And it’s bad. Kind of.
Even though a few weeks ago I was praising Microsoft for reworking Windows’ copy/paste UI and adding new functionality to it, they went overboard with reworks and added a “streamlined” command bar (ribbon style) that looks like this.
Yes, it’s that large, and yes, those percentages show how often people use the commands.
Of course, I’m not a user interface expert by any means, but some of that stuff seems awfully big for the usage it gets. I’m looking at you, “new folder” button. Was it really necessary to put a huge button for a function hardly anyone uses?
What saves the new menu bar, though, is the fact that Microsoft was smart enough to add an option allowing users to minimize its footprint.
Doesn’t look that horrible minimized, right? In fact, it looks a lot like the old bar Windows XP had, which wasn’t too bad. Even so, the command bar doesn’t have a reason to be there in the first place. Not because I would never use it myself, but because according to Microsoft’s own research this is how people invoke commands in Windows Explorer.
The telemetry data here shows that 54.5% of commands are invoked using a right-click context menu, and another 32.2% are invoked using keyboard shortcuts (“Hotkey” above) while only 10.9% come from the Command bar, the most visible UI element in Explorer in Windows 7 and Vista. With greater than 85% of command usage being invoked using a method other than the primary UI, there was clearly an opportunity to improve the Explorer user experience to make it more effective—more visible and uniformly accessible. While context menus are convenient, the features in them can be overlooked if you don’t condition yourself to “search” via a context menu for the feature (a well-known challenge with the mechanism).
Combined, the menu bar and the command bar represent less than 15% of the total command usage, and yet they’re receiving the greatest deal of attention. Does that make sense from a usability standpoint? It doesn’t.
Hotkeys and context menus are infinitely more efficient than a large command bar sitting at the top of your screen. Hotkeys require no additional mouse movement, allowing users to complete tasks in the quickest possible way, and the context menu requires only minimal mouse movement. And if the clunky UI gets less than half the use of hotkeys, that doesn’t mean it’s because nobody sees it. It means hotkeys are a superior command entry point and the command bar is bloat.
Maybe it’s just me, but I hate how they messed up the clean UI of 7 and planted all sorts of small buttons all over. Even if I was a beginner, I would be probably be intimidated by that overwhelming monstrosity. Plus, I have nothing but hate for the ribbon bar. If I wanted to look at Office, I’d run Office.
via blogs.msdn Read More