone!
« Reply #22 on: September 19, 2008, 07:01:59 PM »
On a related matter, MicroKernel OS's are pretty much what you're describing, so they do exist.
I've seen a talk by Andrew Tannenbaum about his microkernel OS, minix. It was VERY instesting, the whole OS is only 5000 lines of code and only contains the bare minimum (the rest of the stuff runs in user-mode, where it can be restarted if it has any problem).

wreckedcarzz

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Re: Windows 7 -- ribbons for everyone!
« Reply #23 on: September 19, 2008, 07:40:55 PM »
I think there are some nice things to like about the Ribbon.

But this whole discussion just underlines a point I have been trying to make: The OS designer/company should stop focusing on writing applications.

The very fact that the focus of "Windows 7" discussion is about adding ribbons to the microsoft applications which really have nothing whatsoever to do with the operating system itself tells you how far down the wrong path we have gone.


Good point - the company does more about the applications IN the OS rather than the OS itself - it should be the other way around.

It is nice to have a cool shiny car with a fresh paint job. It is better to have an average looking car that runs well.

Josh

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Re: Windows 7 -- ribbons for everyone!
« Reply #24 on: September 19, 2008, 08:42:56 PM »
I hope people realize that the apps INSIDE OF windows are a separate set of coders when compared to the kernel coders.