Discussion:
Microsoft shows off new Office theme
(too old to reply)
Sandman
2006-07-18 09:23:33 UTC
Permalink
Microsoft is working hard on the next version of Office and after weeks upon weeks of steady work they can now reveal... another theme for Office. :)

Before, there were two themes; black and blue. Now MS has - using how many man hours? - managed to create yet another theme to Office - Silver. And here is how this marvel looks:
Loading Image...

Side by side:
http://officeblogs.net/UI/SilverTheme.png

Read more at:
http://blogs.msdn.com/jensenh/archive/2006/07/17/667971.aspx
Sandman
2006-07-18 09:26:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sandman
Microsoft is working hard on the next version of Office and after weeks upon
weeks of steady work they can now reveal... another theme for Office. :)
Before, there were two themes; black and blue. Now MS has - using how many
man hours? - managed to create yet another theme to Office - Silver. And here
http://officeblogs.net/UI/SilverTheme.png
http://officeblogs.net/UI/SilverTheme.png
That's supposed to be:
Loading Image...
Post by Sandman
http://blogs.msdn.com/jensenh/archive/2006/07/17/667971.aspx
--
Sandman[.net]
Snit
2006-07-18 13:46:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sandman
Microsoft is working hard on the next version of Office and after weeks upon
weeks of steady work they can now reveal... another theme for Office. :)
Before, there were two themes; black and blue. Now MS has - using how many man
hours? - managed to create yet another theme to Office - Silver. And here is
http://officeblogs.net/UI/SilverTheme.png
http://officeblogs.net/UI/SilverTheme.png
http://blogs.msdn.com/jensenh/archive/2006/07/17/667971.aspx
If you read the whole blog you can see that a whole lot of work has gone
into making the new UI and even adding / enhancing features in a reasoned
way. I have not even played with the beta, so perhaps I am being swayed by
what is essentially just marketing material, but the new Office looks like a
pretty big improvement to what is already the industry leader.
--
€ Some people do use the term "screen name" in relation to IRC
€ Teaching is a "real job"
€ The tilde in an OS X path does *not* mean "the hard drive only"
ZnU
2006-07-18 18:46:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sandman
Microsoft is working hard on the next version of Office and after weeks upon
weeks of steady work they can now reveal... another theme for Office. :)
Before, there were two themes; black and blue. Now MS has - using how many
man hours? - managed to create yet another theme to Office - Silver. And here
http://officeblogs.net/UI/SilverTheme.png
http://officeblogs.net/UI/SilverTheme.png
http://blogs.msdn.com/jensenh/archive/2006/07/17/667971.aspx
Yikes. Shall we go through the list?

There's no menu bar. It has apparently been entirely replaced with stuff
in the toolbars, apparently.

If I'm understanding the UI correctly, there are *seven* toolbars, and
one uses the tab bar above the toolbar to select which one is displayed.
I don't think even Maya has that many. And they're probably all as
cluttered as that one.

Of course, Microsoft couldn't *really* cram everything from the entire
menu structure into the toolbars, so a lot of the icons there seem to
have pop-up menus. Now, looking for a specific command requires hunting
through dozens of buttons, instead of just poking through a few menus.

For some reason beyond my comprehension, the 'Save', 'Undo' and 'Redo'
commands have been stuck into the window title bar, a location usually
reserved for window controls, and a very unintuitive place to put
controls which change document content.

If there are this many problems with a single screen shot, I don't even
want to think about the rest of the app.
--
"Those who enter the country illegally violate the law."
-- George W. Bush in Tucson, Ariz., Nov. 28, 2005
Sandman
2006-07-18 19:43:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by ZnU
Post by Sandman
http://blogs.msdn.com/jensenh/archive/2006/07/17/667971.aspx
Yikes. Shall we go through the list?
Please. :)
Post by ZnU
There's no menu bar. It has apparently been entirely replaced with stuff
in the toolbars, apparently.
That's how I read it, yes.
Post by ZnU
If I'm understanding the UI correctly, there are *seven* toolbars, and
one uses the tab bar above the toolbar to select which one is displayed.
I don't think even Maya has that many. And they're probably all as
cluttered as that one.
Or worse - did you notice that the "Styles" selection area scrolls
vertically, but displays horizontally. I.e. you get, when scrolling
down, a new horizontal row of three styles. It's amazing that this is
a *scroll list* instead of a graphical popup.
Post by ZnU
Of course, Microsoft couldn't *really* cram everything from the entire
menu structure into the toolbars, so a lot of the icons there seem to
have pop-up menus. Now, looking for a specific command requires hunting
through dozens of buttons, instead of just poking through a few menus.
And most are 16x16 icons, stacked on top of each others in a very
small area. All in all, it's a toolbar that's twice as high as an Aqua
toolbar but with four times as many controls or something like that.

In the end - this is what you get when you have the MDI. Controls
can't [1] be put in floating palettes outside the main window and have
to cram as much as possible inside it. I think we've all seen the
screenshots of windows documents with all toolbars active, leaving
virtually no room left for actually writing something (unless you have
a 30" monitor).

Word is, it seems, an impossibly complex program that needs hundreds
of controls for the user to manipulate and invoke in order to use it.
Or is the problem that MS just doesn't know what controls people want
easy access to in the GUI? I've noticed that open/save/cut/paste are
almost always mandatory UI widgets in the toolbar for Windows
applications, but they are never present in Mac applications. Does
that mean that Mac users doesn't know how to perform these actions?

Do a word user have to have font, font-size, bold, italic, increase
font size, decrease font size, underline, strike-through, subtext,
supertext and things like that active at all times? Mac apps use one
big "A" to replace all of those functions.
Post by ZnU
For some reason beyond my comprehension, the 'Save', 'Undo' and 'Redo'
commands have been stuck into the window title bar, a location usually
reserved for window controls, and a very unintuitive place to put
controls which change document content.
Plus, where does the window title bar begin and end? With that huge
Office icon overlapping both the tabs area and the title bar there is
no knowing for sure. Not that recent Mac apps have a distinct
toolbar/title bar separation though. :)
Post by ZnU
If there are this many problems with a single screen shot, I don't even
want to think about the rest of the app.
Hopefully, you won't have to. :)


[1] Obviously they CAN, but MS doesn't encourage developers to do it.
--
Sandman[.net]
ed
2006-07-18 19:58:07 UTC
Permalink
<snip>

the rationale for many of the choices seem well thought out- how well
it works in practice, i guess we'll have to see...
http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/ui/overview.mspx
Post by Sandman
In the end - this is what you get when you have the MDI. Controls
can't [1] be put in floating palettes outside the main window and have
to cram as much as possible inside it. I think we've all seen the
screenshots of windows documents with all toolbars active, leaving
virtually no room left for actually writing something (unless you have
a 30" monitor).
[1] Obviously they CAN, but MS doesn't encourage developers to do it.
or users don't use the application like that- office already allows you
to tear off the toolbars and make them little floating palettes, but
the office developers apparently felt that wasn't enough.
Post by Sandman
Word is, it seems, an impossibly complex program that needs hundreds
of controls for the user to manipulate and invoke in order to use it.
Or is the problem that MS just doesn't know what controls people want
easy access to in the GUI?
they're trying to make it easy to access/use many of the hard-to-find
features in word that most people currently don't take advantage of.

<snip>
Post by Sandman
Post by ZnU
For some reason beyond my comprehension, the 'Save', 'Undo' and 'Redo'
commands have been stuck into the window title bar, a location usually
reserved for window controls, and a very unintuitive place to put
controls which change document content.
Plus, where does the window title bar begin and end? With that huge
Office icon overlapping both the tabs area and the title bar there is
no knowing for sure. Not that recent Mac apps have a distinct
toolbar/title bar separation though. :)
does it really matter to the average user where the title bar begins
and ends? i doubt it...

<snip>
Snit
2006-07-18 20:35:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by ed
<snip>
the rationale for many of the choices seem well thought out- how well
it works in practice, i guess we'll have to see...
http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/ui/overview.mspx
Post by Sandman
In the end - this is what you get when you have the MDI. Controls
can't [1] be put in floating palettes outside the main window and have
to cram as much as possible inside it. I think we've all seen the
screenshots of windows documents with all toolbars active, leaving
virtually no room left for actually writing something (unless you have
a 30" monitor).
[1] Obviously they CAN, but MS doesn't encourage developers to do it.
or users don't use the application like that- office already allows you
to tear off the toolbars and make them little floating palettes, but
the office developers apparently felt that wasn't enough.
Post by Sandman
Word is, it seems, an impossibly complex program that needs hundreds
of controls for the user to manipulate and invoke in order to use it.
Or is the problem that MS just doesn't know what controls people want
easy access to in the GUI?
they're trying to make it easy to access/use many of the hard-to-find
features in word that most people currently don't take advantage of.
<snip>
Post by Sandman
Post by ZnU
For some reason beyond my comprehension, the 'Save', 'Undo' and 'Redo'
commands have been stuck into the window title bar, a location usually
reserved for window controls, and a very unintuitive place to put
controls which change document content.
Plus, where does the window title bar begin and end? With that huge
Office icon overlapping both the tabs area and the title bar there is
no knowing for sure. Not that recent Mac apps have a distinct
toolbar/title bar separation though. :)
does it really matter to the average user where the title bar begins
and ends? i doubt it...
<snip>
Overall I am impressed with what I have seen of Office 2007... though I have
not used it. I am sure with such a radical change there will be needed
tweaks, but who would have guessed MS would work so hard on their UI.

I wish Apple's pages had UI that was as easy to navigate... or as easy as
MSs marketing material makes it seem. :)
--
€ Some people do use the term "screen name" in relation to IRC
€ Teaching is a "real job"
€ The tilde in an OS X path does *not* mean "the hard drive only"
ZnU
2006-07-18 21:57:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by ed
<snip>
the rationale for many of the choices seem well thought out- how well
it works in practice, i guess we'll have to see...
http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/ui/overview.mspx
It's full on buzzwords and seem at odds with reality. For instance, they
say they "wanted to preserve an uncluttered workspace that reduces
distraction for users". I wouldn't remotely use the term "uncluttered"
to describe that interface.
Post by ed
Post by Sandman
In the end - this is what you get when you have the MDI. Controls
can't [1] be put in floating palettes outside the main window and have
to cram as much as possible inside it. I think we've all seen the
screenshots of windows documents with all toolbars active, leaving
virtually no room left for actually writing something (unless you have
a 30" monitor).
[1] Obviously they CAN, but MS doesn't encourage developers to do it.
or users don't use the application like that- office already allows you
to tear off the toolbars and make them little floating palettes, but
the office developers apparently felt that wasn't enough.
Post by Sandman
Word is, it seems, an impossibly complex program that needs hundreds
of controls for the user to manipulate and invoke in order to use it.
Or is the problem that MS just doesn't know what controls people want
easy access to in the GUI?
they're trying to make it easy to access/use many of the hard-to-find
features in word that most people currently don't take advantage of.
There's an Alan Kay quote that goes something like "Simple things should
be simple, and hard things should be possible."

It strikes me that shoving the entire functionality of an app as big as
Word literally right into the user's face completely violates the
"simple things should be simple" principle.

I think the entire notion that it's a *problem* that most people don't
use more of Word's features is extremely misguided, in fact. I
understand why the people who implemented those features like the idea,
but frankly most people's word processing needs are fairly simple, and
these additional features are of relatively little utility.
Post by ed
<snip>
Post by Sandman
Post by ZnU
For some reason beyond my comprehension, the 'Save', 'Undo' and 'Redo'
commands have been stuck into the window title bar, a location usually
reserved for window controls, and a very unintuitive place to put
controls which change document content.
Plus, where does the window title bar begin and end? With that huge
Office icon overlapping both the tabs area and the title bar there is
no knowing for sure. Not that recent Mac apps have a distinct
toolbar/title bar separation though. :)
does it really matter to the average user where the title bar begins
and ends? i doubt it...
--
"Those who enter the country illegally violate the law."
-- George W. Bush in Tucson, Ariz., Nov. 28, 2005
ed
2006-07-18 22:29:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by ZnU
Post by ed
<snip>
the rationale for many of the choices seem well thought out- how well
it works in practice, i guess we'll have to see...
http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/ui/overview.mspx
It's full on buzzwords and seem at odds with reality. For instance, they
say they "wanted to preserve an uncluttered workspace that reduces
distraction for users". I wouldn't remotely use the term "uncluttered"
to describe that interface.
my knee-jerk reaction was to agree with you, but looking at the
interface closer, i wouldn't describe it as cluttered... there's a lot
of stuff, but it seems well organized. uncluttered doesn't mean
sparse...
Post by ZnU
Post by ed
Post by Sandman
In the end - this is what you get when you have the MDI. Controls
can't [1] be put in floating palettes outside the main window and have
to cram as much as possible inside it. I think we've all seen the
screenshots of windows documents with all toolbars active, leaving
virtually no room left for actually writing something (unless you have
a 30" monitor).
[1] Obviously they CAN, but MS doesn't encourage developers to do it.
or users don't use the application like that- office already allows you
to tear off the toolbars and make them little floating palettes, but
the office developers apparently felt that wasn't enough.
Post by Sandman
Word is, it seems, an impossibly complex program that needs hundreds
of controls for the user to manipulate and invoke in order to use it.
Or is the problem that MS just doesn't know what controls people want
easy access to in the GUI?
they're trying to make it easy to access/use many of the hard-to-find
features in word that most people currently don't take advantage of.
There's an Alan Kay quote that goes something like "Simple things should
be simple, and hard things should be possible."
It strikes me that shoving the entire functionality of an app as big as
Word literally right into the user's face completely violates the
"simple things should be simple" principle.
um, yeah, i don't think that's what they're trying to do- and i think
the simple things simple part works quite well- if you just want to
knock of a simple document, you probably just stay there on that
"write" tab, and all the common things you want to do are right there.
looks like a pretty decent implementation to me.
Post by ZnU
I think the entire notion that it's a *problem* that most people don't
use more of Word's features is extremely misguided, in fact. I
understand why the people who implemented those features like the idea,
but frankly most people's word processing needs are fairly simple, and
these additional features are of relatively little utility.
obviously they disagree, and want to expose more of the functionality
they think people are missing out on.
Post by ZnU
Post by ed
<snip>
Post by Sandman
Post by ZnU
For some reason beyond my comprehension, the 'Save', 'Undo' and 'Redo'
commands have been stuck into the window title bar, a location usually
reserved for window controls, and a very unintuitive place to put
controls which change document content.
Plus, where does the window title bar begin and end? With that huge
Office icon overlapping both the tabs area and the title bar there is
no knowing for sure. Not that recent Mac apps have a distinct
toolbar/title bar separation though. :)
does it really matter to the average user where the title bar begins
and ends? i doubt it...
ZnU
2006-07-19 02:47:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by ed
Post by ZnU
Post by ed
<snip>
the rationale for many of the choices seem well thought out- how well
it works in practice, i guess we'll have to see...
http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/ui/overview.mspx
It's full on buzzwords and seem at odds with reality. For instance, they
say they "wanted to preserve an uncluttered workspace that reduces
distraction for users". I wouldn't remotely use the term "uncluttered"
to describe that interface.
my knee-jerk reaction was to agree with you, but looking at the
interface closer, i wouldn't describe it as cluttered... there's a lot
of stuff, but it seems well organized. uncluttered doesn't mean
sparse...
Post by ZnU
Post by ed
Post by Sandman
In the end - this is what you get when you have the MDI. Controls
can't [1] be put in floating palettes outside the main window and have
to cram as much as possible inside it. I think we've all seen the
screenshots of windows documents with all toolbars active, leaving
virtually no room left for actually writing something (unless you have
a 30" monitor).
[1] Obviously they CAN, but MS doesn't encourage developers to do it.
or users don't use the application like that- office already allows you
to tear off the toolbars and make them little floating palettes, but
the office developers apparently felt that wasn't enough.
Post by Sandman
Word is, it seems, an impossibly complex program that needs hundreds
of controls for the user to manipulate and invoke in order to use it.
Or is the problem that MS just doesn't know what controls people want
easy access to in the GUI?
they're trying to make it easy to access/use many of the hard-to-find
features in word that most people currently don't take advantage of.
There's an Alan Kay quote that goes something like "Simple things should
be simple, and hard things should be possible."
It strikes me that shoving the entire functionality of an app as big as
Word literally right into the user's face completely violates the
"simple things should be simple" principle.
um, yeah, i don't think that's what they're trying to do- and i think
the simple things simple part works quite well- if you just want to
knock of a simple document, you probably just stay there on that
"write" tab, and all the common things you want to do are right there.
looks like a pretty decent implementation to me.
There are something like 40 controls right in that one toolbar, and some
of them are for things most users don't, in fact, use.
Post by ed
Post by ZnU
I think the entire notion that it's a *problem* that most people don't
use more of Word's features is extremely misguided, in fact. I
understand why the people who implemented those features like the idea,
but frankly most people's word processing needs are fairly simple, and
these additional features are of relatively little utility.
obviously they disagree, and want to expose more of the functionality
they think people are missing out on.
I think what people are really missing out on is simple, clean software
that makes common tasks easy.
--
"Those who enter the country illegally violate the law."
-- George W. Bush in Tucson, Ariz., Nov. 28, 2005
Sandman
2006-07-19 06:46:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by ed
Post by Sandman
Word is, it seems, an impossibly complex program that needs hundreds
of controls for the user to manipulate and invoke in order to use it.
Or is the problem that MS just doesn't know what controls people want
easy access to in the GUI?
they're trying to make it easy to access/use many of the hard-to-find
features in word that most people currently don't take advantage of.
I don't know if I agree with the notion that it's the developers of
Offices task to make people use as much features as possible.

I think UI should be focused on what widgets we CAN'T take away. What
are the widgets that the users just have to have accessible, and then
a "customize" option. The Mac toolbar has it's limits (all tools in
only one row for instance) but it usually starts off with a logical
basic set, with the option of enhancing it.

I don't think MS, or Apple, should se it as their job to expose things
that they WANT users to use - I rather have them do studies to see
what tools they DO use. :)
Post by ed
Post by Sandman
Post by ZnU
For some reason beyond my comprehension, the 'Save', 'Undo' and 'Redo'
commands have been stuck into the window title bar, a location usually
reserved for window controls, and a very unintuitive place to put
controls which change document content.
Plus, where does the window title bar begin and end? With that huge
Office icon overlapping both the tabs area and the title bar there is
no knowing for sure. Not that recent Mac apps have a distinct
toolbar/title bar separation though. :)
does it really matter to the average user where the title bar begins
and ends? i doubt it...
Of course not - it's just a matter of visual distractions and a
general "messy" look.
--
Sandman[.net]
Snit
2006-07-19 13:29:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sandman
Post by ed
Post by Sandman
Word is, it seems, an impossibly complex program that needs hundreds
of controls for the user to manipulate and invoke in order to use it.
Or is the problem that MS just doesn't know what controls people want
easy access to in the GUI?
they're trying to make it easy to access/use many of the hard-to-find
features in word that most people currently don't take advantage of.
I don't know if I agree with the notion that it's the developers of
Offices task to make people use as much features as possible.
No, but they should try to make it easy to access or use those features ...
which is what ed said.
Post by Sandman
I think UI should be focused on what widgets we CAN'T take away. What
are the widgets that the users just have to have accessible, and then
a "customize" option. The Mac toolbar has it's limits (all tools in
only one row for instance) but it usually starts off with a logical
basic set, with the option of enhancing it.
I don't think MS, or Apple, should se it as their job to expose things
that they WANT users to use - I rather have them do studies to see
what tools they DO use. :)
Read the Office 2007 blogs... that is exactly what MS at least claims to be
doing.
Post by Sandman
Post by ed
Post by Sandman
Post by ZnU
For some reason beyond my comprehension, the 'Save', 'Undo' and 'Redo'
commands have been stuck into the window title bar, a location usually
reserved for window controls, and a very unintuitive place to put
controls which change document content.
Plus, where does the window title bar begin and end? With that huge
Office icon overlapping both the tabs area and the title bar there is
no knowing for sure. Not that recent Mac apps have a distinct
toolbar/title bar separation though. :)
does it really matter to the average user where the title bar begins
and ends? i doubt it...
Of course not - it's just a matter of visual distractions and a
general "messy" look.
Do you think they would be better of using an Apple template? :)
--
€ As of Feb 2006 Apple had no wireless Mighty Mouse
€ If A = B then B = A (known as the "symmetric property of equality")
€ One can be guilty of a crime but neither tried nor convicted
ed
2006-07-19 15:12:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sandman
Post by ed
Post by Sandman
Word is, it seems, an impossibly complex program that needs hundreds
of controls for the user to manipulate and invoke in order to use it.
Or is the problem that MS just doesn't know what controls people want
easy access to in the GUI?
they're trying to make it easy to access/use many of the hard-to-find
features in word that most people currently don't take advantage of.
I don't know if I agree with the notion that it's the developers of
Offices task to make people use as much features as possible.
I think UI should be focused on what widgets we CAN'T take away. What
are the widgets that the users just have to have accessible, and then
a "customize" option. The Mac toolbar has it's limits (all tools in
only one row for instance) but it usually starts off with a logical
basic set, with the option of enhancing it.
I don't think MS, or Apple, should se it as their job to expose things
that they WANT users to use - I rather have them do studies to see
what tools they DO use. :)
software would never change and advance if the software makers didn't
make new features available- i think ms believes users don't know that
many of the features it's trying to expose even exists.

i think it's good that ms is rethinking things and trying to make
things better- even if it's a flop, they'll learn from it for future
software. i suspect that they've done *a lot* of testing on the new
interface and users are quite satisfied with it, given it's one of
their flagship products. time will tell though (or you could just
download the free trial now... :D )

<snip>
Sandman
2006-07-20 06:51:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by ed
Post by Sandman
I don't know if I agree with the notion that it's the developers of
Offices task to make people use as much features as possible.
I think UI should be focused on what widgets we CAN'T take away. What
are the widgets that the users just have to have accessible, and then
a "customize" option. The Mac toolbar has it's limits (all tools in
only one row for instance) but it usually starts off with a logical
basic set, with the option of enhancing it.
I don't think MS, or Apple, should se it as their job to expose things
that they WANT users to use - I rather have them do studies to see
what tools they DO use. :)
software would never change and advance if the software makers didn't
make new features available
Whether software changes or advance isn't really determined by the
degree of availability of the functions in the UI. Power-users finds
out how to use the new features even if they're not in your face and
normal users doesn't care about them.
Post by ed
i think ms believes users don't know that many of the features it's
trying to expose even exists.
Maybe that's what they think, I don't know. But it seems that MS also
thinks that it's up to them to decide that all users should use them,
by cramming them all into the UI.

Plus, of all the features we see in the screenshot, none are "new".
They are all pretty basic stuff like making text bold and such. OUt of
ALL the users of Word, I don't think even 1% uses the subscript
button. Why is it there? What's the point?
Post by ed
i think it's good that ms is rethinking things and trying to make
things better- even if it's a flop, they'll learn from it for future
software. i suspect that they've done *a lot* of testing on the new
interface and users are quite satisfied with it
Yeah, I hope so - but it doesn't *look* like it. :)
--
Sandman[.net]
Snit
2006-07-20 07:48:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sandman
Post by ed
Post by Sandman
I don't know if I agree with the notion that it's the developers of
Offices task to make people use as much features as possible.
I think UI should be focused on what widgets we CAN'T take away. What
are the widgets that the users just have to have accessible, and then
a "customize" option. The Mac toolbar has it's limits (all tools in
only one row for instance) but it usually starts off with a logical
basic set, with the option of enhancing it.
I don't think MS, or Apple, should se it as their job to expose things
that they WANT users to use - I rather have them do studies to see
what tools they DO use. :)
software would never change and advance if the software makers didn't
make new features available
Whether software changes or advance isn't really determined by the
degree of availability of the functions in the UI. Power-users finds
out how to use the new features even if they're not in your face and
normal users doesn't care about them.
Based on that, then, OS X's greater ease of use over XP is not an advantage,
power-users, if you are to be believed, find out how to use the "advanced"
features even if they're not in your face and normal users, so you say,
doesn't care about them.

I call bullshit in the whole argument. I teach people to use MS Office.
Many people clearly would use more advanced features if they were easier to
find and to use.

Here is a discussion about that:

<http://blogs.msdn.com/jensenh/archive/2006/07/13/664185.aspx>
Post by Sandman
Post by ed
i think ms believes users don't know that many of the features it's
trying to expose even exists.
Maybe that's what they think, I don't know. But it seems that MS also
thinks that it's up to them to decide that all users should use them,
by cramming them all into the UI.
That may be how it seems to you, but I have no problem with MS working to
make their products easier to use. I welcome it.
Post by Sandman
Plus, of all the features we see in the screenshot, none are "new".
Well, you cannot see how they are new from a screenshot. Take the live
preview feature - how would one show that in a static screen shot?
Post by Sandman
They are all pretty basic stuff like making text bold and such. OUt of
ALL the users of Word, I don't think even 1% uses the subscript
button. Why is it there? What's the point?
Where did you get the idea so few use it? I would bet it is far, far more
than 1%. I would bet 20% to 40% use it from time to time, though I do not
know how either of us can support our guess. I do know that I even in my
intro classes students ask about it, though not enough where I focus in it
like I do bold and underline.
Post by Sandman
Post by ed
i think it's good that ms is rethinking things and trying to make
things better- even if it's a flop, they'll learn from it for future
software. i suspect that they've done *a lot* of testing on the new
interface and users are quite satisfied with it
Yeah, I hope so - but it doesn't *look* like it. :)
It looks very much like it to me. Not that there will not be flops, but as
any professional in the design industry knows - at any level - such a
massive redesign is bound to have to be tweaked as time goes by.
--
€ Dreamweaver, being the #1 pro web design tool, is used by many pros
€ Different viruses are still different even if in the same "family"
€ OS X users are at far less risk of malware then are XP users
Snit
2006-07-18 21:12:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sandman
Post by ZnU
Post by Sandman
http://blogs.msdn.com/jensenh/archive/2006/07/17/667971.aspx
Yikes. Shall we go through the list?
Please. :)
Post by ZnU
There's no menu bar. It has apparently been entirely replaced with stuff
in the toolbars, apparently.
That's how I read it, yes.
Post by ZnU
If I'm understanding the UI correctly, there are *seven* toolbars, and
one uses the tab bar above the toolbar to select which one is displayed.
I don't think even Maya has that many. And they're probably all as
cluttered as that one.
Or worse - did you notice that the "Styles" selection area scrolls
vertically, but displays horizontally. I.e. you get, when scrolling
down, a new horizontal row of three styles. It's amazing that this is
a *scroll list* instead of a graphical popup.
The scroll bars on the side do seem silly. At best.

On thing I like, though, is that icons are better grouped. For new and
non-techy users it is confusing if you need to select text or just click in
a paragraph to invoke a feature... now font and paragraph tools are
separated. That is a bonus.
Post by Sandman
Post by ZnU
Of course, Microsoft couldn't *really* cram everything from the entire
menu structure into the toolbars, so a lot of the icons there seem to
have pop-up menus. Now, looking for a specific command requires hunting
through dozens of buttons, instead of just poking through a few menus.
And most are 16x16 icons, stacked on top of each others in a very
small area. All in all, it's a toolbar that's twice as high as an Aqua
toolbar but with four times as many controls or something like that.
Aqua tends to have buttons larger than needed... at least from my
perspective. It does, of course, depend on the software. Generally
software designed and marketed for pros have smaller controls simply because
there are more of them.
Post by Sandman
In the end - this is what you get when you have the MDI. Controls
can't [1] be put in floating palettes outside the main window and have
to cram as much as possible inside it. I think we've all seen the
screenshots of windows documents with all toolbars active, leaving
virtually no room left for actually writing something (unless you have
a 30" monitor).
At least as far back as Office 97 you could pull off tool bars and have them
become floating pallets if you wanted.
Post by Sandman
Word is, it seems, an impossibly complex program that needs hundreds
of controls for the user to manipulate and invoke in order to use it.
You should see other professional tools! You have said you have access to
Photoshop. Assuming that is true you have likely seen such things as:

<Loading Image...>

Note how the tool bar has multiple tools under one button? And at the top
there are controls for each of those tools... and under the "Window" menu
there are all sorts of pallets. There are all sorts of other complexities
to Photoshop as well. Same can be said of Dreamweaver or almost any other
pro tool.

Word has the added challenge of not just being powerful for pros but also
easy to use for relative novices. It looks to me like they have done a
fairly good job serving both ends of the spectrum... *not* an easy task.
Post by Sandman
Or is the problem that MS just doesn't know what controls people want
easy access to in the GUI?
Ask a few dozen people... their answers are not all the same. You are
right, though, that this is an area where if you can find some form of group
consensus it would be important and meaningful for the UI designers.
Post by Sandman
I've noticed that open/save/cut/paste are almost always mandatory UI widgets
in the toolbar for Windows applications, but they are never present in Mac
applications. Does that mean that Mac users doesn't know how to perform these
actions?
They are there in *some* Mac applications (including the Mac versions of
Dreamweaver, FileMaker Pro, and MS Office). I happen to like one-click
saving... but Apple+S also works.
Post by Sandman
Do a word user have to have font, font-size, bold, italic, increase
font size, decrease font size, underline, strike-through, subtext,
supertext and things like that active at all times? Mac apps use one
big "A" to replace all of those functions.
That "A" opens up a big floating pallet. I have dual screens so it is not
so bad.. but for my wife's old 15" iMac... how nasty.

Side note: Do most Europeans get confused by the designations of 17" or 20"
in relation to monitors being that they use metric? I would guess most know
basic non-metric measurements such as inches and feet, but maybe not.
Post by Sandman
Post by ZnU
For some reason beyond my comprehension, the 'Save', 'Undo' and 'Redo'
commands have been stuck into the window title bar, a location usually
reserved for window controls, and a very unintuitive place to put
controls which change document content.
Plus, where does the window title bar begin and end? With that huge
Office icon overlapping both the tabs area and the title bar there is
no knowing for sure. Not that recent Mac apps have a distinct
toolbar/title bar separation though. :)
I am not as concerned about the title bar "confusion", but the placement
does seem poor. And what the heck is up with the ugly outer glow on the
title bar text?
Post by Sandman
Post by ZnU
If there are this many problems with a single screen shot, I don't even
want to think about the rest of the app.
Hopefully, you won't have to. :)
I look forward to playing / working with it. I will have to learn to use it
well in order to teach it.
--
€ As of Feb 2006 Apple had no wireless Mighty Mouse
€ If A = B then B = A (known as the "symmetric property of equality")
€ One can be guilty of a crime but neither tried nor convicted
Sandman
2006-07-19 06:42:23 UTC
Permalink
<trolling snipped>
Please don't respond to my ordinary posts in csma.
--
Sandman[.net]
Snit
2006-07-19 12:57:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sandman
Post by Snit
Post by Sandman
If I'm understanding the UI correctly, there are *seven* toolbars, and one
uses the tab bar above the toolbar to select which one is displayed. I
don't think even Maya has that many. And they're probably all as cluttered
as that one.
Or worse - did you notice that the "Styles" selection area scrolls
vertically, but displays horizontally. I.e. you get, when scrolling down, a
new horizontal row of three styles. It's amazing that this is a *scroll
list* instead of a graphical popup.
The scroll bars on the side do seem silly. At best.
On thing I like, though, is that icons are better grouped. For new and
non-techy users it is confusing if you need to select text or just click in a
paragraph to invoke a feature... now font and paragraph tools are separated.
That is a bonus.
Note: no comment by Sandman.
Post by Sandman
Post by Snit
Post by Sandman
Of course, Microsoft couldn't *really* cram everything from the entire menu
structure into the toolbars, so a lot of the icons there seem to have
pop-up menus. Now, looking for a specific command requires hunting through
dozens of buttons, instead of just poking through a few menus.
And most are 16x16 icons, stacked on top of each others in a very small
area. All in all, it's a toolbar that's twice as high as an Aqua toolbar but
with four times as many controls or something like that.
Aqua tends to have buttons larger than needed... at least from my
perspective. It does, of course, depend on the software. Generally software
designed and marketed for pros have smaller controls simply because there are
more of them.
Note: no comment by Sandman.
Post by Sandman
Post by Snit
Post by Sandman
In the end - this is what you get when you have the MDI. Controls can't [1]
be put in floating palettes outside the main window and have to cram as much
as possible inside it. I think we've all seen the screenshots of windows
documents with all toolbars active, leaving virtually no room left for
actually writing something (unless you have a 30" monitor).
At least as far back as Office 97 you could pull off tool bars and have them
become floating pallets if you wanted.
Note: no comment by Sandman.
Post by Sandman
Post by Snit
Post by Sandman
Word is, it seems, an impossibly complex program that needs hundreds of
controls for the user to manipulate and invoke in order to use it.
You should see other professional tools! You have said you have access to
<http://tmp.gallopinginsanity.com/pshop.jpg>
Note how the tool bar has multiple tools under one button? And at the top
there are controls for each of those tools... and under the "Window" menu
there are all sorts of pallets. There are all sorts of other complexities to
Photoshop as well. Same can be said of Dreamweaver or almost any other pro
tool.
Word has the added challenge of not just being powerful for pros but also
easy to use for relative novices. It looks to me like they have done a
fairly good job serving both ends of the spectrum... *not* an easy task.
Note: no comment by Sandman.
Post by Sandman
Post by Snit
Post by Sandman
Or is the problem that MS just doesn't know what controls people want easy
access to in the GUI?
Ask a few dozen people... their answers are not all the same. You are right,
though, that this is an area where if you can find some form of group
consensus it would be important and meaningful for the UI designers.
Note: no comment by Sandman.
Post by Sandman
Post by Snit
Post by Sandman
I've noticed that open/save/cut/paste are almost always mandatory UI widgets
in the toolbar for Windows applications, but they are never present in Mac
applications. Does that mean that Mac users doesn't know how to perform
these actions?
They are there in *some* Mac applications (including the Mac versions of
Dreamweaver, FileMaker Pro, and MS Office). I happen to like one-click
saving... but Apple+S also works.
Note: no comment by Sandman.
Post by Sandman
Post by Snit
Post by Sandman
Do a word user have to have font, font-size, bold, italic, increase font
size, decrease font size, underline, strike-through, subtext, supertext and
things like that active at all times? Mac apps use one big "A" to replace
all of those functions.
That "A" opens up a big floating pallet. I have dual screens so it is not so
bad.. but for my wife's old 15" iMac... how nasty.
Side note: Do most Europeans get confused by the designations of 17" or 20"
in relation to monitors being that they use metric? I would guess most know
basic non-metric measurements such as inches and feet, but maybe not.
Note: no comment by Sandman.
Post by Sandman
Post by Snit
Post by Sandman
For some reason beyond my comprehension, the 'Save', 'Undo' and 'Redo'
commands have been stuck into the window title bar, a location usually
reserved for window controls, and a very unintuitive place to put controls
which change document content.
Plus, where does the window title bar begin and end? With that huge Office
icon overlapping both the tabs area and the title bar there is no knowing
for sure. Not that recent Mac apps have a distinct toolbar/title bar
separation though. :)
I am not as concerned about the title bar "confusion", but the placement does
seem poor. And what the heck is up with the ugly outer glow on the title bar
text?
Note: no comment by Sandman.
Post by Sandman
Post by Snit
Post by Sandman
If there are this many problems with a single screen shot, I don't even
want to think about the rest of the app.
Hopefully, you won't have to. :)
I look forward to playing / working with it. I will have to learn to use it
well in order to teach it.
Note: no comment by Sandman.
Post by Sandman
Please don't respond to my ordinary posts in csma.
LOL! As opposed to the ones you admit are not ordinary. Oh, that's
right... those are your trolling posts. LOL!
--
€ As of Feb 2006 Apple had no wireless Mighty Mouse
€ If A = B then B = A (known as the "symmetric property of equality")
€ One can be guilty of a crime but neither tried nor convicted
John C. Randolph
2006-07-18 20:49:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sandman
Microsoft is working hard on the next version of Office and after weeks
upon weeks of steady work they can now reveal... another theme for
Office. :)
Before, there were two themes; black and blue. Now MS has - using how
many man hours? - managed to create yet another theme to Office -
http://officeblogs.net/UI/SilverTheme.png
http://officeblogs.net/UI/SilverTheme.png
http://blogs.msdn.com/jensenh/archive/2006/07/17/667971.aspx
What a train wreck.

-jcr
Tim Murray
2006-07-19 01:47:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sandman
Microsoft is working hard on the next version of Office and after weeks upon
weeks of steady work they can now reveal... another theme for Office. :)
Before, there were two themes; black and blue. Now MS has - using how many
man hours? - managed to create yet another theme to Office - Silver. And here
http://officeblogs.net/UI/SilverTheme.png
http://officeblogs.net/UI/SilverTheme.png
http://blogs.msdn.com/jensenh/archive/2006/07/17/667971.aspx
I sure hope we can at least have the option of using menus; buttons are
inefficient when compared to using the keyboard, and that person knows the
commands. My personal Word Office has four buttons, that's it.
Super Spinner
2006-07-19 02:51:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim Murray
Post by Sandman
Microsoft is working hard on the next version of Office and after weeks upon
weeks of steady work they can now reveal... another theme for Office. :)
Before, there were two themes; black and blue. Now MS has - using how many
man hours? - managed to create yet another theme to Office - Silver. And here
http://officeblogs.net/UI/SilverTheme.png
http://officeblogs.net/UI/SilverTheme.png
http://blogs.msdn.com/jensenh/archive/2006/07/17/667971.aspx
I sure hope we can at least have the option of using menus; buttons are
inefficient when compared to using the keyboard, and that person knows the
commands. My personal Word Office has four buttons, that's it.
Menus (in the traditional sense) are gone.
Keyboard shortcuts still exist.
Alan Baker
2006-07-19 03:14:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Super Spinner
Post by Tim Murray
Post by Sandman
Microsoft is working hard on the next version of Office and after weeks upon
weeks of steady work they can now reveal... another theme for Office. :)
Before, there were two themes; black and blue. Now MS has - using how many
man hours? - managed to create yet another theme to Office - Silver. And here
http://officeblogs.net/UI/SilverTheme.png
http://officeblogs.net/UI/SilverTheme.png
http://blogs.msdn.com/jensenh/archive/2006/07/17/667971.aspx
I sure hope we can at least have the option of using menus; buttons are
inefficient when compared to using the keyboard, and that person knows the
commands. My personal Word Office has four buttons, that's it.
Menus (in the traditional sense) are gone.
Keyboard shortcuts still exist.
And how will the user learn them?
Super Spinner
2006-07-19 02:55:11 UTC
Permalink
This is addressed to this entire thread, not just Sandman:

You guys are so disingenuous. The fact is, no matter what Office 2007
looked like, you'd bash it, simply because you hate the company that
makes it. It's very transparent. And most of your comments only go to
show your ignorance regarding Office 2007.

(Snit, excepted from the above. As much as some here like to bash Snit
(why, I don't know), he's by far the most open-minded poster in this
group.)
Snit
2006-07-19 03:21:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Super Spinner
You guys are so disingenuous.
The fact is, no matter what Office 2007 looked like, you'd bash it, simply
because you hate the company that makes it. It's very transparent. And most
of your comments only go to show your ignorance regarding Office 2007.
(Snit, excepted from the above. As much as some here like to bash Snit
(why, I don't know), he's by far the most open-minded poster in this
group.)
Thanks - appreciate. You answered your own question, though: I am bashed
*because* I am one of the more open minded folks in CSMA; even though I
prefer OS X over XP, I not only know them both well, I am happy to speak
about where each have strengths and weaknesses (also true of the companies,
the software, etc.) I also have some pretty strong views that are not kind
to politicians. Since I have spoken poorly of Bush, those that will support
Bush at any cost "bash" me, never mind that I also have spoken well of Bush
when he does things that I think are good and have spoken poorly of Clinton.
To make matters "worse" for many in CSMA, I also am willing and able to
support my claims and - when I am wrong - I openly admit it. This is true
even when it is folks such as Adams, someone who is so obsessed with
trolling me he has nasty comments about me in his .sig (amazingly enough
there are at least three regulars who troll me like that on a regular
basis).

Oh, and you spoke highly of me... how much do you want to bet you will be
called either my sock puppet or my "stooge" within the next 24 hours.
--
€ As of Feb 2006 Apple had no wireless Mighty Mouse
€ If A = B then B = A (known as the "symmetric property of equality")
€ One can be guilty of a crime but neither tried nor convicted
Sandman
2006-07-19 06:40:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Super Spinner
You guys are so disingenuous. The fact is, no matter what Office 2007
looked like, you'd bash it, simply because you hate the company that
makes it.
I don't hate MS.
--
Sandman[.net]
Snit
2006-07-19 13:30:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sandman
Post by Super Spinner
You guys are so disingenuous. The fact is, no matter what Office 2007
looked like, you'd bash it, simply because you hate the company that
makes it.
I don't hate MS.
If you, I, and 100 other people said we believed MS to be evil, would that
make them become evil in your mind?
--
€ Things which are not the same are not "identical"
€ Incest and sex are not identical (only a pervert would disagree)
€ OS X is partially based on BSD (esp. FreeBSD)
Sandman
2006-07-19 14:14:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Snit
Post by Sandman
Post by Super Spinner
You guys are so disingenuous. The fact is, no matter what Office 2007
looked like, you'd bash it, simply because you hate the company that
makes it.
I don't hate MS.
If you, I, and 100 other people said we believed MS to be evil, would that
make them become evil in your mind?
If the majority of people exposed to MS thinks that MS is evil, then
yes - MS is evil. Being evil isn't like being blue, or being allergic.
Being evil is being regarded as evil.
--
Sandman[.net]
Snit
2006-07-19 14:34:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sandman
Post by Snit
Post by Sandman
Post by Super Spinner
You guys are so disingenuous. The fact is, no matter what Office 2007
looked like, you'd bash it, simply because you hate the company that
makes it.
I don't hate MS.
If you, I, and 100 other people said we believed MS to be evil, would that
make them become evil in your mind?
If the majority of people exposed to MS thinks that MS is evil, then
yes - MS is evil. Being evil isn't like being blue, or being allergic.
Being evil is being regarded as evil.
If 100 people from one particular group told me company X was evil, but they
could not point to specific reasons why they thought so, I simply would not
take their word.
Sure, it might make me look a little harder... but if they could not state
specific reasons with good evidence I would not hold it as gospel.

How about you?

Heck, Sandman, if 100 inmates of a prison told you the warden was evil,
would you believe them?
--
€ As of Feb 2006 Apple had no wireless Mighty Mouse
€ If A = B then B = A (known as the "symmetric property of equality")
€ One can be guilty of a crime but neither tried nor convicted
Sandman
2006-07-20 06:46:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Snit
Post by Sandman
If the majority of people exposed to MS thinks that MS is evil, then
yes - MS is evil. Being evil isn't like being blue, or being allergic.
Being evil is being regarded as evil.
If 100 people from one particular group told me company X was evil, but they
could not point to specific reasons why they thought so, I simply would not
take their word.
Whatever that has to do with anything here - We're comparing this to a
situation where the majority of the people that have been in a
discussion with you in csma have deemed you a troll, based on your
actions.
Post by Snit
Sure, it might make me look a little harder... but if they could not state
specific reasons with good evidence I would not hold it as gospel.
How about you?
If the majority of people I discussed with on csma said that I was a
troll, I would rethink my actions in csma. As opposed to you, who
ignores them. And then calls them all trolls.
--
Sandman[.net]
Snit
2006-07-20 07:35:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sandman
Post by Snit
Post by Sandman
If the majority of people exposed to MS thinks that MS is evil, then
yes - MS is evil. Being evil isn't like being blue, or being allergic.
Being evil is being regarded as evil.
If 100 people from one particular group told me company X was evil, but they
could not point to specific reasons why they thought so, I simply would not
take their word.
Whatever that has to do with anything here - We're comparing this to a
situation where the majority of the people that have been in a
discussion with you in csma have deemed you a troll, based on your
actions.
Post by Snit
Sure, it might make me look a little harder... but if they could not state
specific reasons with good evidence I would not hold it as gospel.
How about you?
If the majority of people I discussed with on csma said that I was a
troll, I would rethink my actions in csma. As opposed to you, who
ignores them. And then calls them all trolls.
When your full (or even just primary) criteria / definition is that a troll
is someone who is called a troll, then sure, you can use that circular
reasoning as much as you wish, just do not expect me to buy into your
irrational need to further your agenda with such "reasoning".
--
€ As of Feb 2006 Apple had no wireless Mighty Mouse
€ If A = B then B = A (known as the "symmetric property of equality")
€ One can be guilty of a crime but neither tried nor convicted
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