Some famous person who’s name I can’t remember once wrote:
‘Sorry this letter is so long, I didn’t have time to write a shorter one.’
Lots of us have taken that to be an acceptance that succinct communication can take more effort that just blathering on. They could have just been being ironic of course!
It occurs to me that the scandalous squanderor of screen space (round of applause?) that is the ribbon is this principle personified.
They didn’t have the time/money/ability to create a clear intuitive compact succinct interface so they gave us that bloated bag of hammers instead.
I have been working almost exclusively with Office 2007 for a few months now. Long enough to begin to be able to find stuff in the stupid places they have put things. Not long enough to become a believer, indeed I doubt I ever will believe the ribbon offers any material advantage over a proper interface.
The thing I keep coming back to is litter. It just seems like so much litter messing up my workspace. If I click on the formula tab to do something, then carry on with other stuff, 10 minutes later when I want to use the UI again its still showing the (now irrelevant) formula tab – wtf?
Of course if they made it keep switching back to the home tab it would be even less productive. If they made it context sensitive it would be sensitive to what you just did, not the more useful what you are about to do.
No, the whole thing is fundamentally, woefully flawed, driven by ignorance and misinterpretation of grossly skewed data. Oh well.