We all know the ribbon is just a fat clumsy toolbar. And if you followed the big marketing push to try and convince us it is not big you’ll know that it is apparently 140 pixels deep.
Heres the odd thing though – the smaller your screen, the bigger the ribbon gets. Not just bigger relatively – bigger really.
As the screen gets narrower the ribbon extends itself down over another few lines of your work to make sure you can still see all those critical formatting options. (at the expense of a few rows of your irrelevant spreadsheet)
In the real world people run their screens at different resolutions. I guess a 19 or 20″ inch screen is pretty much standard. But that doesn’t mean everyone is running 1280 x800 or better. oh nonny no.
And the ribbon being the ribbon the controls adjust in completely random ways to ‘accommodate’ different screen resolutions.
I had a support call;
“Please can you tell me where on earth they have put the bloody fill options?”
Well Derrr! – “Certainly – Home tab, right hand side, where it says Fill”
“I don’t see it”
Eventually I went to see, sure enough, he was running a lower resolution than me and his UI just showed the buttons not the text (as above).
I seem to remember reduced support costs due to consistent UI control layout as being one of the fantasy benefits claimed for the fail UI.
From personal, enterprise support experience the ribbon will increase support costs (dramatically), and it is not consistent and stable, and it will present differently on different peoples machines, and there is no way to ‘reset to default’ unlike in Excel classique. You have to physically go to the users machine, or remote to it to work out what they are seeing.
So two big problems with the big fat clumsy toolbar
- It gets bigger vertically as screen resolution decreases
- It shuffles commands even more between different screen resolutions
- Its HUUUGGE