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My Rant on the ‘Ribbon’

I’m not a fan of the new ‘Ribbon’ interface that debuted in Office 2007. I have been playing around with the new beta of Office 2010, where the Ribbon is now the standard user interface across the suite.

In this short screencast rant, I explain why I just don’t like this new user interface and how I don’t think it actually solves the issue it was designed to solve.

Apologies for the poor resolution and audio quality of this screencast; in future screencasts done using this method I’ll be sure to optimise things better.

Comments here or over on YouTube are welcome. I realise many people are happy with, or even passionate about the new Ribbon for good reasons too. I just can’t see how it does any good, yet requires extensive retraining of users!

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3 Comments

  1. Sam Boswell wrote:

    I have to say – I use office 2007 on a pretty regular basis, and I do find the ribbon useful, and pretty nice to use.
    However office 2010 – is fugly :p I hate the massive “File Menu” drop down, in 2007, it was the big ball in the top left, now when you click it – it fills the screen. office 2007 was good, and worked well, and still does. 2010 makes me want to set Rachel McCrindle onto the developers :p

    Friday, February 26, 2010 at 00:20 | Permalink | Using Mozilla Firefox Mozilla Firefox 3.5.8 on Windows Windows 7
  2. Peter wrote:

    I have to admit to not having used the Ribbon or Office 2007/2010 extensively. I would get used to it with exposure and pick it up, like any other UI change.

    You say the ribbon is useful to you – but it is that much more useful than the existing menu structure where you probably knew roughly where everything you needed was? Is it really worth the massive overhaul for something that is merely useful and doesn’t seem to provide you massive benefit?

    The other key issue is that many less techie users find themselves needing retraining to use the new interface – and this can be extremely frustrating, particularly if they are switching between machines using the old UI and the new UI, or only just became comfortable with the old system!

    Friday, February 26, 2010 at 00:24 | Permalink | Using Safari Safari 531.21.10 on Mac OS X Mac OS X 10.6.2
  3. Sam Boswell wrote:

    True – but users fresh to the system that I’ve seen pick it up a lot faster than old office interface. The people who struggle most I think, are more hardcore users, who knew where *everything* was, and now feel a little cheated that the effort gone into learning a system has gone out the window a little?

    Friday, February 26, 2010 at 11:12 | Permalink | Using Mozilla Firefox Mozilla Firefox 3.5.8 on Windows Windows 7

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