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change for the sake of change equals crummy UI decisions - EXCELSIOR, YOU FATHEAD!

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September 22nd, 2008


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09:39 am - change for the sake of change equals crummy UI decisions
We've secretly replaced the old "working" version of the Microsoft Office suite in this workplace with Office 2007. Let's see if anybody notices.

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Well, the widespread retching and cries of "Has someone figured out how to turn off the Fisher-Price buttons yet?" echoing up and down the cubicle walls definitely seem to indicate that somebody's noticed.

(16 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:derspatchel
Date:September 22nd, 2008 01:50 pm (UTC)
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I heard it was bad in theory but didn't realize it was this bad in practice. Wow. I'm getting a vibe of total disdain for anybody who likes their standards to be, well, standard.
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From:sernin
Date:September 22nd, 2008 02:05 pm (UTC)
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Right clicking the menu bar seems to give the option of turning off the "ribbon" but you're screwed when you need to do something like paste special. For those that are heavily keyboard based (ME), it's the hardest - since you can't hit [Alt-E,down,down,enter,up,up] to paste special. Alt E doesn't exist anymore.

Don't even get me started on how they've messed up margin-setting.

Edited at 2008-09-22 02:06 pm (UTC)
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From:jotasbrane
Date:September 22nd, 2008 03:43 pm (UTC)
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Fortunately, that's only partially true. While there is no longer any Edit menu, there kinda sorta semi is an Alt-E -- or rather, there are several hot-key combos that start with Alt-stuff which mimic the old menus. I don't have the ribbon in front of me, but there's a good chance that "Alt-E S" might actually still do what you want.

(I attribute this to there being some software developer at Microsoft who loathed the ribbon and, as his great act of rebellion, sneaked in this subtle bit of pseudo-backwards-compatibility as an act of pity and compassion. (Or possibly just to save his own sanity when he's forced to use the ribbon.))
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From:silenceleigh
Date:September 22nd, 2008 03:51 pm (UTC)
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Actually, it was a big push inside the Office team for better keyboard accessibility. Basically, they realized that the ribbon was less accessible for people with certain disabilities, and thus made customizable keybindings for everything.

It takes about five hours of using the product for people who are used to the old interface to go from "WAAAAAH can't find anything" to "Hm, actually, almost everything I need is located on one of two ribbons."

Disclaimer: I used to work on the Office team, doing developer help production. I don't any more, but I do like Office 2007.
[User Picture]
From:piezocuttlefish
Date:September 22nd, 2008 02:57 pm (UTC)
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Huh. I am thus far thoroughly enamoured of the ribbon bar. I've even begun designing an application that uses the ribbon bar for its interface. There are a couple quirks that I dislike about how it functions, such as sometimes I want it to just stay put instead of changing on me. On the whole, though, I like the ribbon bar so much that I'm writing an application that is driven by a customised ribbon bar interface.

I am also a big fan of the keyboard, but I guess I haven't used it enough to run into sernin's problem.
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From:arielblue
Date:September 22nd, 2008 03:16 pm (UTC)
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Office 07 was invented to distract people from complaining about Vista. That's my theory anyway. I've been using it for about a year now, I guess, and I'm used to it but I still think it sucks.
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From:mybadhairlife
Date:September 22nd, 2008 03:46 pm (UTC)
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Our passive-aggressive IT dude was trying to force us to bring in Office 2007, but we all hated it.

We also all hate the fact that clients who have shiny new computers which they have no idea how to operate keep sending us f'ed up documents from Office 2007 which we can't open with 2000 or 2003.

The day that Microsoft stops trying to copy Mac, I will be a happier person, overall.
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From:neddiheht
Date:September 22nd, 2008 04:00 pm (UTC)
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There's a utility that will allow you to open the Office 2007 documents without converting to it.
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From:tansu
Date:September 22nd, 2008 04:25 pm (UTC)
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I love that utility very much.
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From:sup3rmark
Date:September 22nd, 2008 03:49 pm (UTC)
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hahahahaha

fischer-price buttons. well said.
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From:eclecticavatar
Date:September 22nd, 2008 04:05 pm (UTC)
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Man, and I thought moving to 2003 was painful! Though, I can rest assured that MGH won't go to 2007 until 2011 at the earliest.
From:argentla
Date:September 22nd, 2008 05:22 pm (UTC)
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What is with all the Fisher-Price buttons? I'm irritated enough by that in Firefox 3 (and Google Chrome is almost as bad). I can fully understand the desire for greater accessibility/legibility (my dad, who is far-sighted, has a horrible time with small icons, because they fall just beyond his focal range, even with glasses), but do they have to look like cheap plastic toys?
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From:ron_newman
Date:September 22nd, 2008 05:37 pm (UTC)
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mac or pc?
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From:semer
Date:September 22nd, 2008 09:33 pm (UTC)
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Um, actually, once you let go of your hesitations about learning a new system, the new UI is

SO. MUCH. BETTER.
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From:derspatchel
Date:September 23rd, 2008 03:17 am (UTC)
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Nah, it still looks like fifteen pounds of ugly shoved in a ten-pound ugly sack. I presume there are themes that'll alter that, but they won't let me do that on work equipment.
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From:semer
Date:September 23rd, 2008 04:09 am (UTC)
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I assumed your complaints about the UI were about the actual functional aspects, not just the visual. And seriously? The visual is not really bad. Just take a deep breath and be thankful you don't have to watch the recent Bill+Seinfeld commercials. Because really, what has Microsoft done since Windows ME that's as bad as those? Not much.

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