Sunday, May 21, 2006

Catching the Plane

One of the most challenging aspects of developing the new UI has been making sure that everything ends up loaded into the airplane before it takes off. Confused? Let me explain.

Sometimes I think about shipping Office like an airplane taking off. Our job is to load up the plane with the right passengers, the right luggage, enough soda and snacks, professional pilots, lavatory service, and great in-flight entertainment.

But once the airplane takes off, it's gone--there's no turning back. It's going to land at its destination regardless of if all the pretzels came on board. The insect which flies in through the airplane door two seconds before it closes ends up halfway around the world at the plane's final destination. On the other hand, a piece of luggage which is late to the plane by thirty seconds misses the destination entirely and can only be returned with a great deal of cost and effort.

Our job, then, is to make sure that all of the features find their way onto the plane before it takes off. With so many features buried in menus, toolbars, Task Panes, context menus, and the command well in Office 2003, there are thousands of moving parts to track. Sure, we'll make sure that Bold finds its way to Sydney, but what about "Collapse Subdocuments?"   continued ...   (Via Jensen Harris)

Cathing The Plane - User Interface Design, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Ergonomics

Cathing The Plane

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