LibreOffice UI Prosposal – 2a

So, after having my first idea (Link) and my “Old menu on top” proposal (Link), now the “Ribbon like widescreen optimised left-hand UI”:

Comments are, as always appreciated😉

16 thoughts on “LibreOffice UI Prosposal – 2a”

  1. much better, yeah

    of course some will wine when there’s no ui at the top anymore. top-ui can be made optional as a suggestion.

    Of course there is much optimization to do, but keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks😉 – Well all this pictures are *one* UI….
      Why?
      Citing my first post of this series:

      The “Flexy” UI has exactly 4 options:
      -Where should the menu be displayed? (2 options)
      –Top/ Bottom ; Left / Right
      -Should the favorites be displayed Yes / No
      -Ribbon like menus or classic menus (On the draft ribbon like; no favorites when choosing standard”

      So noone will whine. With this UI everything can be the same as the current and in the same way poles apart from the UI with only 4 options (see above…)

  2. So I can choose between the old interface that’s not being improved… and ribbon and It’s not an Improvement…
    Users don’t need this options… really… they just need an better interface… Like i already said… check Lotus Symphony. Just improve the fixed toolbar. Move the context toobar to the right… and improve it like on Symphony. I guess the menus also need some reorganization… and maybe menu themes like in Worperfect.

  3. Hello Florian,

    Glad to see you trying to find new way to do things; only by experimenting will we make progress.

    However, I wonder how much critical thought and analysis you have done for the various UI elements. It seems to me worth understanding what the benefits and drawbacks were of each UI approach provided historically: menus, the toolbar, multiple toolbars, context menus, contextually exposed toolbars, the ribbon. Some of the obvious issues are:
    * consistency — if I find the option I want, it will be in the same place next time
    * comprehensiveness — there is a way to know that all possible options have been examined
    * discoverability — I know where to look for options
    * convenience — I can get quickly to the option I know I want to use
    * applicability — I can figure out which options are applicable in any given situation
    and I am sure there are more, these just off the top of my head.

    From my personal experience, it seems to me that this leads to two basic patterns: one approach to getting at options should be stable and complete so that a user *could* (if painfully) work their way through all options and thereby learn the system, another approach should be contextual reducing the possible options to the minimum to maximize speed and discoverability.

    I suspect that a good understanding of the various existing options based on such an analysis would give you a good starting point in the redesign you are attempting.

    Regardless of the UI design, the UI should *not* jump around! So if contextual stuff is being offered the user, it should not make the working space jump around—a fixed area for contextual options is much less distracting.

    Perhaps some of this will help,

    cheers,
    ~adrian
    PS the type of complaining is spelled ‘whine’

    1. Hi!

      “Regardless of the UI design, the UI should *not* jump around! So if contextual stuff is being offered the user, it should not make the working space jump around—a fixed area for contextual options is much less distracting.”

      Well, I have never planned, that there will be jumping around…
      In fact I thought of different possibilities for users:
      – They can have their old UI (In fact the new UI should have the possibility to simulate the UI LibreOffice is using now…)
      – They can have a ribbon-like UI
      – They can have either the Standard (or “old” UI – I am not really consistent ;)) or a Ribbon-like UI, docking at one side of the screen –> IMHO widescreen optimisation…

      In my opinion it is very important for an UI to be flexible ( in a way like: Offering a lot of different types of known [or maybe wanted] feature, but (and that’s the point) noone should be forced to a change….

      I hope I could express my point of view more clearly😉

      1. By ‘jumping around’ I was referring to the current toolbars which magically appear in certain contexts. An example is the table toolbar which shows up when you click in a table then disappears when you leave the table. On its own this would be fine.

        However, since the toolbar is hidden in my default setup, when the toolbar appears in the new context, the UI refactors to allow for the extra toolbar element so the text moves around which is insanely distracting. Say you are just scrolling down a document with the down arrow key, then as you enter and leave contexts the text keeps moving around the screen.

        I suspect this is one characteristic that the ribbon has solved—new choices appear in different contexts but the text of the document itself does not change position due to the appearance and disappearance of those choices.

        ~adrian

  4. “In my opinion it is very important for an UI to be flexible”
    The more important thing is NOT to be flexible but to have a good interface by default so people don’t need to change that and so far I didn’t saw improvements on your proposals. And the “old” UI need lots of improvements. A good way to do an “widescreen” optimisation is by moving the context toolbar to the right as I keep saying.

  5. Please don’t do that. This will slow down the productivity because we have to put for some seconds the mouse cursor on the icons to see the tip to understand what it will do. I am using the ribbon toolbar for a while and I have always searching the button and traverse all of the icon menus. It is very annoying.

    1. It was only a idea of mine to do that. We (LibreOffice) might do something with the UI soon, but that was only a idea of mine! Sorry for writing everything bold, it is just important for anyone to know…😉

  6. Serif tools, like pageplus, have a bunch of stuff on the sides of the screen that work very well. The right hand side has colour controls, galleries, effects pallettes, tabbed, and the left drawing controls. Each tool, such as line, can be e.g. straight, curve, point-to-point,bezier, filled. The last behaviour is sticky. To change a button’s behaviour you press-and-hold for a small pop-up with the variants on.

    I’d go further, and loose the menu & status bars.

    I always liked the Gimp in that regard. Not found my way round the new one.

  7. Today I remembered where I saw some similar considerations:

    I have a heavy problem with all those suggestions, my brain works with columns and rows, and all those “sidebars” look rather cluttered for me. May be because I have been used to the “classic” menu structure for 30 years, but may be others think similar?
    Of course in the age of wide screens it is important to find a concept how to shift as much as possible of the dashboard from Top/bottom to the left and/or right side.
    I would like to keep a Menu bar,but with flexibility as a toolbar. I can us it in the old way on Top:

    Menu 1 Menu 2 Menu 3 Menu 4 MenuMenu 5 Menu 6 Menu 7

    or Vertical:
    Menu 1
    Menu 2
    Menu 3
    Menu 4
    MenuMenu 5
    Menu 6
    Menu 7

    Or as an Area
    Menu 1 Menu 2
    Menu 3 Menu 4
    MenuMenu 5
    Menu 6 Menu 7

    Also for the docked toolbars I would like to have a flexibility as we have it for the undocked ones, so that I can detach the bar to a rectangular area

    1. You are totally right – on this very thought I begun working and that came out😉
      BTW: I am not used to something for 30 years so I can’t tell you what others may think but I quite dislike “old” menus😉

  8. i like it the traditional way, a top bar rather than side bar. why not make it chooseable. you can choose to have the top bar, side bar, or both?

  9. maybe a bit late, but… please don’t think about integrating any “Ribbon”-styled Bar (or whatever). That is exactly the reason I still not understand Office 2010 although I have to work with it every day because I’m in a company calling “Microsoft Gold-ERP-Partner”.

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