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Restructuring the menus isn't the massive drastic change many people have
talked about. I'm fine with restructuring the menus, and encourage it.
However, all the Renaissance mock-ups/prototypes I've seen seem to mimic the
Ribbon UI.

As someone who uses both MS Office and OOo on a daily basis, I find the OOo
FAR MORE USABLE for an advanced user. Every day there are tasks I want to
accomplish in MS Office, but I can't find the appropriate option in the
Ribbon interface. It drives me nuts.

The menus may be poorly organized now, but my point is that we shouldn't
abandon the model of toolbars and menus to chase something new like Ribbon.
It isn't simply a matter of a brief learning curve. 3 years after the Ribbon
first came out, I still loathe it. I know I'm not the only one.

And while I haven't seen a clear indication that the Renaissance has
committed completely to a specific direction, every presentation I've seen
suggests you are moving to a Ribbon clone. I want absolutely nothing to do
with that, nor do I feel it is in any way better for usability to hide 95%
of your functionality. While I understand the claims of signal to noise,
eventually you need something other than the basic icons on the Ribbon and
you simply can't find those options. The trade-off is terrible.

-- T. J.

On Tue, Nov 2, 2010 at 4:18 PM, Christoph Noack <> wrote:

Hi T.J.!

Am Dienstag, den 02.11.2010, 13:05 -0500 schrieb T. J. Brumfield:

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

Many people asked itself whether some tweaks might make the current UI
more usable in the long-run. To make a long story short: no.

To address some of your points:
     * Visual Design: New icons / gradients / gloss doesn't improve the
       interaction quality, people rely on. We might only get a short
       positive effect, but no improvement. People will notice that :-)

     * Cleaning: When designing functionality for the UI, one will
       notice that the menus itself are the problem. We have far too
       many small "atomic" features combined with "workflow related"
       topics. Here, our UI doesn't scale (The "where to put" problem
       comes up quite regularly). Thus, in the meantime (e.g. the
       Renaissance Team) improves selected workflows that will finally
       lead to a better menu structure (because you won't need some of
       the options any more). But after all, too many features and the
       (for this kind of application) "wrong" interaction concept.

     * Defaults: There is work done on that - the Renaissance team
       works on "Better Defaults" already and RGB ES did also propose
       to work on better defaults (as he also mentioned). This is a
       very good start - defaults and templates are two dark
       chapters ;-)

     * Step-by-step improvements: I hope that we'll be able to improve
       many things - besides the menus. For example, Mirek put in some
       nice ideas ...


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