The Story of the Ribbon

I was reading through commentary from people who attended last week’s MIX conference in Las Vegas. Running across Miguel de Icaza’s kind words reminded me that I hadn’t posted a follow-up about my MIX talk yet. Last week, I presented a session at MIX called “The Story of the Ribbon.” I talked a bit about…

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Let’s MIX it up!

Just a short note to let you know that I’ll be presenting a new session during MIX in Las Vegas on Friday, March 7 at 10:00 entitled “The Story of the Ribbon.” In this session, I’m going to present the story of the Ribbon–the customer problems that we were aiming to solve by designing a…

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Giving You Fitts

One of the most well-understood and salient principles underlying the ergonomics of graphical user interface design is Fitts’ Law. Named for Paul Fitts, a psychologist at Ohio State University, Fitts’ Law is a mathematical model of fine motor control which predicts how long it takes to move from one position to another as a function…

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Evolution of the PowerPoint Home Tab

A few months ago, I made an attempt to give you a sense of the kinds of changes to the user interface you’d be likely to see between Beta 2 and the final product. In particular, I guessed that we had made over a thousand individual tweaks to the contents of the Ribbon, although now…

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Nice for Mice: Menu Tabs

Last week, I wrote about some of the work we’ve done to make the minimized Ribbon work well with the new keyboard model. I even posted a movie showing the new feature in action if you want to see what it looks like. A few months ago as we were doing the work to build…

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Taking the Minimized Ribbon to the Max

One of the many areas in which we’ve spent time since Beta 2 has been making working with the collapsed Ribbon a more realistic option. Since the very first public build of the new user interface, you’ve been able to collapse the Ribbon to just the names of the tabs by using CTRL+F1 or by…

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Let’s Talk About Customization

One topic that has come up frequently in our private beta newsgroups as well as here in blog comments from time to time is the issue of customization. As with every component of the Office 2007 user interface redesign, we put a lot of thought into how much customization to provide; today I’m going to…

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Drawn Together

Creating a drawing in Office is different is a few key ways from other features we expose on the Insert tab of the Ribbon. Most notably, individual shapes are usually part of an overall drawing. It’s less common that someone intends to draw a solitary circle than that the circle joins together with other shapes…

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The Size Of Things

One of the most discussed aspects of the new Office 2007 UI has been: “Does it take up too much room?” It isn’t a straightforward question to answer, above all because to answer it requires a subjective opinion. What seems just right to one person might seem to another person to be too much. So…

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There’s No Place Like Home

A long-open issue in the designs of the Ribbon content for the Office 2007 programs has been what to name the first tab of the programs. In Beta 1, Word’s first tab is called “Write,” Excel’s first tab is called “Sheet,” and PowerPoint’s first tab is called “Slides.” Where did these names come from? Well,…

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