Critiquing the Office 2007 (was Re: Microsoft to license Office 2007 UI system)
28 Nov 2006 - 12:48pm
6 years ago
Todd Zaki Warfel wrote:
> Whereas web-based apps are starting to look and perform more and more > like desktop applications, this is going the other direction - a > desktop app looking like and operating like a web-app. It's just > another case of MS throwing everything including the Kitchen sink at > the display. > > Just because you have more pixels doesn't mean you should use them. > > When will they learn? >
Todd, I find the above critique to be very surface.
There is a lot of published detail that is quite convincing about how they
came to this design and what problems they are hoping to solve from
earlier Office designs.
Also, I don't find this very "webby" at all except to say that "webby"
means conventionless and this being a new convention without a lot of
precident would confirm that.
Lastly, the ribbon is only a small part of the changes they've done to
office and to look at the Ribbon as the only major change to me feels also
very surface as a critique.
My own take after using Office 2007 almost exclusively for a few months
now is that while the beta was buggy the premises were very very sound.
1. See before you do is REALLY helpful.
2. The tabs and associated ribbon as a way of presenting things in a more
discoverable fashion does work over time. It has a learning curve, but
that curve definitely pays off.
3. text formatting widgets as overlay within the text editing space is
GREAT! No longer having to go "all the way" back to the top for the
toolbar to do things like bullets and alignment and other primary
formatting changes is brilliant.
And this is just the beginning.
Things that I miss from the Mac Office 2004 version is the right panel
palettes akin to Adobe software. Since our screens are wider than they are
high and since Word and PPT docs seem to be vertically focused, using this
right space seemed to work better than the ribbon. But since Excel is more
horizontal than vertical and PPT can be horizontal in nature I can see
that if I had to choose a vertical or a horizontal approach I may go with
the horizontal one. Also, if I want to have multiple word docs open
(something very common) the extra horizontal space in the vertical
approach goes away and it would be better to use the height.
Over all, licensing aside, I really like the new version of Office. It is
a bold move for a company that has been locked with its legacy for way too
long in the Windows space. They did 1000's of hours of research for this
project, and I wouldn't want to be so quip with snubbing it out of hand.