Next Generation UI: WYGIWYS

In Jakob Nielsen's latest article, RIP: WYSIWYG, the usability guru claims a new paradigm is required for UI design:

"Macintosh-style interaction design has
reached its limits. A new paradigm, called results-oriented UI, might
well be the way to empower users in the future."

So what is 'Results-Oriented UI'?

"The next version of Microsoft Office (code-named "Office 12") will be based on a new interaction paradigm called the results-oriented user interface.
As the demos show, the most obvious departure from the past is that
menus and toolbars are all but wiped out. The focus is now on letting
users specify the results they want, rather than focusing on the
primitive operations required to reach their goals.

The new interface displays galleries
of possible end-states, each of which combine many formatting
operations. From this gallery, you select the complete look of your
target -- say an org chart or an entire document -- and watch it change
shape as you mouse over the alternatives in the gallery. The
interaction paradigm has been reversed; it's now What You Get Is What You See, or WYGIWYS."

Jensen Harris is writing a great series of posts (every Monday) on the new Office UI.  He published his third today.

Update, 11 Oct 2005: InsideMicrosoft is not amused:

"please stop using WYSIWYG when linking to [Jakob Nielsen's] article. He makes good
points about Office’s ribbon, and it is a good read, but there’s
nothing WYSIWYG in that article (except for misuses of the word), and
there are no WYSIWYG changes in Office 12."

Comments (3)
  1. Barry Steele says:

    Hi Alex,

    I’m interested in your comments "The new interface … each of which combine many formatting operations."

    What do you see as necessary to all that to read ".. any standardised formatting operations " ?

  2. MSDNArchive says:

    Hi Barry,

    You not quoting me, you’re quoting Jakob Nielsen who I quoted.

    I think ths link to the article I provide should have more info:



Comments are closed.

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