locked
Keep it Simple MS!!

    General discussion

  • I really like what MS have done with Win8, the metro UI looks amazing!
    but I'm a bit disappointed with Windows Explorer.

    I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person who hates the Ribbon with a passion!
    It's such a messy thing, because of buttons of all shapes and colors.
    It makes Explorer look ugly, and takes so much screen space.
    I miss the old Windows Explorer (with its simple one-line menus).
    Why can it be SIMPLE again?!


    Since Vista, it seems that MS can't decide what to do with Menus.
    (sometimes on the left, sometimes on the right...)
    Please find a style and stick to it.
    All MS software should have the same style (Office / Messenger / IE / Explorer...);
    Why not be inspired by Firefox's menu-button?!
    I think it looks great: it complements the Min./Max./Close buttons
    and it doesn't take any additional space.

    Also I wonder why no OS has explored the idea of vertical side-menus.
    It makes sense since screens are wider now.


    Windows 7's Explorer looked great because it was Clean.
    There were no (useless) elements spread out all over the place like in Windows 8's Explorer.


    For instance,
    - The Quick Access Toolbar: it's pointless if you ask me; and it makes the title bar look busy.
    If it's going to stay, at least give us the option to disable it.

    - IMO the little icon in the top left corner of Windows Explorer is a like a mole :)

    - and those Pink/Orange.. buttons in the middle of the title bar. Ugly Ugly Ugly.

    - It would be nice if there was one toolbar (customizable by the user) with no more than 10 buttons (of the same size/style/color).
    It would replace the Ribbon, Quick Access Toolbar and those ugly Pink buttons...
    Because really all the important things are accessible via the context menu anyway.


    Maybe it's just me, but I was hoping that Windows 8 would refine Windows 7's UI
    (and not mess it up)

    They should get the guy who designed Windows Phone 7 to give them a hand!


    Please MS, Keep It Simple!
    Keep it Clean!
    Stop the clutter!
    and Stop spreading things out!

    Thanks for listening to my rant.


    Old Windows fan.
     




    • Edited by mellowsong Sunday, September 18, 2011 1:52 AM
    Sunday, September 18, 2011 12:42 AM

All replies

  • I really like the ribbon interface in explorer - I hope they continue to extend it across all the Microsoft applications to create a consistant experience and look.

    Cannot stand the Metro UI however... great on a tablet / phone - an abomination on the desktop.

    Sunday, September 18, 2011 3:55 AM
  • I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person who hates the Ribbon with a passion!
    It's such a messy thing, because of buttons of all shapes and colors.
    It makes Explorer look ugly, and takes so much screen space

     

    Did you know that you can close those ribbons up so that they look and work like menus?  Click the little upside-down heart over on the right end.

     

     

    -Noel


    Sunday, September 18, 2011 4:21 AM
  • I really like the ribbon interface in explorer - I hope they continue to extend it across all the Microsoft applications to create a consistant experience and look.

    Cannot stand the Metro UI however... great on a tablet / phone - an abomination on the desktop.

    Completely agree. The metro UI on desktop is sooooooooooooo baddddddddddddd. Please fire the person who decided to push metro on desktop, before that braindead person does more damage.
    Sunday, September 18, 2011 5:57 AM



  • For instance,
    - The Quick Access Toolbar: it's pointless if you ask me; and it makes the title bar look busy.
    If it's going to stay, at least give us the option to disable it.

    [...]

    - It would be nice if there was one toolbar (customizable by the user) with no more than 10 buttons (of the same size/style/color).
    It would replace the Ribbon, Quick Access Toolbar and those ugly Pink buttons...
    Because really all the important things are accessible via the context menu anyway.

    What you describe is exactly what the Quick Access Toolbar is for.  As already mentioned, press the button to minimize the ribbon, and then add your ten buttons that you need most often to the Quick Access Toolbar.  You'll never have to pull down the ribbon, this way.

     

    While I am one of the people who like the ribbon,* I also think the Quick Access Toolbar is useful.  As an example, in OneNote my Quick Access Toolbar contains my most often used pen color, a highlighter, and the eraser, plus undo and redo.  That's because those buttons are used two or three times each time I open the app.  But when I need more in-depth options, I can pull down the ribbon and find them in a very organized way.... while still also using the legacy Alt- shortcuts (ie Alt-T-O for options, as an example) that I'm used to in Word, if that's more convenient.

     

    *Personally, I think that people who still don't like the ribbon at this point are just resisting change.  Yes, it does take a while to get used to, but once you get used to it it really is a better laid out and more intuitive way of combining toolbars and menu bars.  I hate to say it, but it's been what, almost 5 years since Office 2007 introduced the ribbon?  Have you just been avoiding it and sticking to Office 2003, or what?


    • Edited by JHoff80 Sunday, September 18, 2011 7:56 AM
    Sunday, September 18, 2011 7:56 AM
  • The ability to remove the icons from the quick access toolbar is there as I illustrated above.  I've also already installed 3rd party software that brings back the current folder in the title bar.  ;)

    You can actually get Explorer set up, as I've shown in the image above, to where there's actually less vertical chrome in the way and more room for data.  Frankly, I like that they've done it this way.  FINALLY someone in Microsoft is thinking again.

    People sometimes complain about something without investigating all the configurability first.

    -Noel

    Sunday, September 18, 2011 2:32 PM
  • If you are someone just trying to get a job done, why would you want to stop in the middle of everything to figure out how your tool (Windows) works?  Workers aren't eager to learn new computer tricks.  Why should they be? 
    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.
    Sunday, September 18, 2011 2:51 PM
  • +1 Ribbon sucks big time, even when you can minimize it, it is still ugly, big, annoying and most of all, WORSE in terms of practicity.
    Sunday, September 18, 2011 3:18 PM
  • +1 Ribbon sucks big time, even when you can minimize it, it is still ugly, big, annoying and most of all, WORSE in terms of practicity.


    I'm genuinely curious:  Why do you think so?  Is it just because you're not used to it?  Because it's a departure from what you're used to seeing in a simple menu list?  What specific operations do you feel will be more difficult through the ribbon than through a menu?

    I've noticed now, for example, that there is new functionality - for example the ability to view hidden files and file name extensions available via a checkbox.  It's amazing over time how many people I've had to help turn on file name extensions.

    I tend to remember things positionally - so, though it's a bit unfamilar now, I imagine the 2 dimensional layout of the ribbon will end up working very well for me.  I've already found several things to be in places I intuitively expected them to be.  I think the names of the tabs will probably change, though...  "Home", for example, doesn't seem descriptive.

    As with any change, some will like it and some will dislike it, and I'm always interested in learning more about why.

    -Noel

    Sunday, September 18, 2011 4:13 PM
  • @Noel

    Yeah I noticed that you can hide the Ribbon,
    but when you click on the "menu" it's still the same messy thing.
    What I'm trying to say is that from a Visual point of view. It's Ugly.

    Sure it's nice to have 50 buttons at all times,
    but visually, it's not interesting.
    If MS can make the Ribbon's icons more "uniform" then it would be nice to have.



    @JHoff80
    "What you describe is exactly what the Quick Access Toolbar is for. "

    Very true, but again from a Design point of view, the placement of the Quick Access Toolbar (on the transparent Title Bar) is just awkward.

    How many buttons / shortcuts do we need to create a new folder of to change the View of a folder?!
    it's just redundant, and it messes up the interface.
    One customizable toolbar is all it takes (below the transparent area);

     

    I was an iPhone user who switched to Windows Phone because the interface was clean.
    There were no superfluous items. Only the essentials.
    And you didn't have to go into 6-7 menus to get where you want.

    I don't understand how MS can bring the Metro UI into Windows 8,
    and not be consistent with that approach with the whole OS!


     



    • Edited by mellowsong Sunday, September 18, 2011 8:53 PM
    Sunday, September 18, 2011 8:41 PM
  • @Noel

    Yeah I noticed that you can hide the Ribbon,
    but when you click on the "menu" it's still the same messy thing.
    What I'm trying to say is that from a Visual point of view. It's Ugly.

    It's an early developer preview of the OS, much of the design work for the shell won't have been done or at least won't have been integrated yet. At similar points in Windows releases previously you'd not have seen any of the new UI design at all, we're really only seeing Metro because it's so different and yet so essential for developers to get thinking about early.
    Sunday, September 18, 2011 8:56 PM
  • I hope you're right. :)


    Because MS used that abnoxious Ribbon before, in Office.
    I'm hoping not to see it ever again! (at least not in its current form) :)

    Sunday, September 18, 2011 9:01 PM
  • I have been using Office-07 and Office-10 on my home PC since they came out, but my office has been very slow to change.  I much preferred a Classic View and wish they had kept the pull-downs, but since they didnt offer them, I did not want to install the after-market pull-downs.  I was afraid I would fall behind the techno-curve.  So, I have tried to like them.  But its not working.  After 3 years, I still HATE the ribbons.  Why, you ask ?

    In very broad and general terms, I equate it to Microsoft rearranging the furniture in a blind mans home after he has lived there for 15 years.  For the next several months, he cant find anything without tripping, poking around, and asking for help.  Not a very nice thing to do to someone. It killed the productivity in our office.   I know several people who could not even find the save and print commands in O-7.  It was hidden under a colored (icon) button at the top left of the page. They had to use the help command to learn how to save a file.  Thats not right, and it certainly was not intuitive.  How is that better ?

    More Specific reasons why I hate the RIBBONS:

    Requires more clicks to do the basic word or spreadsheet work.  In Office 03, I had all my toolbars set up so that I could avoid the pull downs for common commands.  It allowed me to rearrange them in groups.  I had my formatting commands on the top, and the drawing tools at the bottom.  O-10 uses the Qucik Access Toolbar.  The icons are to small to see very well, and cannot be enlarged.  You can only have one string across the page.  It is far less functional. How is that a better set-up ?

    Far less intuitive.  Need to INSERT a row or COLUMN.  Go to the  INSERT Ribbon, right ???.  WRONG !!!.  You must go to the HOME Ribbon and find a smurfy looking icon.

    Jump between WORD, EXCEL, and POWERPOINT ?  The same smurfy icon commands for each app are not always in the same place.  They are about 80% the same, but the other 20% are missing in action and must be hunted under some different ribbon.  A frustrating productivity killer for many of us.

    I used to be very proficient in Powerpoint.  I could make the slides sing and dance.  O-10 is so overly complictaed, I dont even try.  I dont have time to re-learn. I get paid by the job.  How is that a better application ?

    Want to add Footers and Headers ?  You now go into a new set of ribbons that are only visible under that command.  Once your in making changes, its hard to get out.  Once you get out, its hard to get back in.  Way to many clicks for th emost basic footnoting requirements.

    Defaullts.  They are all screwed up. Changing the defaults for text Block or other entrys only works for that document.  You cant change the Global default.  there may be a way to do it, but again, it takes a trip to the browser and a search to find out how.  Not intuititve.  O-03 was very simple to change the defaults.  How is this an improvement ?

    HELP.  If you can even find MS Help (the ? on the top right....) it is very limited.  the search function is basically retarded.  It cannot find anything close to what you type in.  Same exact search in Google results in 30 hits with the answer.  O-03 Help worked pretty good.  O-10 Help, not so much.

    I am running out of text block and time, but I could keep writing my complains for days.  It has nothing with me being resistant to change.  it has everything to do with the ribbons being cumbersome, non-intuitive, messy, cluttered, and cannot be customized.  (no classic views, no ability to increase toolbar icon sizes, etc)  Someone once told me the icons looked like a smurfs toilet at christmas time.  All these smurfy icons floating around in the tank.

    Microsoft did not make it better. They made if different.  Maybe the 15 year old kids like it, but those of us who grew up with DOS, WIN 95, WIN 98, ME, XP, VISTA, 7, and all the Office products that came along for the ride were trained on a pull-down menus and our brains were programed with a certain intuitive traits.

    Microsot chose to throw the millions of us under the bus, and migrate towards the ribbons.  i am still not sure why, except they want to be like Apple.  If I wanted an Apple, I would buy one.  , and my company was very slow and reluctant to switch over, as was most others, and MS's  sales projections tanked as a result.  It has resulted in a major drop in my   productivity and many of the Admin folks needed training.

    So tell me again,  why are ribbons better ? 

     

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 9:29 PM
  • In Office 2010 you can customize the whole ribbon to the way you like it, not just the quick access toolbar. You can create groups and move them or delete buttons and groups you don't use. And the QAT buttons are the exact same size as the toolbar buttons in Office 2003, so I don't understand people who hate the ribbon.
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 9:50 PM
  •  >And the QAT buttons are
     > the exact same size as the toolbar buttons in Office 2003, so I don't
     > understand people who hate the ribbon.
     
    I hate the ribbon too, in both O2007 and O2010, it's just slower for me
    to use than previous versions and less logically laid out.  I've been
    using the ribbon for years now and I'm still slower at using it than the
    older versions.
     
    I used the menus more than the toolbar buttons except for some very
    often used buttons. (alignment, save, print...)  I often used the menus
    without any mouse movement, just the keyboard <alt> <down> <up> <right>
    <left> <enter>
     
     

    Bob Comer - Microsoft MVP Virtual Machine
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 10:07 PM
  • I have mixed feelings about the Ribbon. I like it for the added customizability it offers over the Windows 7 toolbar. But two things I don't like about it. Unlike a toolbar, which has all buttons on a single row, the ribbon unnecessarily splits these commands across multiple tabs yet it wastes space to the right side of the commands on each tab. Another issue with the ribbon is that is takes too much space vertically. I would have preferred a simple toolbar and menus above it but does Microsoft listen? And at this stage in the development lifecycle, they are not going to change the Ribbon at all, no chance.

    What the Ribbon does improve upon compared to the Windows 7 toolbar is that it has icons, not just text labels, and if you minimize it (and always keep it minimized using Group Policy), you can use it like a menu bar. The Quick Access Toolbar is customizable, another improvement over Windows 7's non-customizable toolbar (yes I know Windows 7's toolbar can also be customized by registry editing).

    There ARE certain problems with the Quick Access Toolbar too right now like when we add many buttons, the buttons on the QAT disappear into a chevron like menu >> because of the context sensitive "Tools" tab of the ribbon. Also, the size of QAT buttons is too small (16 x 16), icons are not customizable and the Ribbon is too large (32 x 32) and takes too much space vertically, there's no middle ground. Really 24 x 24 icon toolbar on a single line would have been perfect. Wait a minute. Where did we have such a toolbar? That's right. In Windows XP! That design was perfect. You can get it on Windows 7/Vista with Classic Shell installed. Like this:

    Classic Shell's toolbar is FULLY CUSTOMIZABLE. You can add or remove buttons, hide or show text labels, change the order, change button size, change infotips, define your own commands. I have one click buttons to open cmd prompt, open cmd prompt as admin, open powershell as admin, open any file as admin (not just EXEs), 1-click view button of my preferred Explorer view, 1-click search button to open search program of my choice with the path prepopulated at current location, 1-click button to share and unshare folders with authentication. The toolbar also supports showing folder contents directly as a dropdown.

    At this stage, there is no way the ribbon is going away no matter how many people tell Microsoft they dislike it. What Microsoft CAN do if they are listening is rectify the limitations with the Quick Access Toolbar. Allow us to use large buttons on the QAT and keep the ribbon minimized. And not make the QAT buttons disappear because "___ Tools" appears in the title bar.

    And another Windows 7 bug they need to fix is the one which forces all addin toolbars on a new row, so we can't place two toolbars on a single row to reduce the height of the Explorer chrome.

    • Edited by xpclient Wednesday, November 16, 2011 5:10 AM
    Wednesday, November 16, 2011 4:54 AM
  • Unfortunately, I think fashion may be playing a large role in all this.

     

    In our heart of hearts we all believe that a UI is supposed to be functional first, above all else.  But that's not everyone's agenda.

     

    "New and improved" is what sells new systems.  They re-dressed windows in Aero and themes and with font smoothing and whatnot in past releases in order to achieve a new and improved look with the same old menus, but there are just so many ways to re-present these things before people start claiming nothing is new - and be right about it.  And so the UI designers introduce change for the sake of change itself.

     

    I can certainly get used to the new ribbons, though I'd rather not have to.  But at least they can be collapsed, so that they can behave like menus - kinda sorta.

     

    -Noel


    • Edited by Noel Carboni Wednesday, November 16, 2011 2:03 PM
    Wednesday, November 16, 2011 2:00 PM
  • I really like what MS have done with Win8, the metro UI looks amazing!
    but I'm a bit disappointed with Windows Explorer.

    I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person who hates the Ribbon with a passion!
    It's such a messy thing, because of buttons of all shapes and colors.
    It makes Explorer look ugly, and takes so much screen space.
    I miss the old Windows Explorer (with its simple one-line menus).
    Why can it be SIMPLE again?!

    .
    .

    .
    Old Windows fan.


    You miss the old Windows Explorer?  Heck, I miss File Manager!!  :)
    Wednesday, November 16, 2011 2:57 PM
  • @Noel

    [...] Sure it's nice to have 50 buttons at all times, but visually, it's not interesting. If MS can make the Ribbon's icons more "uniform" then it would be nice to have.

    What did you have in mind as you wrote "uniform"? How would this look like?
    Wednesday, November 16, 2011 5:11 PM