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Author Topic: Explorer with Ribbon  (Read 3146 times)
Jibz
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« on: August 30, 2011, 02:41:25 AM »



This image is from the MS blog post about it, check the critique here as well.

Personally I have never been a big fan of the ribbon, I think it is the mix of large and small icons that makes it look cluttered to me. I can see how it might make it possible to fit in more actions, but frankly I often find I spend way too much time looking for the ones I actually need.

At any rate, I am sure it will help people who aren't capable of using keyboard shortcuts and context menus to use explorer, and provide a colorful (150 pixel height!) distraction for me tongue.
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vlastimil
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« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2011, 06:21:11 AM »

I agree that the screenshot looks scary.

Though, Microsoft is investing a lot of time and resources into UI and I bet they have done or are doing a lot of field testing. They would not make the change if the results were not conclusive. The ribbon has a potential to help newbie users, who like big, non-moving, descriptive buttons. I also see that little arrow in the upper right corner that would likely hide the panel and I can keep using context menu as before. It can still suck though - there are too many distracting colorful words.

I'll delay my final judgement until I can play with it myself for a while.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2011, 06:40:11 AM by vlastimil » Logged
Stoic Joker
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« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2011, 06:36:13 AM »

I like keyboard shortcuts and context menus, so as long as they keep the little Hide-the-Silly-Ribbon arrow button in the top right corner ... I'm ok with it being there/an option for end users.
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wraith808
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« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2011, 07:25:55 AM »

His article seeming ignores a lot of what is stated in the blog post- some of the resources he repurposes from the blog post leave out the context.  For example, the usage patterns state what they are now, and the engineers suppose that making the used functionality more visible and larger, that the usage patterns will change.

I just hope they put in a way to hide itShown below is how it looks minimized, though it won't really matter to me as I use directory opus 90% of the time anyway.*





*And the other 10% is XYplorer LOL smiley
« Last Edit: August 30, 2011, 07:29:15 AM by wraith808; Reason: Answering my own question » Logged

Jibz
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« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2011, 07:38:34 AM »

I'm glad hiding it looks at least reasonably usable, thanks for the screenshot.

Btw, anyone else mildly amused by the fact that they removed the menu, added the ribbon, added tabs to the ribbon, and now it more or less looks like the menu used to in the above screenshot? cheesy
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« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2011, 07:44:55 AM »

The direction* just doesnt make sense to me what with the default screen these days being 16:9

* pun not initially intended, but if it were vertical I'd consider trying it
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« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2011, 08:58:23 AM »

I'll offer an opinion for the "I kind of like like it" side of the road.  The kind of like it part is the screen shown on the 1st post pretty much has everything a typical mouse/trackpad user wants to do is right in front of you. Copy, move, new folder...
But instead of it taking up the real estate at the top of the window I'd rather have that screen pop up at a right click instead.  Just seems to me it would be easier to locate something on this type of screen than most of the shell extenders I looked at.  Seems easier to find something scanning a pop up right & left than up & down a pop up.  Keyboard shortcuts are unquestionably easier. I find myself using them more.  Occasionally though I forget what one or two are and need to revert to point & click.
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wraith808
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« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2011, 09:16:16 AM »

^ I've come to the point where I dislike context menus, because they are overused for the wrong things, and in doing so, the whole menu is slowed down.
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2011, 11:25:44 AM »

Btw, anyone else mildly amused by the fact that they removed the menu, added the ribbon, added tabs to the ribbon, and now it more or less looks like the menu used to in the above screenshot?

Yes, now that you mentioned it...it does seem a bit silly.
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2011, 11:29:07 AM »

^ I've come to the point where I dislike context menus, because they are overused for the wrong things, and in doing so, the whole menu is slowed down.

It does kinda defeat the purpose of trying to do something quickly if the menu lags the whole process. That's why I stick with only the defaults. ...Well except for WinRAR. Wink
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Deozaan
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« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2011, 12:40:17 PM »

The direction* just doesnt make sense to me what with the default screen these days being 16:9

* pun not initially intended, but if it were vertical I'd consider trying it

Yeah, they're aware of that:

Quote
As this data shows, widescreen formats (those with a resolution ratio > 1.3) have become the standard. Of the top 20 screen resolutions, 17 of them are widescreen formats and they account for 83% of the total Windows 7 PC base.  This should make sense to everyone because the majority of PCs are laptops and almost all laptops are wide screen.  The two common standard resolutions are almost exclusively desktop PCs.  We had a lot of good discussion about display resolution in Engineering Windows 7 and likely this will be an interesting topic again.

Knowing this, we investigated a number of options for using widescreen formats more effectively with the goal that the total vertical space available for content was the same after we added the ribbon as it had been in Windows 7.

This approach gives you a new Details pane that is much easier to read, makes better use of widescreen formats, and preserves screen real estate for the main file/folder pane. The exact number of lines might vary a bit from PC to PC depending on what add-ins you have, but for the out-of-the-box configuration running full screen at 1366 X 768, you can actually fit two more lines on the screen than you could in Windows 7.

(emphasis added by me)

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Lashiec
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« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2011, 06:37:57 PM »

Wow, couldn't they make it more cluttered? Look at the two versions shown side by side in Deozaan's post, Windows 8 shot is really scary. It's like they tried to compensate the size reduction in the status bar by dumping everything on the toolbar. Maybe app is doing some consulting for them? :D. And what's up with that red "Library Tools" button? Is that intended to be a part of the UI?

Is really worth all this effort to force the user to do things the Microsoft way? Because without more data from them, one gets the impression that the user gets the job done with hotkeys and the context menu, but Microsoft wants everyone to use the toolbar! And if not, is the average user really making such heavy use of Explorer to the point he is going to appreciate the new design? I assume the power user is already using 3rd party alternatives, which are superior.

I hope for the sanity of Explorer users this is a preliminary version, because Microsoft can show me all the telemetry data they want, but between this and the pointless additions to the copy dialog, looks like they're stumbling again in the UI front, when many of their recent products suggested they finally 'got it', including Windows 8 own tablet UI, and the statements done by a certain retired religious figure no longer applied ;)

One more thing: http://i.imgur.com/Cp9jx.png. Yeah <_<

P.S.: I use xplorer² and don't have any intention to abandon it. So much for the tantrum :P
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2011, 07:34:29 PM »

Is really worth all this effort to force the user to do things the Microsoft way? Because without more data from them, one gets the impression that the user gets the job done with hotkeys and the context menu, but Microsoft wants everyone to use the toolbar! And if not, is the average user really making such heavy use of Explorer to the point he is going to appreciate the new design? I assume the power user is already using 3rd party alternatives, which are superior.

Dismal first impressions aside ... Perhaps this is to be a tablet friendly design move. Hotkeys and right clicks basically blow on a tablet with an on screen keyboard. But large-ish clearly marked buttons should be easier to hit/work with.

Just thinking out loud - Don't shoot me.  cheesy
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Lashiec
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« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2011, 08:04:25 PM »

Grin

Well, that would make sense, though it would mean that Microsoft really doesn't get how tablets should operate. The 'ghetto', as some people now affectionately call the Windows desktop metaphor shouldn't really be available for tablet users. If we want the computer to be an appliance, some restrictions should be in place, and this is one of them. Having traditional Windows available at a flick spells all kind of trouble, and tablets should be free of maintenance and system murking as much as possible. Mind you, this is all with the average user in mind, it doesn't hurt to provide some kind of official "jailbreaking" to power users. Plus it's a mishmash of things that feels completely out of place.

Then again, during the tablet UI demo Sinofsky said the tablets should at least use an antivirus, so...
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zridling
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« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2011, 10:49:33 PM »

And yet more critiques, with links:
http://techcrunch.com/201...-invert-selection-button/
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"...there’s an undertone to the post: Microsoft is nervous. They’re posting these screenshots now so they can get feedback. To me, this suggests that while Microsoft is confident that they did their homework, they’re not actually confident in the product itself. Nor should they be, given the reaction."
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« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2011, 12:37:17 AM »

I have trouble even getting that MSDN page to load in Firefox! Must be the ribbon!

Jim
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phitsc
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« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2011, 02:03:19 AM »

I now find the ribbon to be an improvement over the menu / toolbar combination, at least in applications like MS Word. But only after reading this MS article about ribbons helped me understand its major design concepts.

I don't think ribbons are meant to substitute keyboard shortcuts. It's only that while I have no problem remembering the dozens of keyboard shortcuts in applications like Visual Studio which I basically use daily, it does get a bit more difficult when it comes to MS Word which I use maybe once a week, or MS Excel which I use once a month only.

Nevertheless, I still dread the day when MS decides to introduce ribbons in Visual Studio Wink
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JavaJones
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« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2011, 07:54:03 PM »

I'm curious if MS continues to test other major UI design changes internally, or if they're basically now stuck on old style (menus, mainly) vs. ribbon, casting ribbon as "the one true solution". Personally I'd also like to see some innovation aimed at power users, for example more powerful context menu functionality. Imagine context menus that can have more sophisticated visual elements, even encompassing things like pie/circle menu functionality, etc. Granted your average user isn't going to take to that like shoving buttons in their face, which is more an issue of using the UI as a wedge to increase user *awareness*, it's not necessarily as effective at improving long-term efficiency once awareness exists, but as I said the power users deserve some dev time too.

In a sense power users might be more important for MS on the desktop given the move toward "appliance computing". MS might be best served looking at file maintenance, etc. as fundamentally power user features and focusing end-user-oriented research more on automation. A good example of a start on that would be defaulting to auto-sort downloaded movie files into the movie library, audio files into music, photos into photos. Sure power users would hate that, but I'd bet average users would love it. And if MS could create a Gmail-esque "tag or don't as you please, search will take care of everything anyway" system (think Everything but properly integrated in the OS), then eventually I reckon the power users would come around too. But regardless I feel like power users get short shrift on MS innovations and that may be driving people away from MS's desktop OS's long term toward e.g. Linux. Or not, given Linux desktop adoption percentages. tongue

Anyway I'm not a fan of the ribbon UI and annoyed to see MS continuing to push it. I just hope they leave it as optional and not just an option to minimize it, but an option to have the same UI we have now. Then again there are always 3rd party file managers...

- Oshyan
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