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NOT PROVEN TO INCREASE INTELLIGENCE IN PARIS HILTON... BUT LET’S HOPE SO

WEEKLY WHINE

Office 2010 was my idea

Hi. I’m Rich, chairman of the GoobNet SPEED. Today we’re going to look at Microsoft Office. You might well ask why we would ever want to do something that silly. But we are anyway.

You see, there are some very interesting things going on in the world of user interfaces. Microsoft, of course, introduced the ribbon in Office 2007 in what it calls the “Fluent User Interface”. Though many people called it the Foolish User Interface, in the years since, people have gradually become accustomed to it.

There are changes afoot, though. First, Microsoft has indicated that in the 2010 version of Office, the ribbon will be added to other parts of Office programmes where it was missing, like the main Outlook window. Office 2010 will also allow users to customise the ribbon, a feature that was strangely lacking in the 2007 version.

But the most shocking news was that OpenOffice.org is also planning to change its user interface to something that looks like a bastard stepchild of the Office ribbon.

Naturally, all of this means that it once again falls to us, the GoobNet SPEED, to help everyone regain their sanity. Should Microsoft revert to standard dropdown menus and toolbars, or should it force everyone to use the same ribbon?

The answer is: we don’t care. Here at the GoobNet SPEED, we are more concerned with how commands are laid out rather than what they look like. So, with that in mind, I have asked our team to review the current ribbon layouts of the four major Office programmes – Outlook, Word, Excel, and Powerpoint – and report back on how they should be changed. This week, Jhonny fixes Outlook.

– Rich

OUTLOOK

Hi, Microsoft. I’m Jhonny, and I’ll be helping you improve the Outlook user interface. Keeping in mind that the ribbon is still to be added to the main window, I will concentrate on the ribbon in E-mail messages. When you introduced the ribbon, you considered where people would probably look for each type of functionality. You also put some commands in multiple places, recognising that not everyone will look in the same place. I have borrowed a couple of those ideas in my proposed command layout below.

However, table and image commands should not be hidden until a table or image is selected. They should be visible at all times, but simply disabled until a table or image is selected. That way, once the user does select the table or image, the user already knows where to find the desired command.

I don’t mind the idea of the little diagonal arrow buttons opening dialogue boxes. However, they need to be larger, and they need to be given names. As it is, everybody forgets about them.

OLD

  • Office button
    • New Mail Message
    • Send
    • Save
    • Save As...
    • Delete
    • Move
    • Permission
    • Print
      • Print...
      • Quick Print
      • Print Preview
      • Define Print Styles...
      • Memo Style
    • Properties...
    • Close
    • Editor Options...
  • Message tab
    • Clipboard group
      • Paste
        • Paste
        • Paste Special...
      • Cut
      • Copy
      • Format Painter
      • Little diagonal arrow button in the corner
    • Basic Text group
      • Font
      • Font Size
      • Bigger Text
      • Smaller Text
      • Bulleted List
      • Numbered List
      • Clear Formatting
      • Bold
      • Italic
      • Underline
      • Highlight Text
      • Font Colour
      • Align Left
      • Align Center
      • Align Right
      • Decrease Indent
      • Increase Indent
    • Names group
      • Address Book
      • Check Names
    • Include group
      • Attach File
      • Attach Item
      • Business Card
      • Calendar
      • Signature
      • Little diagonal arrow button in the corner
    • Options group
      • Follow Up
      • Permission
        • No Restrictions
        • Do Not Forward...
        • Manage Credentials...
      • High Importance
      • Low Importance
      • Little diagonal arrow button in the corner
    • Proofing group
      • Spelling
        • Research...
        • Set Language...
        • Translate...
        • Thesaurus...
        • Word Count...
  • Insert tab
    • Include group
      • Attach File
      • Attach Item
      • Business Card
      • Signature
    • Table group
      • Insert Table selector
      • Insert Table...
      • Draw Table
      • Convert Text to Table...
      • Excel Spreadsheet
      • Quick Tables
    • Illustrations group
      • Picture
      • Clip Art
      • Shapes
      • Smartart
      • Chart
    • Links group
      • Hyperlink
      • Bookmark
    • Text group
      • Text Box
      • Quick Parts
      • Wordart
      • Drop Cap
      • Date & Time
      • Object
    • Symbols group
      • Equation
      • Symbol
      • Horizontal Line
  • Options tab
    • Themes group
      • Themes
      • Colours
      • Fonts
      • Effects
      • Page Colour
    • Fields group
      • Show Bcc
      • Show From
    • Format group
      • Plain Text
      • HTML
      • Rich Text
    • Tracking group
      • Use Voting Buttons
      • Request a Delivery Receipt
      • Request a Read Receipt
      • Little diagonal arrow button in the corner
    • More Options group
      • Save Sent Item
      • Delay Delivery
      • Direct Replies To
      • Little diagonal arrow button in the corner
  • Format Text tab
    • Clipboard group
      • Paste
        • Paste
        • Paste Special...
      • Cut
      • Copy
      • Format Painter
      • Little diagonal arrow button in the corner
    • Font group
      • Font
      • Font Size
      • Bigger Text
      • Smaller Text
      • Clear Formatting
      • Bold
      • Italic
      • Underline
      • Strikethrough
      • Subscript
      • Superscript
      • Change Case
      • Highlight Text
      • Font Colour
      • Decrease Indent
      • Increase Indent
      • Little diagonal arrow button in the corner
    • Paragraph group
      • Bulleted List
      • Numbered List
      • Outline
      • Decrease Indent
      • Increase Indent
      • Sort
      • Show/Hide
      • Align Left
      • Align Center
      • Align Right
      • Align Justify
      • Line Spacing
      • Fill Colour
      • Borders
      • Little diagonal arrow button in the corner
    • Styles group
      • Styles selector
      • Change Styles
      • Little diagonal arrow button in the corner
    • Zoom group
      • Zoom
    • Editing group
      • Find
        • Go To...
      • Replace
      • Select
  • Table Tools Design tab
    • Table Style Options group
      • Header Row
      • Total Row
      • Banded Rows
      • First Column
      • Last Column
      • Banded Columns
    • Table Styles group
      • Table Styles selector
      • Shading
      • Borders
    • Draw Borders group
      • Line Style
      • Line Thickness
      • Pen Colour
      • Draw Table
      • Eraser
      • Little diagonal arrow button in the corner
  • Table Tools Layout tab
    • Table group
      • Select
      • Select Cell
      • Select Column
      • Select Row
      • Select Table
      • Show Gridlines
      • Properties
    • Rows & Columns group
      • Delete
        • Delete Cells...
        • Delete Columns
        • Delete Rows
        • Delete Table
      • Insert Above
      • Insert Below
      • Insert Left
      • Insert Right
      • Little diagonal arrow button in the corner
    • Merge group
      • Merge Cells
      • Split Cells
      • Split Table
    • Cell Size group
      • Cell Height
      • Cell Width
      • Autofit
        • Autofit to Contents
        • Autofit Window
        • Fixed Column Width
      • Distribute Rows Evenly
      • Distribute Columns Evenly
    • Alignment group
      • Align Top Left
      • Align Top Centre
      • Align Top Right
      • Align Middle Left
      • Align Middle Centre
      • Align Middle Right
      • Align Bottom Left
      • Align Bottom Centre
      • Align Bottom Right
      • Text Direction
      • Cell Margins
    • Data group
      • Sort
      • Repeat Header Rows
      • Convert to Text
      • Formula

NEW

  • File
    • New Mail Message
    • Send
    • Save
    • Save As...
    • Delete
    • Move
    • Permission
    • Print
      • Print...
      • Print Preview
      • Define Print Styles...
      • Memo Style
    • Properties...
    • Close
    • Editor Options...
  • Edit
    • Clipboard
      • Cut
      • Copy
      • Paste
      • Paste Special...
      • Format Painter
      • Office Clipboard...
    • Basic Text
      • Font
      • Font Size
      • Bigger Text
      • Smaller Text
      • Bulleted List
      • Numbered List
      • Clear Formatting
      • Bold
      • Italic
      • Underline
      • Highlight Text
      • Font Colour
      • Align Left
      • Align Center
      • Align Right
      • Decrease Indent
      • Increase Indent
    • Proofing
      • Spelling
      • Research...
      • Set Language...
      • Translate...
      • Thesaurus...
      • Word Count...
    • Find
    • Replace
    • Go To...
    • Select
  • View
    • Zoom...
    • Ruler
    • Show Bcc
    • Show From
    • Show Reply-To
    • Show Table Gridlines
  • Message
    • Send
    • Names
      • Address Book
      • Check Names
    • Include
      • Attach File
      • Attach Item
      • Business Card
      • Calendar
      • Signature
    • Follow Up
    • High Importance
    • Low Importance
    • Message Options...
    • Fields
      • Show Bcc
      • Show From
      • Show Reply-To
    • Format
      • Plain Text
      • HTML
      • Rich Text
    • Tracking
      • Use Voting Buttons
      • Request a Delivery Receipt
      • Request a Read Receipt
    • Permission
      • No Restrictions
      • Do Not Forward...
      • Manage Credentials...
    • More Options
      • Save Sent Item
      • Delay Delivery
      • Direct Replies To
  • Insert
    • Attach File
    • Attach Item
    • Business Card
    • Calendar
    • Signature
    • Table
      • Insert Table selector
      • Insert Table...
      • Draw Table
      • Convert Text to Table...
      • Excel Spreadsheet
    • Illustrations
      • Picture
      • Clip Art
      • Shapes
      • Smartart
      • Chart
    • Links
      • Hyperlink
      • Bookmark
    • Text
      • Text Box
      • Quick Parts
      • Wordart
      • Drop Cap
      • Date & Time
      • Object
    • Symbols
      • Equation
      • Symbol
      • Horizontal Line
  • Format
    • Themes
      • Themes
      • Colours
      • Fonts
      • Effects
      • Page Colour
    • Styles
      • Styles selector
      • Change Styles
      • Style Editor...
    • Font
      • Font
      • Font Size
      • Bigger Text
      • Smaller Text
      • Clear Formatting
      • Bold
      • Italic
      • Underline
      • Strikethrough
      • Subscript
      • Superscript
      • Change Case
      • Highlight Text
      • Font Colour
      • Decrease Indent
      • Increase Indent
      • Format Character...
    • Paragraph
      • Bulleted List
      • Numbered List
      • Outline
      • Decrease Indent
      • Increase Indent
      • Sort
      • Show/Hide
      • Align Left
      • Align Center
      • Align Right
      • Align Justify
      • Line Spacing
      • Fill Colour
      • Borders
      • Format Paragraph...
  • Table
    • Insert
      • Insert Table selector
      • Insert Table...
      • Draw Table
      • Convert Text to Table...
      • Excel Spreadsheet
    • Delete Table
    • Select
    • Select Cell
    • Select Column
    • Select Row
    • Select Table
    • Show Gridlines
    • Properties
    • Sort
    • Convert to Text
    • Formula
    • Format
      • Horizontal Alignment
        • Align Left
        • Align Centre
        • Align Right
      • Vertical Alignment
        • Align Top
        • Align Middle
        • Align Bottom
      • Text Direction
      • Cell Margins
      • Cell Size
        • Cell Height
        • Cell Width
        • Autofit to Contents
        • Autofit Window
        • Fixed Column Width
        • Distribute Rows Evenly
        • Distribute Columns Evenly
      • Table Styles selector
      • Shading
      • Borders
        • Line Style
        • Line Thickness
        • Pen Colour
        • Draw Table
        • Eraser
      • Borders and Shading...
      • Repeat Header Rows
      • Header Row
      • Total Row
      • Banded Rows
      • First Column
      • Last Column
      • Banded Columns
    • Structure
      • Insert
        • Insert Subtable...
        • Insert Cells...
        • Insert Rows Above
        • Insert Rows Below
        • Insert Columns Left
        • Insert Columns Right
      • Delete
        • Delete Cells...
        • Delete Columns
        • Delete Rows
        • Delete Table
      • Merge Cells
      • Split Cells
      • Split Table
      • Rows and Columns...

– Jhonny

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