User Experience

Office 2011 for Mac – Why I love the Ribbon

It’s been 3 weeks since I started using Office 2011 for Mac and I’m already wishing all apps for Mac had a ribbon.

Let me explain a bit my experience:

Until 2 years ago I was exclusively a Windows user. Sure I had already had some experiences with other Operating Systems, but not on everyday basis.

When I started using a Mac regularly I had to struggle against some habits, however there is one thing I never got used to – the damned inspectors (floating tool windows), that various applications for Mac have adopted and are always getting in your way!

These damned windows have so many things that negatively affect my experience, like:

  • they are always in front of your working area, you never seem to know where to put them
  • they open the last place you put them, which it isn’t necessarily where you need them to be
  • they are not responsive and contextual, meaning that they do not adapt to your selection. For example, if you select an image it doesn’t show the image tools.

In Office 2007 I was used to having a ribbon where my tools were organized in an effective and neat way, that adapted itself to my selections, basically I didn’t have to worry about it! When I started used Office 2008 (and other Mac software) and had to work with those inspectors I really felt frustrated with the amount of time I lost just taking that window out of my way!

So when I saw the ribbon in Office 2011 I was really satisfied. My experience with Office has greatly improved and I just wish that other tools, like Omnigraffle for example, adopt a similar solution instead of those lame tool windows…



Susana Vilaça

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