Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Ye Olde Museum Of Office Past (Why the UI, Part 2)

Historical overview on how the Office 2007 interface developed ...

"This is the second part in my eight-part series of entries in which I outline some of the reasons we decided to pursue a new user interface for Office 2007.

Today, I want to take you on a journey. A journey that starts back into the cold recesses of the mid-1980s, back into the days of EGA and serial port mice and the MS-DOS Executive.

Microsoft Word 1.0 for Windows shipped in 1989 after a long development cycle and was designed to run on Windows 386. There's not much more to the program than what you see here, but it gives you an idea of how far Word's come. The Berlin Wall was still up but if you squint your eyes, you can see the core of today's Word UI already present. There's an application-level menu bar, which Windows evolved from the Mac's top-level menu bar and the bottom-of-the-screen menu display of Microsoft's DOS programs. Word 1.0 also includes something not seen often in user interfaces since PARC: the toolbar. First used by Microsoft in Excel, it might look like there are two toolbars in Word 1.0, but in reality only the top bar is called a toolbar. Interestingly, the bottom row of buttons is called the "Ribbon"--something we didn't discover until I went back and made these screenshots some number of months ago. It's a small world."   continued ...   (Via Jensen Harris)

Word 1.0 - User Interface Design, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Ergonomics

Word 1.0

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