Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Outlook and the Ribbon

Some hints on where the next Outlook version is going and how it might integrate with Office 12...

"On Tuesday, I wrote about some of the new features in Outlook 12 and, in passing, I mentioned that Outlook was the single biggest consumer of the Ribbon.

Not surprisingly, since I didn't explain the remark any further and because it seems to contradict my post about what apps get the new Office UI, I got a lot of feedback questioning my remark. "Surely you're mistaken... or crazy?" one reader wrote in.

While it is true that I have been quite sick this week and woke up with a > 100 degree fever again yesterday morning, I assure you that I am not, in fact, any crazier than usual.

(That's 37.8 C for you non-United Statesians...)

Anyway, while it is true that part of Outlook has the new UI and part of it does not, the half which does required the design of more Ribbon tabs than the rest of Office combined.

Start with the fact that in Office 12, the Outlook editing and reading canvas is based on Word. This means that the feature set of an e-mail message starts with "everything you can do in Word", subtracts "things that don't make sense in an e-mail, such as page orientation" and adds "all of the features Outlook supports."

And now, you've successfully designed the Ribbon for one scenario: sending an e-mail message."   continued ...   (Via Jensen Harris)

Outlook 12 gets ribbon?- User Interface Design, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Ergonomics

Outlook 12 gets ribbon too?


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