Browse by Tags

Tagged Content List
  • Blog Post: The Story of the Ribbon

    I was reading through commentary from people who attended last week's MIX conference in Las Vegas. Running across Miguel de Icaza's kind words reminded me that I hadn't posted a follow-up about my MIX talk yet. Last week, I presented a session at MIX called "The Story of the Ribbon." I talked a bit...
  • Blog Post: Let's MIX it up!

    Just a short note to let you know that I'll be presenting a new session during MIX in Las Vegas on Friday, March 7 at 10:00 entitled "The Story of the Ribbon." In this session, I'm going to present the story of the Ribbon--the customer problems that we were aiming to solve by designing a new user interface...
  • Blog Post: Giving You Fitts

    One of the most well-understood and salient principles underlying the ergonomics of graphical user interface design is Fitts' Law . Named for Paul Fitts, a psychologist at Ohio State University, Fitts' Law is a mathematical model of fine motor control which predicts how long it takes to move from...
  • Blog Post: Evolution of the PowerPoint Home Tab

    A few months ago, I made an attempt to give you a sense of the kinds of changes to the user interface you'd be likely to see between Beta 2 and the final product. In particular, I guessed that we had made over a thousand individual tweaks to the contents of the Ribbon, although now I think that was...
  • Blog Post: Nice for Mice: Menu Tabs

    Last week , I wrote about some of the work we've done to make the minimized Ribbon work well with the new keyboard model. I even posted a movie showing the new feature in action if you want to see what it looks like. A few months ago as we were doing the work to build this feature, the developers...
  • Blog Post: Taking the Minimized Ribbon to the Max

    One of the many areas in which we've spent time since Beta 2 has been making working with the collapsed Ribbon a more realistic option. Since the very first public build of the new user interface, you've been able to collapse the Ribbon to just the names of the tabs by using CTRL+F1 or by double-clicking...
  • Blog Post: Let's Talk About Customization

    One topic that has come up frequently in our private beta newsgroups as well as here in blog comments from time to time is the issue of customization. As with every component of the Office 2007 user interface redesign, we put a lot of thought into how much customization to provide; today I'm going...
  • Blog Post: Drawn Together

    Creating a drawing in Office is different is a few key ways from other features we expose on the Insert tab of the Ribbon. Most notably, individual shapes are usually part of an overall drawing. It's less common that someone intends to draw a solitary circle than that the circle joins together with...
  • Blog Post: The Size Of Things

    One of the most discussed aspects of the new Office 2007 UI has been: "Does it take up too much room?" It isn't a straightforward question to answer, above all because to answer it requires a subjective opinion. What seems just right to one person might seem to another person to be too much. So...
  • Blog Post: There's No Place Like Home

    A long-open issue in the designs of the Ribbon content for the Office 2007 programs has been what to name the first tab of the programs. In Beta 1, Word's first tab is called "Write," Excel's first tab is called "Sheet," and PowerPoint's first tab is called "Slides." Where did these names come from...
  • Blog Post: Lingering Around

    One of the key concepts in the Office 2007 user interface is Contextual Tabs . Whenever an object is selected, the tools for working with that object are made available in the Ribbon. I've talked about them in an introductory article and just last week I posted a design history of the steps we took along...
  • Blog Post: Adding Groups to the Quick Access Toolbar

    A great deal of the time spent in an Office development schedule after Beta 1 is put towards addressing feedback collected through the use of the product, both in our private beta program and through other research. One of the key areas in which we continue to make improvements is the Quick ...
  • Blog Post: Picture This: A New Look For Office

    This morning at the CeBIT conference in Germany, we revealed the new visuals for the Office 2007 user interface. You can see a few screenshots of the new look on the Office 2007 UI Preview Site . If you've got a craving to see even more, I've created a mini-gallery of full-size screenshots from...
  • Blog Post: Which menu items get icons?

    One of the mysteries of the menus-and-toolbars based UI of Office 97-2003 is "which menu items get icons?" If you look at the top-level menus of any of the Office programs, you'll see that some items have icons and some don't. As it was told to me by one of the designers who worked on it, originally...
  • Blog Post: Designing Against a Degrading Experience

    I'm sure many of you have experienced being the "one who knows about computers." In social and family situations this often means having to help to fix, clean up, or otherwise restore a computer experience which has fallen into disrepair. There are a million reasons software experiences can degrade...
  • Blog Post: The Biggest Loser

    As we continue to work on the visual design of the 2007 Office apps, we've been very conscious of looking for ways to slim down the overall UI of the apps. Early on (especially before people learned more about how it worked) some people were saying things about the Ribbon like "it's just a fat toolbar...
  • Blog Post: Rich Menus

    You may remember that last week I described the textual separators that we use in Office 12 menus to improve a few specific scenarios. Another way we've enhanced menus is a design we call "rich menus." The idea is simple: include descriptive content within the menu itself to ...
  • Blog Post: Going Gray

    One of the key design tenets of the Office 12 user interface is making sure that the set of features you need to look through is as small as possible. Communicating the relevant features makes the program feel smaller and simpler and saves you time in finding what you're looking for and discovering what...
  • Blog Post: Flea Market of Functionality

    Last Monday , I set out a simple brain teaser for the Word gurus out there. I listed a number of seemingly unrelated features in Word 2003 and asked the question "what do these have in common?" John Topley got the answer I was looking for in the very first comment to Monday's post: all of the features...
  • Blog Post: A Separate Piece

    I'm not sure when menu separators were invented. They could well have been dreamed up at Xerox PARC in the 1970s, although I can't find any definitive evidence of it. Apple included them in the design of the Lisa user interface; below you can see an example of menu separators looking pretty much as they...
  • Blog Post: The Feature Bob Invented

    It was a cold winter afternoon early in 2004, and we were in the midst of doing some of the first usability tests with a working, clickable prototype of the Ribbon. (Prior to that, most of our prototypes had been paper-based .) This particular prototype was put together in PowerPoint as a fairly...
  • Blog Post: Outlook and the Ribbon

    On Tuesday , I wrote about some of the new features in Outlook 12 and, in passing, I mentioned that Outlook was the single biggest consumer of the Ribbon . Not surprisingly, since I didn't explain the remark any further and because it seems to contradict my post about what apps get the new...
  • Blog Post: I Am Your Density

    A comment we've heard again and again about the Office 12 interface after people use it or see it demoed live is: "wow, it's so much better than I imagined just by seeing the screenshots." Several people made that comment to me once again after my talk at PARC Tuesday night, and I wanted to write...
  • Blog Post: Super Tooltips

    On Tuesday , I mentioned some of the barriers I see to people using help regularly in Office. Based on the comments, I can tell that many of you have strong feelings about the Office help system. The team that owns the help system has read your comments and Mike Kelly, one of the leaders of that...
  • Blog Post: You'll Know It When You See It

    An important element of the new user interface in Office 12 is a feature we call "Live Preview." The basic idea behind Live Preview is simple: whenever you hover over a formatting option with your mouse cursor, Office shows you what your document would look like if you chose to apply that formatting...
Page 1 of 2 (33 items) 12