"Results-Oriented" GUI?

10 Oct 2005 - 8:55am
9 years ago
10 replies
565 reads
Dave Malouf
2005

http://www.useit.com/alertbox/wysiwyg.html

So Nielsen is touting the new MS Office 12 UI changes. In the above article
he describes the changes to the Office UI citing it as a paradigm shift. He
also says something even more interesting to me:

" If anybody else introduced a new user interface paradigm, it would
probably remain a curiosity for years, but Microsoft Office has a special
status as the world's most-used interaction design. We know from user
testing that users often demand that other user interfaces work like Office.
When you're used to one style most of the day, you want it in other
applications and screens as well.

If the new interaction style works as well as early predictions indicate,
users will quickly expect many other user experiences to provide the power
of a results-oriented design. People don't like messing with commands and
preference settings on the Web, which is why most customization features
fail. It'll therefore be interesting to see how these new ideas translate
into environments far beyond Office-like productivity applications."

This means that all of us working in software (web or desktop) will most
likely have to face these shifts.

I'd be curious to hear what other people think of all this.

-- dave

David Heller
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixdg.org/
Dave (at) ixdg (dot) org
Dave (at) synapticburn (dot) com
AIM: bolinhanyc || Y!: dave_ux || MSN: hippiefunk at hotmail.com

Comments

10 Oct 2005 - 11:11am
Dan Saffer
2003

On Oct 10, 2005, at 7:55 AM, David Heller wrote:

> So Nielsen is touting the new MS Office 12 UI changes.

Not surprising, since Tim Briggs, a Design Research Lead in
Microsoft’s Office Design Group, is the plenary speaker with Jakob
for NNG's UX Tour 2005.

One amusing thing you forgot to quote Dave: The next version of
Microsoft Office (code-named "Office 12"). Wow, quite a secret code
name there. ;)

> . He
> also says something even more interesting to me:
>
> We know from user
> testing that users often demand that other user interfaces work
> like Office.
> When you're used to one style most of the day, you want it in other
> applications and screens as well.

...until you see something markedly better. Alan Cooper's Law applies
here, namely that people will want what they are used to until you
show them something that meets their needs better.

Applying this logic, every site would look like Google or Yahoo. Of
course, Jakob would probably be for that.

>
> If the new interaction style works as well as early predictions
> indicate,
> users will quickly expect many other user experiences to provide
> the power
> of a results-oriented design.

I still don't have a clear idea of what this really means. Shouldn't
all designs be results oriented? You pick the end result before you
you've made it? Is this like Don Norman's activity-based design?

Dan

10 Oct 2005 - 11:48am
Peter Merholz
2004

I have many issues with the piece. Apart from what Dan noted that
Jakob is very much in bed with the Microsoft design team.

My primary issue is this:
>
> " If anybody else introduced a new user interface paradigm, it would
> probably remain a curiosity for years, but Microsoft Office has a
> special
> status as the world's most-used interaction design.

Is this really true anymore? Are web browsers and lightweight email
apps (NOT Outlook) not more-used? Particularly around the *world*?

Actually, wouldn't, I don't know, mobile interfaces be the "most-used
interaction design"? I guess there's no single mobile UI with the
dominance that Microsoft has on the desktop, but I need more proof of
Microsoft Office's "special status." And I'd also like to see trends.

> If the new interaction style works as well as early predictions
> indicate,
> users will quickly expect many other user experiences to provide
> the power
> of a results-oriented design.

"Results-oriented design" doesn't make sense to me. From the
description, it's even *more* monolithic. Considering the struggles I
already have in getting Office to produce documents the way I want
them too, I suspect with "results-oriented design," I'll struggle
even more, as I try to convince billg, et. al., of the validity of my
desired result. Potential results are infinite -- how does a "result-
oriented design" deal with that?

--peter

10 Oct 2005 - 1:14pm
Diego Moya
2005

Hi,

I feel that this time Nielsen's Alertbox is no more than a big PR
advertisement for Microsoft next product. The previews of Office 12 do
show many UI changes but they're evolutionary more than revolutionary.
Certainly not enough to claim the "death of WYSIWYG", since the main
interaction metaphor is *still* a WYSIWYG document surround by tool
palettes.

On 10/10/05, Peter Merholz <peterme en peterme.com> wrote:
> "Results-oriented design" doesn't make sense to me. From the
> description, it's even *more* monolithic. Considering the struggles I
> already have in getting Office to produce documents the way I want
> them too, I suspect with "results-oriented design," I'll struggle
> even more, as I try to convince billg, et. al., of the validity of my
> desired result. Potential results are infinite -- how does a "result-
> oriented design" deal with that?
>

>From what they've shown till now, "result-oriented design" is just a
reorganization of the menus into the new Ribbon widget (a merge
between Mac OS X toolbars and context menus), plus heavy use of a
preview-command feature organized in galleries. Only some commands are
promoted to this new structure, though, since properties dialogs are
already there for final tweaking the "results" obtanied through the
gallery (but at least these dialogs seem to be non-modal now - quite
an advance).

The Ribbon is actually quite similar to the contextual "File and
folder tasks" already present in Windows Explorer, and the concept of
previewing commands in the menus was already present in one academic
paper some years ago (i can't remember it's name, must have it
physically archived in a cabinet somewhere. Maybe it was from MS
Research themselves, I'm not sure).

> My primary issue is this:
> >
> > " If anybody else introduced a new user interface paradigm, it would
> > probably remain a curiosity for years, but Microsoft Office has a
> > special
> > status as the world's most-used interaction design.
>
> Is this really true anymore? Are web browsers and lightweight email
> apps (NOT Outlook) not more-used? Particularly around the *world*?

*Lightweight* being the keyword here. The new Office UI seems a good
model for heavyweight creation and edition of complex documents,
something for which the light web applications are not well tailored.
Even MS recognizes that this new UI might not be easily ported to
other domains, like browsing or searching databases.

>
> Actually, wouldn't, I don't know, mobile interfaces be the "most-used
> interaction design"? I guess there's no single mobile UI with the
> dominance that Microsoft has on the desktop, but I need more proof of
> Microsoft Office's "special status." And I'd also like to see trends.
>

IMHO Microsoft does have a special status in the field of *office
suites* because all other systems are compared to this one, and almost any
user is required to know their tools.

But it's not the only player for content creation and manipulation in
general, and other companies share similar status in other fields -
mainly in graphic design and multimedia.

Interfaces in these domains already have many of the characteristics
now added to Office for text-based document manipulation. The novelty
is that graphic design tools are for highly trained workers, while
Office will be the first widespread product including those advanced
UI structures which is designed for the average layman.

10 Oct 2005 - 2:26pm
Josh Seiden
2003

As far as I can tell, it differs from WYSIWYG only in the level of command
aggregation. Where before one might select some text and press "bold," now
one can select some text and select "Exciting Headline" or a pre-rendered
preview object of some time.

It strikes me as a good technique, but is it really a new model?

To the extent that the set of possible results is well suited to the
audience, this strikes me as a good direction to take.

JS

-----Original Message-----

I still don't have a clear idea of what this really means. Shouldn't
all designs be results oriented? You pick the end result before you
you've made it? Is this like Don Norman's activity-based design?

10 Oct 2005 - 2:49pm
Erik Stolterman
2005

Hi list

This is my first posting on this list I guess. I have read the
posting on the new "results-oriented" paradigm. I agree with most of
the comments. I made a comment myself yesterday on my new blog at
http://transground.blogspot.com/ if anyone is interested.

Erik Stolterman

----------------------------------
Erik Stolterman

Professor and Director of HCID Program
School of Informatics
Indiana University
Bloomington, IN

email: estolter at indiana.edu

10 Oct 2005 - 3:08pm
Todd Warfel
2003

On Oct 10, 2005, at 10:55 AM, David Heller wrote:

> Quoting JN

> [...] If anybody else introduced a new user interface paradigm, it
> would
> probably remain a curiosity for years, but Microsoft Office has a
> special
> status as the world's most-used interaction design. We know from user
> testing that users often demand that other user interfaces work
> like Office.
> When you're used to one style most of the day, you want it in other
> applications and screens as well[...]

First, I don't really see how this is a new paradigm.

Second, didn't Nielsen also say don't listen to what users say, watch
what they do?

They can tell you they want something, but they typically describe it
in the context of what they already know. "I like how Outlook does
(X)." Just back up a step, see through what they're saying, and see
what they're actually telling you.

We had a situation where customers told us they liked how Outlook
provided folders for organizing messages. So, one design team took
the approach of designing a VoIP interface that mimicd Outlook.
Initial response was that the test participants liked how it looked.
However, they had a lot of problems using it.

We backed up a step, looked at what the customers were "saying" w/o
telling us (they wanted methods for organizing messages. They didn't
treat, nor want to treat voice mails the same as emails. But there is
some overlap in that they want a method to organize their voice
messages).

We took a very different approach to the original design for the VoIP
interface. We then tested the original and the new (back to back)
using the same methods. And the new version outperformed the old
every time (e.g. customers were able to accomplish tasks they had
described 3-4 times faster and more efficient on the new interface
over the old).

Cheers!

Todd R. Warfel
Partner, Design & Usability Specialist
Messagefirst | making products & services easier to use
--------------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (607) 339-9640
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com

--------------------------------------
Problems are just opportunities for success.

11 Oct 2005 - 1:38am
Tommy Eskelinen
2004

Hey all,
My two cents on this... For me it seems that MS has restructured and
redesigned the menus. I mean, instead of having the usual MS standard File,
Edit, etc. menu, it's now in tabs and more context-task-oriented. I see it
as a good leap forward and probably will make (at least) my life easier.

My only fear is that we will have "creative" managers using the MS templates
(I call them templates :-) and not using real creative people (like us or
layout experts) to protect the brand and the company from having messages
that breathe the spirit of MS (there's enough of that out there). I know
this is sort of old-fashioned, but I prefer at least some "manual-work" to
create diversity between different messages.

Best,
Tommy Eskelinen

11 Oct 2005 - 1:49am
Christophe Stoll
2005

hello everybody,

this is my first post here, nice to meet you all-- i read this
nielsen text and all your comments; maybe i just missed something,
but can anyone tell me where the "new paradigma" (codenamed office
12, hehe) is presented? without knowing any details this alertbox
preaching sounds like a joke ...

thanks!

best,
christophe

Am 11.10.2005 um 09:38 schrieb Tommy Eskelinen:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> Hey all,
> My two cents on this... For me it seems that MS has restructured and
> redesigned the menus. I mean, instead of having the usual MS
> standard File,
> Edit, etc. menu, it's now in tabs and more context-task-oriented. I
> see it
> as a good leap forward and probably will make (at least) my life
> easier.
>
> My only fear is that we will have "creative" managers using the MS
> templates
> (I call them templates :-) and not using real creative people (like
> us or
> layout experts) to protect the brand and the company from having
> messages
> that breathe the spirit of MS (there's enough of that out there). I
> know
> this is sort of old-fashioned, but I prefer at least some "manual-
> work" to
> create diversity between different messages.
>
> Best,
> Tommy Eskelinen
>
>
> _______________________________________________
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>

11 Oct 2005 - 4:36am
Marcin Wichary
2004

> this is my first post here, nice to meet you all-- i read this
> nielsen text and all your comments; maybe i just missed something,
> but can anyone tell me where the "new paradigma" (codenamed office
> 12, hehe) is presented? without knowing any details this alertbox
> preaching sounds like a joke ...

Christophe, check out:
- the video: http://channel9.msdn.com/showpost.aspx?postid=114720
- Microsoft's preview: http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/
uioverview.mspx
- another one: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2005/
sep05/09-13OfficeUI.mspx
- this blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/jensenh/default.aspx

--
Marcin Wichary >> mwichary at aresluna.org
Graphical User Interface gallery >> www.guidebookgallery.org
Usability.pl >> www.usability.pl

14 Oct 2005 - 4:39am
Meikel Steiding
2003

hey all,

I have got a question concerning Jakobs article.
He points out that WYSIWYG is dead but doesn't he misunderstand the
concept of WYSIWYG in his context a little bit?
As far as I understand it, WYSIWYG started when Apple introduced rich
printing to the computer world. So what I see on my screen is what I
get on my printout, right? Then there were HTML Editors which named
themselves WYSIWYG Editors. So I can layout my webpage with common
text and graphic tools and press a publish/export button. So what I
see in my editor is what I get on the webpage, right? Thus WYSIWYG
always involves a sort of translator. The content and its look is
going to be transfered into another medium. So I layout a page and I
will get this on paper or as a HTML page or whatever. So the process
of WYSIWYG always refers to at least two different mediums.

So what does WYSIWYG have to do with the stuff Jakob Nielsen talks
about in his article? Where is the translator? Where are the
different mediums? Isn't he talking about a manipulation model? I
mean isn't he talking about an interaction model to serve WYSIWYG
purposes?
So this ‘result-oriented’ paradigm shift he postulates isn't it just
a small adjustment to the standard direct manipulation model?
Ben Shneiderman wrote in 1974 that the following items characterize
direct manipulation:
• Visual representation of the manipulated objects
• Physical actions instead of text entry
• Immediately visible impact of the operation
This behavior is still present in Office 12.
Am I totally mistaken or did Jakob Nielsen mix up some things and got
confused?

Just curious what you guys think about it. hmmmmmmmmmmm.

me.

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