Office 2007 Ribbon et al
In a word.
I had occasion to use Access 2007 recently, it was truly a terrible experience. To begin with the replacement of the standard menu items with what is essentially a collection of tabs is a good example of "User Experience" run amok.
I am sure that someone has done some study and shown that people who have never used a computer before in their life find the ribbon more user friendly. But of course people who have never used a computer before are not the ones who have been using Office previously. So what this really amounts to is the imposition of a new user interface paradigm, totally different than what's been done in previous versions of Office and totally different from the way any other application work has worked on the system in question.
I cringe thinking what the reaction of some of the long term, heavy users of Office will be when they encounter this mess the first time.
I also really wonder who exactly is being tested in user experience studies when it comes to the intuitiveness of the entire application. How is that I have used Windows alot, and Access alot, and even other windowing systems to some degree but I found Access 2007 really painful to use? They seem to have totally dispatched dialogs and instead have menus open quietly in the different quadrants of the screen. It really shouldn't take me 5 minutes and a lot of random clicking to figure out how to create a new database (file)!
Some of this might be forgivable if things actually worked seamlessly, but of course, they do not. Trying to open a database created with an older version of Access was a real exercise frustration. Upon opening it informed me it needed to convert the database ( a fairly common request from Access) but it then proceeded to quietly fail for reasons still unknown to me. I eventually discovered that while Access 2007 would not, for whatever reason convert the database it would import it. But for all the fantastic user experience-ness of this new version I had to figure that out on my own.
I'd certainly find it difficult recommending anyone "upgrade" to this nonsense.
sgw555 - Feb 18th 2009 4:13 PM
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