Interaction Interface Microsoft

Wrapped in Skepticism

Rather important disclaimer: I have not used Office 2007.

I know Microsoft conducted extensive research and design testing on their Office 12 Ribbon (essentially a tabbed contextual toolbar), but the Scout project from Microsoft Research makes me wonder just how much of an improvement it is.

  • Someone obviously thinks a search mechanism for toolbar commands would be helpful.
  • There are several dozen picture-related commands in a word processor. Yikes.

I hope the new toolbar is an improvement, but this makes me suspect that it is akin to what Alan Cooper calls corpse painting; no amount of work is going to resurrect the patient.