The call was from somebody senior, well respected, well paid, under pressure and now well chuffing annoyed.
“YOUR FUCKING EXCEL 2007 DESTROYED MY MOST CRITICAL FUCKING FILE!!!”
Thus started one of the most amusing demonstrations of the Ribbon teams complete and utter lack of understanding of Office use in the real world.
Our user, lets call him Mister Angry from Fookin-Fumingville, had just been ‘upgraded’ (Microsofts term – not mine, not the preferred term of most experienced Excellers, and certainly not Mr Angry’s opinion) overnight to the latest Microsoft Office System ™.
He came in to work the next day, as usual updating his market price spreadsheet to reflect the previous days close. Except this wasn’t ‘usual’… not by a long way.
When you look at the Fail UI in Excel, do you see a file open icon? (probably THE most common first file operation on planet earth (certainly the corporate bit anyway).
Do you see anything that could be a file Icon?
Yep so did he, click the blue floppy button, browse to the file, try to ‘open’ it, overwrite it with the fresh new default blank file, call Simon and shout at him. (Act surprised when Simon turns and and pisses himself laughing)
Thank heavens for Shadow Copy is all I can say, revert to yesterdays saved version, open, update, job done.
Now, we could blame user error. And perhaps if I thought the effluent UI offered anything of value to normal people I might try and defend it, but honestly? No obvious way to open previous work? I think its a perfect example of the gross skewing to inexperienced users in the misinformation they used to destroy a great productivity suite.
And this is not an isolated incident, plenty of other users, including me, have struggled to quickly and simply open existing files (ALT F O… (FO- how fitting ;-)), and plenty continue to not notice the save button up there in the title bar area, rather than down in the application user interface.
I have thought for a while that some of these common dialogs are too similar, especially when their usage is so different. On my VMs I colour each desktop a different vivid colour so I know which one I’m looking at. Maybe they could do the same with the File Open and file save as dialogs?
Why did they get it so wrong? Maybe they missed all those file open operations that get triggered from Explorer. Maybe the unrepresentative sample of beginners that allowed the Customer Experience program simply create their shopping lists, print it and close Excel, maybe they don’t know how to save?
Anyone else seen this accidental file overwrite?
Anyone else think the common dialogs are a bit too similar?
More ribbon posts tomorrow, and for the rest of the week…