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Re: [tdf-discuss] LibreOffice UI should be tweaked, not reinvented


2010/11/2 Scott Furry <scott.wl.furry@gmail.com>

 On 02/11/10 12:05 PM, T. J. Brumfield wrote:

The OOo team has been working two years on Project Renaissance. And there
is
a long running thread here in the discuss archives of a UI prototype.
While
that particular prototype looks clean/sharp, I think all this dicussion on
radically altering the UI is unnecessary.

<snip>

 I truly believe the current approach works and should be maintained, but
improved. There might be some slight tweaks in how the menus are
organized.
Toolbar defaults might be optimized. And the overall UI could be shined up
with some gloss, new icons, gradients, spot color, etc.

If anything, I think we should be going the opposite direction. Instead of
chasing the Ribbon of 2007/2010, I think we should embrace the abandoned
Office 2003 UI even more. Perhaps provide an option to all but completely
mimic it. People forget, but Microsoft used this tactic themselves,
allowing
an option for Word users to use Wordperfect key-mappings, and provided
specific help for Wordperfect Users trying to migrate to Word. Since we
know
most users coming to Lo/OOo are coming from Microsoft Office, shouldn't we
do our best to ease that transition?

It would also be considerably less work than completely redesigning the UI
from scratch. That is more time that could be dedicated to improving the
project in other ways.

-- T. J. Brumfield

+1
Thanks T. J. for putting into words what I was thinking about the UI
redesign.

I concur with this thinking. Why re-invent an unpopular feature. This kind
of idea was brought up when OOo unveiled a ribbon-like interface. Just
because we can redo the UI doesn't mean we should. Can we avoid the
"bikeshedding" and "chasing after the cool kids", please?

I vote for the application of the K.I.S.S. principle.


I'd like some progress on the UI front in LibO. To be honest, I'd say most
LibO competitors (MS Office, AbiWord, iWork, Google Docs, ...) have better
UIs than LibO. That's because LibO has tons of features that are just put
under some menu without much consideration about how an average user would
look through these features. Where LibO absolutely fails is its Options
window -- it's absolutely unusable.

I'd say LibO's UI should change incrementally. It shouldn't copy MS (I don't
need or want the Ribbon on LibO) and it should be well thought-out and
shouldn't force a long-time user to relearn.

I'd begin by implementing command search:
http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/User_Experience/Command_search and
by making customized interfaces saveable (so that companies could have the
same setup on all their computers): that would make it much easier to find
commands and it would make it possible to keep using an old custom UI even
if LibO's default UI changes.

And only then, when there's no worry about having to learn something new,
should the UI change.


Scott Furry




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