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How do you feel about the Ribbon UI?

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#1 Ian W

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 06:42

I am wondering how many of you Neowinians have an opinion of the Ribbon UI introduced in Microsoft Office 2007? Do you find that it increases your productivity or greatly reduces it? I am sure that you are all aware of this, but the Ribbon is a controversial user interface element, and if your productivity is reduced because of the Ribbon, there are several tutorials and tools written to safely disable the feature; one such tool is Winaero's Ribbon Disabler.

nbaXhki.png

As for me, I find that the Ribbon makes finding more advanced tasks easier. For example, by default, the Command Bar in Windows Vista and Windows 7 does not include options such as Copy To and Move To. These commands are, quite literally, front and center on the Ribbon in Windows 8. In fact, the Ribbon UI in Windows 8 is probably my favorite feature in that operating system! That is not to say that the I do not find faults with the Ribbon . . . It seems that in its attempt to make lesser known commands more discoverable, Microsoft had forgotten about more common commonly used commands. For example, why doesn't Paint include Undo and Redo options on the Ribbon?

For those interested, the Ribbon has a long history. Back in 2008, Microsoft's Jensen Harris had presented a session called The Story of the Ribbon, which discussed the design process and included several images of Ribbon prototypes. The Ribbon design goes back to 2003 when Windows "Longhorn" was in development.

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#2 Ambroos

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 06:48

I like it in Office, but in Explorer I tend to keep it collapsed. Why? Because, unlike Office, most of the time you don't need any of the 'editing' functionality and you simply want the real estate so you can see more files. But I love the ribbon. I've been using Office 2007 since the very first leaked alpha build, later with the official beta builds (I was one of the few official testers at the time, I still have the first beta on official Microsoft-burned DVD's, with the brushed metal UI). I'm hitting 9 years of Ribbon usage in three months.



#3 Pulagatha

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 06:49

I wish it were customizable. VLC has an option to arrange buttons and save layouts to profiles. I just think it would be nice to have that for File Explorer.



#4 Torolol

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 06:50

i prefer the term "Tabbed Toolbar" because that what they really are.

consider if browser toolbars/plugins/extensions are to be tabbed, i wonder how many would remain positive about it?



#5 Riva

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 07:00

i prefer the term "Tabbed Toolbar" because that what they really are.

consider if browser toolbars/plugins/extensions are to be tabbed, i wonder how many would remain positive about it?

I realised that recently when I had to implement it for a project. And yes tabbed toolbars would of smoothed people in easier.



#6 blerk

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 07:07

I like it generally. 

 

There are no complicated programs (i.e those with many many features) that I have encountered which were made worse by the ribbon. I found new functionality much quicker, was better able to navigate to features I wanted, and I also like the more cohesive design that a ribbon promotes vs. a million little toolbars. 

 

In some instances the ribbon promotes unnecessary complexity - Outlook and Photo Gallery being examples that immediately spring to mind. Collapsing the ribbon is not quite the solution that I want, and the quick access toolbar requires a reasonable bit of customization before it becomes useful.  



#7 Obi-Wan Kenobi

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 07:10

It's growing on me, and I like it more and more when I get to use it. I loved it in office, but since it's a little different in explorer, it's taking some getting used to. It's a little more old school, mixed in with some new school. It's evolving, so I'm not too quick to judge. Overall though: I'm liking the direction its' headed toward.



#8 Vince800

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 20:57

I've liked it since it was introduced I usually hide it outside of Office though as I don't really use it in Explorer, usually use keyboard hotkeys.



#9 Dot Matrix

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 21:02

I <3 THE RIBBON :wub:

 

 

It's helped reduce on screen clutter, while streamlining application's specific features. It's helped me (and others) identify features of Office and other applications that I never even knew existed, by bringing them forward in a visual and friendly manner, rather than hiding/burying them in menus and submenus.

 

 

EDIT:

Just for the record, these "Personalized Menus" *REALLY* drove me bonkers.

Screenshot (4473).png



#10 Max Norris

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 21:13

If it's used properly, and when it's appropriate, yes, the ribbon is a nice improvement over the pulldowns from decades past, just a lot easier and quicker versus going thru a ton of pulldowns to figure out where something is. Also like being able to pin frequently used items into the quick access toolbar. Especially like it when they put thought into keyboard shortcuts, so if you're a keyboard jockey there's no difference in interaction, minimize the ribbon and work exactly the same as before.

On the flip side though there's a handful of programs out there that implement it poorly or the program doesn't really need one in the first place.. converting a single menu with 3 or 4 items into a ribbon is just silly.

I also wouldn't want to see one in "professional" software. For example, Visual Studio with a bunch of addons has a gazillion menu entries, trying to shoehorn all that into a ribbon, never mind the extensibility issues.. near impossible. Right tool for the job.

#11 elenarie

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 21:30

I like it, most of the Ribbon implementations I've seen seem quite reasonable. Best UI advancement (even compared to Metro since that has a long way to evolve) in a very long time.

 

The next step for the Ribbon would be the implementation of absolutely scalable assets and styles. Take Word 2013, for example. As you can see, some elements are scalable and show more controls and information the more you increase the window's size, but others remain static. Would be perfect if those that are static and small, for example, in the View tab, there are controls such as One Page, Multiple Pages, and others that remain small regardless of the size of the display. If these could grow, that would be quite nice.

 

Or take a look at Paint. The Cut and Copy controls, these should scale up on bigger window size, yet they are static.



#12 OP Ian W

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 04:58

i prefer the term "Tabbed Toolbar" because that what they really are.

consider if browser toolbars/plugins/extensions are to be tabbed, i wonder how many would remain positive about it?

I like to use the official terminology.

 

I <3 THE RIBBON :wub:

 

 

It's helped reduce on screen clutter, while streamlining application's specific features. It's helped me (and others) identify features of Office and other applications that I never even knew existed, by bringing them forward in a visual and friendly manner, rather than hiding/burying them in menus and submenus.

 

 

EDIT:

Just for the record, these "Personalized Menus" *REALLY* drove me bonkers.

attachicon.gifScreenshot (4473).png

Yeah, the personalized menu feature is one that I have almost no use for . . . It is nice that it is there for those who want it.

 

If it's used properly, and when it's appropriate, yes, the ribbon is a nice improvement over the pulldowns from decades past, just a lot easier and quicker versus going thru a ton of pulldowns to figure out where something is. Also like being able to pin frequently used items into the quick access toolbar. Especially like it when they put thought into keyboard shortcuts, so if you're a keyboard jockey there's no difference in interaction, minimize the ribbon and work exactly the same as before.

On the flip side though there's a handful of programs out there that implement it poorly or the program doesn't really need one in the first place.. converting a single menu with 3 or 4 items into a ribbon is just silly.

I also wouldn't want to see one in "professional" software. For example, Visual Studio with a bunch of addons has a gazillion menu entries, trying to shoehorn all that into a ribbon, never mind the extensibility issues.. near impossible. Right tool for the job.

I agree. I admire why it was created and wish that Microsoft would add the Ribbon to the native Notepad Windows application, but one program that comes to mind that implements the Ribbon poorly is Notepad-7. Rather than combining all of the options in a single tab, Notepad-7 creates two additional tabs for View and Security settings; those two tabs each include only two options. Perhaps Microsoft could look at it as an example of what not to do if it decides to 'ribbonize' Notepad?

Example screenshot:

vKpA3a0.png



#13 mrp04

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 05:11

I absolutely love it. The ribbon in File Explorer is one of my favorite new features in Windows 8. I keep it expanded all the time. 



#14 +virtorio

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 05:12

The best two things about it is the Quick Access bar and the Minimize button. And it's the worst when the developer decides not to include the keyboard shortcut for the function in the hint for the button as it's not like there's a menu I can open up to see what it is.



#15 +ians18

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 05:35

Actually I have the original PowerPoints of Jensen Harris introducing the Ribbon. There were 2 events, there is only one still active on the Microsoft site.