Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Elements of Office Style

Using themes in Office 12 ...

"Last week I gave an overview of the new Office Themes capability. Thank you for all the great comments. This week I'd like to show you what's inside an Office Theme and how that is expressed in the user interface.

Driven to Abstraction. Each Office application has unique formatting capabilities tailored to the document type it creates. Word Text Styles, PowerPoint Slide Masters and Excel Cell Styles do similar things in very different ways. Office Themes are able to work across different applications by including design information abstract enough it can be applied to a variety of formatting situations. The Theme colors, fonts and graphic effects are like a list of formatting ingredients and each Quick Style like a recipe.

We didn't start off with an abstract approach. We tried, for example, to put specific text styles into Themes but quickly ran into roadblocks. PowerPoint uses large text, sometimes lightly colored on a dark background. Word uses smaller, dark text almost always on a white background. As we looked at each object to be styled we ran into similar issues. Ultimately we ended up with a model that was simpler and more compact than we expected. With Office Themes a small amount of XML goes a long way."   continued ...   (Via Jensen Harris)

Quick Styles - User Interface Design, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Ergonomics

Quick Styles


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