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Bits Why the Microsoft Office Ribbon is still rubbish

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Meanmotion, 20 Feb 2014.

  1. Meanmotion

    Meanmotion bleh Moderator

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  2. Xir

    Xir Well-Known Member

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    I agree, I needed a lot of time finding some basic functions, while many of the functions that are standart on the ribbon are hardly used.
    What annoys me most is that it constanly changes, depending on what submenu you're in.

    I understand that's supposed to be the strong point, but some of the basic (but much used) functions should retain a fixed position.

    I mostly use exel though, so I can't comment on the word functions.
     
  3. SchizoFrog

    SchizoFrog New Member

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    The problem I find is the misinterpretation of the word 'intuitive'. Over recent years, the technology push has moved away from those willing to learn and use new things and has been at the mainstream public and on the whole, they are idiots who usually fail to see the obvious even when it is waved under their nose. They somehow want to see things without ever having to open their eyes and actually look or think. So if what they want isn't seen within first glance, right from the very start (you can totally forget any form of customising or learning curve) then they tend to give up, claim said product is rubbish, useless or too difficult. Or even worse, they start to random click anything and everything in front of them leading to all sorts of problems, remember the days of the hour glass in windows and the incessant click, click, click on the mouse from those around you?
    The general user wanted things to look bigger and clearer (visually clearer, not necessarily functionally clearer) and so they got that along with other changes too. However, they also have an expectancy when using certain programs. They expect to see certain features or symbols as that is what they saw previously regardless of whether they ever used those features at all. Windows 8 is a perfect example of this. For the vast majority of users who complain about Windows 8, the only thing that affects them is that it looks different and works slightly different and that is usually enough to unsettle them.
    Microsoft has been stuck in a very difficult position for a long time. People want them to lead the way and bring bright, new ideas to the table and yet as soon as they change anything almost everyone is queueing up to complain about the changes.

    When it comes to the Ribbon, this is how I want it. Have the Ribbon area split 50/50 with their chosen, given 'must have' default tools on the left and a blank section on the right. The left should still be fully customisable for the user to make any changes as they wish, after all, they paid for it, let them use it how they want to. Then the right panel can 'learn' as you use the program much like the Windows Start Bar contains 'Frequently Used Programs' and so when a tool is used, it appears directly within the area on the right. Should other tools in time be used more often then the previous tool drops off the panel. If the user wishes for the tool to remain then at any point they can drag and drop the tool from either it's original location or from the rolling panel and pin it to the left, permanent panel. To extend the practicality of this system I would add a Custom Ribbon tab where many more tools can be dragged to and arranged any way you want them to appear.
     
  4. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    Didn't like it from the start and still don't like it, when you have to use the help file to find what you have spent 5-10 min trying to find something is obviously wrong.
     
  5. B1GBUD

    B1GBUD ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Accidentally Funny

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    Or you can just do a CTRL + B.....
     
  6. Krikkit

    Krikkit All glory to the hypnotoad! Super Moderator

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    I can see why the ribbon would be an issue for those who don't want to take their hands off the keyboard while using it, but I've gone back to a mouse+kb attitude for office, and find the ribbon brilliant.

    The key being able to flip between tabs with the scroll wheel - it's so easy to move about between functions etc that I'd never want to go back now!
     
  7. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    I liked the ribbon from the start. It's a fantastic reversal of the ******** trend of "a clean UI is a usable UI" that hides more and more tools under menus and submenus: nice looking, but a massive pain in the arse to ever actually get anything done with. Even without the keyboard shortcuts (yes, multiple presses are still far faster than mouse hunting through dropdown menus) almost every option is exposed under a single menu level.

    Take that Thunderbird screenshot. A big chunk of unused space at the top, and for anything more complicated than "write a new message" you need to start opening dropdowns. Clean and nice looking, but the antithesis of efficient in actual usage.
     
  8. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    Whoops, double-post
     
  9. Boscoe

    Boscoe Electronics extraordinaire.

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    What boggles my mind with Office 2013 and Win8 is when clicking file you get a new window! And can't see your existing document!? Making it more complicated.

    This is what I hated about the new start menu it was like I had to open a new program to open more programs and be trapped through the start menu conduit where I had start menu programs and desktop programs!? It boggles my mind, who came up with that and thought it was a good idea!??

    I'm sorry Apple are right PC OSs are PC OSs and smartphone tablet OSs are something else.
     
  10. Cthippo

    Cthippo Can't mod my way out of a paper bag

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    Unless I'm actually typing something, I typically don't use my keyboard at all. It's tucked away unser the desk and everything gets done with the mouse. I suppose theoretically keyboard shortcuts are awesome, but aside from some basic ones, I just don't use them much.

    My preference would be for a static nested menu system which I find easier to navigate with the mouse, but YMMV.
     
  11. Dave Lister

    Dave Lister Member

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    Open Office all the way for me baby... i'm not exactly a power user but it seems to have all the features of the MS product at a hugely competitive price difference.

    I'm not sure if it has the ribbon thing the article is about, but most of it seems intuitive and still has drop down menu's.
     
  12. rollo

    rollo Well-Known Member

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    Having used office 2013 day to day since launch long since adapted to the ribbon. Would not say its reduced type speed either as most of the old short cuts still work to activate different things.

    End of the day in Microsoft word at least if its not reducing your type speed it's hardly a issue.

    Other sections of the office program it can be a bit of a hassle but once again after a few weeks of day to day use you find out everything you need to know within that time and move onwards.
     
  13. Daedelus

    Daedelus New Member

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    As soon as bold stopped being CTRL+B they should have realised they were doing something fundamentally wrong.
     
  14. jrs77

    jrs77 Well-Known Member

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    All I need is my classic menus, and I really don't care about all this new fancy crap.

    If they want to improve something, then they should improve the performance under the hood, but leave the tried and tested menus we've known for the last two decades.
     
  15. rollo

    rollo Well-Known Member

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    Open Office is great in the home environment you will not find it in a real office though.
     
  16. Blackshark

    Blackshark New Member

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    Awful. It started out as such and has failed to move towards acceptable. Great article.
     
  17. dicobalt

    dicobalt New Member

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    All I know is that ribbon actually works pretty good when I'm touching up PowerPoint study guides on an 8 inch touchscreen.
     
  18. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    I think that the ribbon makes perfect sense, and I cannot see any other solution to be honest, to the ever increasing range of features that need to be covered. At some point you just start losing oversight. The tabbed ribbon is a good way of organising things IMO.
     
  19. Laitainion

    Laitainion New Member

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    CTRL+B still works, I'm not aware of a single old school ctrl+? shortcut that don't still work. I've used every version of Office since Office 95 and think the ribbon is the best feature to ever be added in this time period.
     
  20. Meanmotion

    Meanmotion bleh Moderator

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    Yeah, sorry if that was unclear. Ctrl+B still works but you can also navigate to the Ribbon button for Bold via the above shortcut.
     
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