Bookmarks, Workspaces & Ribbons

Remember how the users reacted when presented with the Bookmark Bar in Lotus Notes for the first time? Everybody needed extra training, there was uproar, the people who hated notes hated it even more.

Oh how the MS guys all laughed and sniggered and talked about standard interfaces and that EVERYTHING in Windows had a standard interface.  Everything looked the same and it made it easier for the user to get around.  Well that’s all about to change…

With the release of the MS Office 2007 beta comes a new interface called the Ribbon.  The old menus are gone, there’s no file menu, no edit menu, no nothing, it’s all been ripped out and replaced, if you haven;t seen it yet here’s what it looks like :

Think I could find anything?  It took me about 3 minutes just to find the Edit Preferences’ option and thinking I was just blinded by the horrible interface I asked the better half to see if she could find it but she struggled just as much as I did, clicking on this that and the other until eventually she tried the help system which was just another pile of issues… The help is HTML based but having FireFox as my default browser it didn’t really work well with the ActiveX control it wanted to load.

And with the MS guys talking of standard interfaces, the Ribbon appears to be standard in all the Office Products… Well apart from MS Publisher and MS Visio and MS OneNote.

Standard interface…. It must be our turn to snigger now… Think of all the user training, lost hours of productivity and frustrated users…  Oh, hang on, I know of 120 Million users who will be happy to use Hannover’s standard ODF document editors.. They won’t be frustrated or need extra training…

Personally I’m a Workspace type person. When IBM Lotus came out with the Bookmark Bar I just couldn’t use it, I never adapted and the first thing I allways do when I install a notes client is switch the default homepage to the Workspace. I still haven’t found the option in MS Office 2007 to turn off the Ribbon.

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5 comments on “Bookmarks, Workspaces & Ribbons
  1. It took me ages to figure out how to save a file. Just couldn’t see it until I finally spotted that little floppy disk icon above the menu “ribbon”.Yes. A floppy disk! in 2006!Perhaps they coudn’t think of a better graphical way of offering a means of commiting work to long term storage – but why a graphic at all? Everyone knows File Save, right? (Pax Chris Byrne).I only needed to save a file at all so I could take a peek inside the MSXML document format (and don’t I wish I hadn’t? )PS – Dec, still no coComment??


  2. All I’ve seen are the screen shots on yours and other sites so I can’t comment about the product, and its interface, with any real degree of knowledge.I can just imagine all those Microsoft trainers rubbing their hands with glee though. Lots more Microsoft approved certification to be sold and so on.I’m a big advocate of setting the Workspace as the default too. I prefer stuff to work rather than look good.


  3. Joe Elway says:

    Hey Dec,

    Have you tried to use Outline Numbering in Word? Difficult huh? Have you loaded up Vista yet? Try to modify your network card settings in that.

    The key word in Redmond is “beautiful”. I reckon Martha Stewart has gotten into IT consultancy.

    Seriously, I reckon this will be like XP. Us admins will struggle but users will find it easier to use.

    aka Joe Elway.


  4. jasons says:

    Chris, it took you ages to figure out how to save it? are you retarded? looking at the screenshot its right at the top clear as day, maybe its not so much the interface but just you.


  5. William says:

    Classic menus are still there… they are just hidden. In Windows XP office 2007, simply click the Office logo to see the traditional menus.
    Windows Vista has changed all applications to do away with the traditional menus, but they can still be access by pressing the ALT key. Not sure if that works for Office 2007 in Windows XP.


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