Anyone else having trouble getting used to Office 2007 menus?

6 Mar 2007 - 8:42pm
4 years ago
9 replies
629 reads
Michael Micheletti
2006

I've got a new laptop with Office 2007 installed on it. And oh my goodness
am I ever sloooow getting anything done in Word or Powerpoint. I keep
searching for a "Revert" command in Word especially, where I'm normally
swift and assured. The missing Help menu spooks me too (it's a teensy button
now). Didn't find anything there, will check online next.

I'm sure they've tested the apps 1000s of times - I've seen their labs, been
a test subject, and know what pros MS are about usability testing. But here
I am, expert-level Word user for years, struggling. Is it just me finding
out my brain is now full and I should park on the porch in my rocking chair?
Or are others also challenged by this obviously attractive, improved,
better, tested, etc interface?

Michael Micheletti

p.s. It sort of reminds me of something a support guy at MS told me years
ago when I was beta-testing Windows NT: "it's instinctive once you get used
to it."

Comments

6 Mar 2007 - 9:16pm
Dave Malouf
2005

I Michael,

I have been using it at home for quite awhile and I LOVE it!
Especially Powerpoint for some reason, though Excel is good too.

I think the biggest problem I've noticed is that people don't realize
that the circular logo at the top is actually a BIG menu item. Save,
Undo, Redo etc are in there AND they can customize the quickbar at the
top to add other items that seemed primary to me that didn't make it
in their mind.

Pet peeve is that Word defaults its "normal" text to have double
spacing on, which for me is totally an HTML thing that doesn't work
for me.

Otherwise I have learned to totally love it and now at work I don't
have it, and I really miss it. :(

I do have to say that I tend to float between versions of Office
really well. At one point I had Mac Office 2004 (work), OpenOffice,
and office 2003 all running at the same time.

-- dave

On 3/6/07, Michael Micheletti <michael.micheletti at gmail.com> wrote:
> I've got a new laptop with Office 2007 installed on it. And oh my goodness
> am I ever sloooow getting anything done in Word or Powerpoint. I keep
> searching for a "Revert" command in Word especially, where I'm normally
> swift and assured. The missing Help menu spooks me too (it's a teensy button
> now). Didn't find anything there, will check online next.
>
> I'm sure they've tested the apps 1000s of times - I've seen their labs, been
> a test subject, and know what pros MS are about usability testing. But here
> I am, expert-level Word user for years, struggling. Is it just me finding
> out my brain is now full and I should park on the porch in my rocking chair?
> Or are others also challenged by this obviously attractive, improved,
> better, tested, etc interface?
>
> Michael Micheletti
>
> p.s. It sort of reminds me of something a support guy at MS told me years
> ago when I was beta-testing Windows NT: "it's instinctive once you get used
> to it."
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
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>

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/

6 Mar 2007 - 9:30pm
Jeff Axup
2006

Michael,

It's my impression that the new layout is grouped fairly logically and is
very visual which makes it easier to find features. Furthermore this UI has
removed many of the things we "loved to hate" about the old, established,
UI, such as 1) pointlessly named technical menus 2) dynamically hidden menu
items (who thought that one up?) 3) icon-bars that are too small to
comprehend 4) duplication of items between menus and icon-bars.

Any new UI, even if it is arguably better, is new, and thus requires
re-learning for existing users to be able to do established tasks, etc. MS
will probably get a backlash about this from experienced users who had
memorized the old badly-designed system and thus made it reasonably usable.
However in the best interests of all new users and probably long-term
productivity, the change should still be made to the new UI.

However, with all that said, I'd like to see some comparison timings for
typical tasks in Word between an expert Word2003 user and an expert 2007
user and see who's faster. I am wondering if they grouped functions in those
tabs based on "logical similarity", but not based on typical task flows -
which might potentially hinder task completion times. But it couldn't be a
heck of a lot worse than the old menu-driven interface.

-Jeff

On 3/6/07, David Malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> I Michael,
>
> I have been using it at home for quite awhile and I LOVE it!
> Especially Powerpoint for some reason, though Excel is good too.
>
> I think the biggest problem I've noticed is that people don't realize
> that the circular logo at the top is actually a BIG menu item. Save,
> Undo, Redo etc are in there AND they can customize the quickbar at the
> top to add other items that seemed primary to me that didn't make it
> in their mind.
>
> Pet peeve is that Word defaults its "normal" text to have double
> spacing on, which for me is totally an HTML thing that doesn't work
> for me.
>
> Otherwise I have learned to totally love it and now at work I don't
> have it, and I really miss it. :(
>
> I do have to say that I tend to float between versions of Office
> really well. At one point I had Mac Office 2004 (work), OpenOffice,
> and office 2003 all running at the same time.
>
> -- dave
>
> On 3/6/07, Michael Micheletti <michael.micheletti at gmail.com> wrote:
> > I've got a new laptop with Office 2007 installed on it. And oh my
> goodness
> > am I ever sloooow getting anything done in Word or Powerpoint. I keep
> > searching for a "Revert" command in Word especially, where I'm normally
> > swift and assured. The missing Help menu spooks me too (it's a teensy
> button
> > now). Didn't find anything there, will check online next.
> >
> > I'm sure they've tested the apps 1000s of times - I've seen their labs,
> been
> > a test subject, and know what pros MS are about usability testing. But
> here
> > I am, expert-level Word user for years, struggling. Is it just me
> finding
> > out my brain is now full and I should park on the porch in my rocking
> chair?
> > Or are others also challenged by this obviously attractive, improved,
> > better, tested, etc interface?
> >
> > Michael Micheletti
> >
> > p.s. It sort of reminds me of something a support guy at MS told me
> years
> > ago when I was beta-testing Windows NT: "it's instinctive once you get
> used
> > to it."
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> > List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> > (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> > Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> > Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> > Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> > Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
> >
>
>
> --
> David Malouf
> http://synapticburn.com/
> http://ixda.org/
> http://motorola.com/
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

--
Best Regards,
Jeff
____________________________________________________________________________
Jeff Axup Ph.D. Candidate - University of Queensland, Brisbane,
Australia
Principal Consultant, Mobile Community Design Consulting,
San Diego

Research: Mobile Group Research Methods, Social Networks, Group Usability
E-mail: axup <at> userdesign.com
Blog: http://mobilecommunitydesign.com
Moblog: http://memeaddict.blogspot.com
Academic: http://www.infenv.itee.uq.edu.au
____________________________________________________________________________

6 Mar 2007 - 9:53pm
livlab
2003

>>> I am, expert-level Word user for years, struggling. Is it just me
>> finding
>>> out my brain is now full and I should park on the porch in my rocking
>> chair?
>>> Or are others also challenged by this obviously attractive, improved,
>>> better, tested, etc interface?

I have used the new Powerpoint and Word for the past 60 days to see if
it would work for me. I think it's outstanding. It's one of the best,
most efficient set of tools I've ever used.

The learning curve was a lot less challenging than I expected. Within a
few uses I understood where the differences and commonalities between
the new product and the existing Office.

I think the biggest challenges people are coming against, is from
expecting this to be a new version of Office, when in fact, it's a
different offer - it just happens to come from MS, have the same name,
and have all the features offered by good old Office. That's what's common.

What's different, is that it is a suite structured to support your
logical behaviors and needs, which is why I love it. It doesn't seem
logical to some though, because of the time invested in learning the
existing Office suite and how much ingrained in your work process it is.

While you think its illogical, it's because the existing Office suite
has been forcing and reinforcing all kinds of non-natural behaviors that
don't necessarily support the more effective/efficient way to get work
done. That and the new one actually introduces innovation in terms of
interaction that really works.

It's not "the ideal" product - if there is such a thing - since it still
shares a lot of the existing Office issues, but MS would not want to
alienate existing Office users by enforcing a huge paradigm shift - I
think they struck just the right balance, which I find quite amazing and
speaks volumes about the quality of the MS Office team (whoever they
are, I have no idea).

7 Mar 2007 - 7:50am
Todd Warfel
2003

So, Liv, were you a regular user of a previous version of Office? I'm
curious if the new menus are better suited for newer Office users who
aren't bogged down in the old ways Office forced you to do things or
not? I'd be interested to see the differences measured in time,
effort, and satisfaction from old and new office with inexperienced
and power users.

On Mar 6, 2007, at 9:53 PM, Livia Labate wrote:

> It's not "the ideal" product - if there is such a thing - since it
> still
> shares a lot of the existing Office issues, but MS would not want to
> alienate existing Office users by enforcing a huge paradigm shift - I
> think they struck just the right balance, which I find quite
> amazing and
> speaks volumes about the quality of the MS Office team (whoever they
> are, I have no idea).

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
Partner, Design & Usability Specialist
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

7 Mar 2007 - 9:34am
Dave Malouf
2005

todd, I think new users will definitely have an easier time.
I have been using Office applications since Word for Windows 2.0 and i
have to say that after a month of using Office 2007, I find it to be
FAR superior than Office 2004 or 2003 (Mac and PC). the ribbon works,
plain and simple. The visual cues are just what the doctor ordered,
IMHO.

-- dave

On 3/7/07, Todd Zaki Warfel <lists at toddwarfel.com> wrote:
> So, Liv, were you a regular user of a previous version of Office? I'm
> curious if the new menus are better suited for newer Office users who
> aren't bogged down in the old ways Office forced you to do things or
> not? I'd be interested to see the differences measured in time,
> effort, and satisfaction from old and new office with inexperienced
> and power users.
>
> On Mar 6, 2007, at 9:53 PM, Livia Labate wrote:
>
> > It's not "the ideal" product - if there is such a thing - since it
> > still
> > shares a lot of the existing Office issues, but MS would not want to
> > alienate existing Office users by enforcing a huge paradigm shift - I
> > think they struck just the right balance, which I find quite
> > amazing and
> > speaks volumes about the quality of the MS Office team (whoever they
> > are, I have no idea).
>
>
> Cheers!
>
> Todd Zaki Warfel
> Partner, Design & Usability Specialist
> Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
> ----------------------------------
> Contact Info
> Voice: (215) 825-7423
> Email: todd at messagefirst.com
> AIM: twarfel at mac.com
> Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
> ----------------------------------
> In theory, theory and practice are the same.
> In practice, they are not.
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/

7 Mar 2007 - 11:03am
livlab
2003

Todd Zaki Warfel wrote:
> So, Liv, were you a regular user of a previous version of Office? I'm
> curious if the new menus are better suited for newer Office users who
> aren't bogged down in the old ways Office forced you to do things or
> not? I'd be interested to see the differences measured in time,
> effort, and satisfaction from old and new office with inexperienced
> and power users.
New users will certainly do better (time, effort and satisfaction) since
there is no un-learning and re-learning. I have been a regular user for
many years and I'd say I use it beyond the average feature set
('advanced' 'power' user?).

7 Mar 2007 - 11:53am
Michael Micheletti
2006

Yikes, it sounds like it's just me after all :-)

As I worked through the new ribbon menus in Word to work on a large document
yesterday, I was conscious that the interface would be much more accessible
for new users. Maybe more importantly, it will also benefit the large group
of occasional users who struggle mightily to perform simple tasks.

Too wet outside (Seattle) for the rocker today so I'm back to wrestle with
my spec. Thanks for the encouragement,

Michael

On 3/7/07, David Malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> todd, I think new users will definitely have an easier time.
> I have been using Office applications since Word for Windows 2.0 and i
> have to say that after a month of using Office 2007, I find it to be
> FAR superior than Office 2004 or 2003 (Mac and PC). the ribbon works,
> plain and simple. The visual cues are just what the doctor ordered,
> IMHO.
>
> -- dave
>
>

8 May 2010 - 7:31pm
GeorgeJungle
2010

There are some things which could be better about it, but overall I think the Office 2007 ribbon is a vast improvement on the Office 2003 toolbars, especially when you revisit Office 2003 - it looks so old in hindsight once you're used to the new system!

This page links to a useful tool for displaying where features are you're having difficulty finding in the new system: http://www.t7.net.au/kb/office-2007-ribbon-guide/

This page links to a couple of programs which can display the Office 2003 toolbars in Office 2007: http://www.mrexcel.com/classicexcelmenu.html

...though I know someone who bought it, and once she had it installed she didn't want to re-learn the OLD system!  During all her effort to learn the new Office 2007 ribbon, she'd become used to it and going back to the old system was too much trouble!  Sometimes grass can be greener on the other side I suppose.

George J.

9 May 2010 - 8:30pm
Nancy Roberts
2008

Honestly, I hate the new interface. Perhaps it is because I was relatively "fluent"  in the old interface... I'm working at it but as of right now, my productivity is at least as low as the reported  average productivity loss - about 20% decrease.


On Sat, May 8, 2010 at 8:45 PM, GeorgeJungle <movieapple@yahoo.com> wrote:

There are some things which could be better about it, but overall I think the Office 2007 ribbon is a vast improvement on the Office 2003 toolbars, especially when you revisit Office 2003 - it looks so old in hindsight once you're used to the new system!

This page links to a useful tool for displaying where features are you're having difficulty finding in the new system: http://www.t7.net.au/kb/office-2007-ribbon-guide/

This page links to a couple of programs which can display the Office 2003 toolbars in Office 2007: http://www.mrexcel.com/classicexcelmenu.html

...though I know someone who bought it, and once she had it installed she didn't want to re-learn the OLD system!  During all her effort to learn the new Office 2007 ribbon, she'd become used to it and going back to the old system was too much trouble!  Sometimes grass can be greener on the other side I suppose.

George J.

(((P
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