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Programmers Using And Misusing The Ribbon

Jeremy Wagstaff has an article about usage of the Office 2007 Ribbon by software developers in their user interfaces, something they can do without worry because Microsoft allows it to be licensed royalty-free (with some restrictions). The Ribbon (officially the Office Fluent Ribbon, part of the Office Fluent UI system) is being used by a number of software products Jeremy mentions, a number of which are doing it a disservice by using it in programs it isn’t really useful for, poorly designing it to waste screen real estate, poor function grouping, and other bad decisions.

I feel like even if developers are going to misuse the Ribbon, let them. Plenty of software developers screw up the most simple things, like checkboxes and drop-downs, and no one is going to declare those UI elements bad as a result. As long as Office 2007 exists, the Ribbon is doing something right, and that validates even the worst third-party implementations.

By the way, if you are using the Ribbon well, contact Clint Covington, who will feature your app and send you a free book.

April 30th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Developers, Office, Applications, General | no comments

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