"The Most Frequently Used Features in Microsoft Office"

19 Feb 2008 - 9:18am
6 years ago
9 replies
698 reads
Marty DeAngelo
2007

At the Adaptive Path UXi conference, they spoke almost specifically
about this - the fact that new webapps are coming out that try to give
20% of the functionality that 80% of the users will use instead of being
everything for everybody. They used Writely as an example (which has
since been bought up by Google) to show that people usually only need a
subset of what is offered in Microsoft Word.

The presentation made a good point that while those extra features are
interesting and even useful in some situations, many people will never
use them and have trouble finding what they DO need amidst the broad
choices offered.

I for one think that the "Less is More" mentality makes a lot of sense,
because the interfaces get so complicated that even veteran users get
lost going for features that would be somewhere around 26-50 on the
'most used' list.

-- Marty

> Probably unsurprisingly, these numbers appear to show some kind of
"Pareto principle" usage ("20 % of the application commands are used in
80 % of the time"). Does your experience support this?
>
>
> [1]
> http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2008/02/most-frequently-used-features
> -in.html
>
> --
> Jens Meiert
> http://meiert.com/en/

Comments

19 Feb 2008 - 2:17pm
Katie Albers
2005

<snip>
>I for one think that the "Less is More" mentality makes a lot of sense,
>because the interfaces get so complicated that even veteran users get
>lost going for features that would be somewhere around 26-50 on the
>'most used' list.
>
>-- Marty

Well, since I often get official communications from Microsoft in
which the paragraphs are separated by double returns...and forms
which don't use Word's built-in form technology...I suspect the
feature-set long since passed the useful set.

Part of this can be laid at the doorstep of mere feature creep; but
part if it is also a failure to define a product (both these issues
are endemic, they're just easiest to find in MS Word). What started
life as a word-processor has quickly gone through the stage of
formatting tool and is striving to be a full-fledged
document/publishing tool (which it actually does rather poorly).
Thus, features that are necessary to one level of tool are
incorporated into all of them and the increased levels of complexity
often lead to failure of the tools. Issues like the occasional
randomization of numbering, the persistence of changes in tracked
documents and so forth result from this complexity.

All of this by way of saying: One of the critical pieces of good
interaction design is deciding what set of interactions your
application is going to support. Who has that responsibility will
often not be an IxD, but it is still the job of the IxD to call
attention to the problem.

Katie
--

----------------
Katie Albers
katie at firstthought.com

19 Feb 2008 - 10:34pm
Christine Boese
2006

I'm as against bloatware as the next person, although feature overkill is
sort of like pornography: "you know it when you see it," which means the
definition remains completely relativistic.

However... I am someone who uses the deep features of software, and usually
without reading the manual. I don't want to be pestered with them, but I
like that I can find and harness real software power when I want it.

But there's a bigger danger to warn of here, the dangers current mass media
missteps provide the warning signs for, inadvertently. Lowest common
denominator. (are you as sick of "reality TV as I am?)

When we start lumping all into a mass, as in the mass of mass media, it
becomes the demographic of One, the oppressive and tyrannical demographic
of the monolith, and excuse me whilest I run screaming from the room.

I was drawn to interactive media because it deconstructed the mass of mass
media; it dared to say one-to-many is evil and there can be something
better, something even better than niche marketing and demographic
hair-splitting on speed, something sometimes called many-to-many, but is
really about diversity and about resisting the urge to lump audiences into
undiscerning categories, even the category of "audience", which necessarily
constructs those in that category as passive consumers, and not interactive
co-creators.

That's really all I have to say, except to point up the irony of a term I've
seen from time to time, a term that fills me with the overwhelming urge to
sneeze "bullshit!"

<tangent>

"Consumer-Generated Content." As in, huh?! Who came up with that brilliant
term? Will it one day fall into the annals of "jumbo shrimp" et al?

I'm less offended by the term "user-generated content," because making use
of something is doing something, an active activity. Consumer? A consumer is
one who consumes something that is made by someone else. So what the hell is
"consumer-generated content" except what (I suspect) is a marketing
industry's deep structure refusal to accept the idea of active participants,
CREATORS, makers, speakers with real voices, rather than the dominant
marketing desire for compliant, passive, happy with what they are spoon-fed,
"consumers." (we could dig even deeper for irony here, and note the history
of tuberculous gave us a term for what happens when consumers consume
themselves... Consumption?)

Consumer-generated content, a variation of horseless carriages, the name
given to a thing by those who can't accept change except to define it in
terms of what is known and familiar in the past, the good old days, the old
time religion, when marketing was delivered to audiences assumed to be
passive and one-size-fits-all for a mass media compliant consumer who did
what he or she was told and liked it!

Is it really true traditional media can't deal with this radical idea of
active creators talking back to the big media bosses, so we gotta diminish
it by calling it by the old names, by defining it completely in terms of
what we want these people to be, not what they are?

</tangent>

Chris

On Feb 19, 2008 9:18 AM, Marty DeAngelo <mdeangel at digitashealth.com> wrote:

> At the Adaptive Path UXi conference, they spoke almost specifically
> about this - the fact that new webapps are coming out that try to give
> 20% of the functionality that 80% of the users will use instead of being
> everything for everybody. They used Writely as an example (which has
> since been bought up by Google) to show that people usually only need a
> subset of what is offered in Microsoft Word.
>
> The presentation made a good point that while those extra features are
> interesting and even useful in some situations, many people will never
> use them and have trouble finding what they DO need amidst the broad
> choices offered.
>
> I for one think that the "Less is More" mentality makes a lot of sense,
> because the interfaces get so complicated that even veteran users get
> lost going for features that would be somewhere around 26-50 on the
> 'most used' list.
>
> -- Marty
>
> > Probably unsurprisingly, these numbers appear to show some kind of
> "Pareto principle" usage ("20 % of the application commands are used in
> 80 % of the time"). Does your experience support this?
> >
> >
> > [1]
> > http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2008/02/most-frequently-used-features
> > -in.html
> >
> > --
> > Jens Meiert
> > http://meiert.com/en/
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

20 Feb 2008 - 12:01am
Oleh Kovalchuke
2006

Christine Boese wrote:

> That's really all I have to say, except to point up the irony of a term I've
> seen from time to time, a term that fills me with the overwhelming urge to
> sneeze "bullshit!"
>
> "Consumer-Generated Content." ...

Fresh and to the point. Thanks.

Oleh

20 Feb 2008 - 12:10am
Steve Baty
2009

Chris,

I prefer the concept of co-creation in this context. But otherwise agree.

On 20/02/2008, Christine Boese <christine.boese at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> "Consumer-Generated Content." As in, huh?! Who came up with that brilliant
> term? Will it one day fall into the annals of "jumbo shrimp" et al?
>
> I'm less offended by the term "user-generated content," because making use
> of something is doing something, an active activity. Consumer? A consumer
> is
> one who consumes something that is made by someone else. So what the hell
> is
> "consumer-generated content" except what (I suspect) is a marketing
> industry's deep structure refusal to accept the idea of active
> participants,
> CREATORS, makers, speakers with real voices, rather than the dominant
> marketing desire for compliant, passive, happy with what they are
> spoon-fed,
> "consumers." (we could dig even deeper for irony here, and note the
> history
> of tuberculous gave us a term for what happens when consumers consume
> themselves... Consumption?)
>
> Chris
>
>
>
Steve
--
----------------------------------------------
Steve 'Doc' Baty B.Sc (Maths), M.EC, MBA
Principal Consultant
Meld Consulting
M: +61 417 061 292
E: stevebaty at meld.com.au

UX Statistics: http://uxstats.blogspot.com

Member, UPA - www.upassoc.org
Member, IxDA - www.ixda.org
Contributor - UXMatters - www.uxmatters.com

20 Feb 2008 - 12:35am
Murli Nagasundaram
2007

One of the most thought-provoking tangents (and its preamble) I've read in a
long time. Thanks, Christine. Murli

On Feb 20, 2008 9:04 AM, Christine Boese <christine.boese at gmail.com> wrote:

> I'm as against bloatware as the next person, although feature overkill is
> sort of like pornography: "you know it when you see it," which means the
> definition remains completely relativistic.
>

19 Feb 2008 - 11:02pm
Anthony Hempell
2007

In my experience you can choose to describe your idea/concept/business
case to the VP of Marketing using the jargon that gets you props on
the IxDA list, or you can use the marketese vocabulary they are used
to and makes them feel warm and fuzzy.

Whatever gets the ball into the end zone, so to speak.

On 19-Feb-08, at 7:34 PM, Christine Boese wrote:
>
> Is it really true traditional media can't deal with this radical
> idea of
> active creators talking back to the big media bosses, so we gotta
> diminish
> it by calling it by the old names, by defining it completely in
> terms of
> what we want these people to be, not what they are?

20 Feb 2008 - 8:44am
SemanticWill
2007

My biggest - one of them at least, "axes to grind" - is the use of
"in-language," "jargon," bad metaphors and cliches. The most annoying one,
however, is the use of sports metaphors in diction. I have seen politicians
speeches and marketing websites where a reader is subjected to paragraphs of
nothing more than bad-metaphors and cliches strong together, one after
another, signifying (in the Lacanian sense) nothing whatsoever. I don't want
to touch-base to enhance synergies while mitigating against potentialities,
knock it out of the park, hit a home run, score a touchdown while standing
shoulder to shoulder with my team mates, or create any win-win situations
that leverage my core competencies. For those so inclined - or those
incapable of expressing themselves without the use of pretentious diction,
false analogies, verbal false limbs, or glittering generalities -
definitely read the classic Orwell - "Politics amd the English Language,"
http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/orwell46.htm

And that is my "axe to grind" today :-)

On Feb 19, 2008 11:02 PM, Anthony Hempell <ahempell at telus.net> wrote:

> In my experience you can choose to describe your idea/concept/business
> case to the VP of Marketing using the jargon that gets you props on
> the IxDA list, or you can use the marketese vocabulary they are used
> to and makes them feel warm and fuzzy.
>
> Whatever gets the ball into the end zone, so to speak.
>
>
> On 19-Feb-08, at 7:34 PM, Christine Boese wrote:
> >
> > Is it really true traditional media can't deal with this radical
> > idea of
> > active creators talking back to the big media bosses, so we gotta
> > diminish
> > it by calling it by the old names, by defining it completely in
> > terms of
> > what we want these people to be, not what they are?
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
~ will

"No matter how beautiful,
no matter how cool your interface,
it would be better if there were less of it."
Alan Cooper
-
"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"
-------------------------------------------------------
will evans
user experience architect
wkevans4 at gmail.com
-------------------------------------------------------

20 Feb 2008 - 9:16am
Mark Schraad
2006

Doesn't it just make you want to shout out 'buzzword bingo'?

On Feb 20, 2008 8:44 AM, W Evans <wkevans4 at gmail.com> wrote:

> My biggest - one of them at least, "axes to grind" - is the use of
> "in-language," "jargon," bad metaphors and cliches. The most annoying one,
> however, is the use of sports metaphors in diction. I have seen
> politicians
> speeches and marketing websites where a reader is subjected to paragraphs
> of
> nothing more than bad-metaphors and cliches strong together, one after
> another, signifying (in the Lacanian sense) nothing whatsoever. I don't
> want
> to touch-base to enhance synergies while mitigating against
> potentialities,
> knock it out of the park, hit a home run, score a touchdown while standing
> shoulder to shoulder with my team mates, or create any win-win situations
> that leverage my core competencies. For those so inclined - or those
> incapable of expressing themselves without the use of pretentious diction,
> false analogies, verbal false limbs, or glittering generalities -
> definitely read the classic Orwell - "Politics amd the English Language,"
> http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/orwell46.htm
>
> And that is my "axe to grind" today :-)
>
> On Feb 19, 2008 11:02 PM, Anthony Hempell <ahempell at telus.net> wrote:
>
> > In my experience you can choose to describe your idea/concept/business
> > case to the VP of Marketing using the jargon that gets you props on
> > the IxDA list, or you can use the marketese vocabulary they are used
> > to and makes them feel warm and fuzzy.
> >
> > Whatever gets the ball into the end zone, so to speak.
> >
> >
> > On 19-Feb-08, at 7:34 PM, Christine Boese wrote:
> > >
> > > Is it really true traditional media can't deal with this radical
> > > idea of
> > > active creators talking back to the big media bosses, so we gotta
> > > diminish
> > > it by calling it by the old names, by defining it completely in
> > > terms of
> > > what we want these people to be, not what they are?
> >
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> >
>
>
>
> --
> ~ will
>
> "No matter how beautiful,
> no matter how cool your interface,
> it would be better if there were less of it."
> Alan Cooper
> -
> "Where you innovate, how you innovate,
> and what you innovate are design problems"
> -------------------------------------------------------
> will evans
> user experience architect
> wkevans4 at gmail.com
> -------------------------------------------------------
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

20 Feb 2008 - 4:24pm
White, Jeff
2007

Ha!

This is why we need to forge ahead and start creating completely new
ways of communicating, a new vocabulary!

Such as, "strategolutions". Which is a combination of strategy and
solutions. I stole that from an american commercial that ran
frequently few years back. Funny stuff.

This site has probably been posted on the list before, but it cracks
me up every time I see it: http://www.huhcorp.com/

Jeff

On Wed, Feb 20, 2008 at 9:16 AM, mark schraad <mschraad at gmail.com> wrote:
> Doesn't it just make you want to shout out 'buzzword bingo'?
>
>
>
> On Feb 20, 2008 8:44 AM, W Evans <wkevans4 at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > My biggest - one of them at least, "axes to grind" - is the use of
> > "in-language," "jargon," bad metaphors and cliches. The most annoying one,
> > however, is the use of sports metaphors in diction. I have seen
> > politicians
> > speeches and marketing websites where a reader is subjected to paragraphs
> > of
> > nothing more than bad-metaphors and cliches strong together, one after
> > another, signifying (in the Lacanian sense) nothing whatsoever. I don't
> > want
> > to touch-base to enhance synergies while mitigating against
> > potentialities,
> > knock it out of the park, hit a home run, score a touchdown while standing
> > shoulder to shoulder with my team mates, or create any win-win situations
> > that leverage my core competencies. For those so inclined - or those
> > incapable of expressing themselves without the use of pretentious diction,
> > false analogies, verbal false limbs, or glittering generalities -
> > definitely read the classic Orwell - "Politics amd the English Language,"
> > http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/orwell46.htm
> >
> > And that is my "axe to grind" today :-)
> >

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