I’m Like Dave Barry Except Not Funny or Famous

It has been said that nothing is as boring as blogging about blogging.

Which makes this article among the most boring I’ve ever written. Even just typing “boring” three times made me yawn. (Are yawns contagious?)

Anyway, when people start blogs, particularly technology- or politics-related blogs, it’s because they have something to say. Experience on the MSDN blog site shows that about half of all people seem to have exactly one post worth of stuff to say. Some folks peter out before posting a single article! On the other hand (much to my dismay) I seem to be in no eminent danger of running out of topics.

Here’s the blog paradox: you start a blog because you want to talk about something. So, presumably, you write some of your most passionate, important ideas down first–exactly when no one is reading your blog because they don’t know it exists. Ouch! Into the lonely canyon your voice echoes but there’s no one to hear your screams.

This is but one of the many flaws of this medium–to me, I’ve been hosting a very long party, but the reality is that the vast majority of you showed up mid-event. Looking at the site statistics only confirms this.

So, I’m going to emulate a syndicated newspaper columnist on vacation for a few days and republish probably the most fundamental series of articles I’ve written: the “Why the UI?” series. This 8-part series takes you through the thinking behind why we decided to create a new user interface for Office 2007, with a good dose of history thrown in. I’ve gone through and updated, corrected, and expanded these articles in spots, so even if you’ve read them before, you might find them worth your time again. Think of it as Why the UI: Special Edition.

And for newcomers to the blog and to the Office 2007 UI effort, I hope that reading these articles will give you a better background in why we decided to pursue a new direction for Office 2007.

Oh, and don’t forget to watch the video.

Comments (14)

  1. Gabe says:

    Will you also repost the most insightful comments, too, so that they won’t need to be repeated?

  2. Radeldudel says:

    Well, I’d just think those readers who are interested will read the archive in the end.

    And if they chose not to do so, it is their decision to make.

    Updating and correcting is always a good thing (I probably would do this in the original posts).

    But hey, this is just my opinion – it’s your blog, do whatever you feel is right.

  3. Pascal says:

    I’m sorry to say I’m not that interested about why Office will be the next big thing (I already think it will be, thanks to your blog.)

    Your posts offers the best insights so far on the development of a complex UI, the problems and solutions, etc.

    I liked the new video, but it looked like a marketing clip (no offense, bring back scoble!) and not very adapted to the target audience of your blog (professional dev, ui experts, enthusiasts, etc.)

    I really would like to hear more about why the Ribbon, why the design, patents, etc., and event more about how to do it in my own applications, because if Office is going to remove the menu+toolbar, you can bet applications in the whole world is going to copy it.

    Do you plan to repost old topics because you have made a useability study demonstrating the blog’s Archives to be unused? 😉

    Sorry for the bad english. Keep posting!

  4. Ahruman says:

    It’s “imminent danger.” 😉

  5. Aaron M. Hall says:

    Considering that the blog has a lot of posts (daily, since September, generally speaking), I like this idea a lot, since I usually have time to read the daily article, but I don’t necessarily have a lot of time to spend digging through so many archived back-blogs. Afterall, I actually have a job to do, and although I enjoy taking a break to read and respond once in a while, I can’t spend all day doing it.

    Thanks Jensen for your dedicated feedback… it is very useful, and I know that despite some of the feedback, we all appreciate it more than we let on.

  6. Rob Meek says:

    I too discovered your UI blog only a couple of months ago and have greatly enjoyed the chance to understand the background to how and why changes to the interface have been developed.

    One topic I haven’t seen raised elsewhere occurred to me while testing the Beta 1 refresh – how does the new UI behave when embedding objects? When I tried it with for example WordPad, it hides the new UI/title bar and simply displays the menu/toolbar for the relevant app. However, inserting an Excel sheet into Word didn’t quite work as expected – it displayed the Excel command tabs/ribbon below an old-style menu with one item – File – which shows all the new Office File menu commands!

  7. To re-interate, this blog has group ownership (for those with my.opera accounts), and we have a small band of members already.<br/><br/>With that in mind, please feel free to add usability related items as you like.  Barring that-  e …

  8. phuong says:

    Xin chao, Minh den tu HL, minh mong muon duoc lam quen voi tat ca cac ban. Thanks you

  9. phuong says:

    Xin chao, Minh den tu HL, minh mong muon duoc lam quen voi tat ca cac ban. Thanks you

  10. phuong says:

    Xin chao, Minh den tu HL, minh mong muon duoc lam quen voi tat ca cac ban. Thanks you