Moving Beyond Menus and Toolbars in Microsoft Office

   Julie Larson-Green, Microsoft

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design

Farewell, menus and toolbars. More than 20 years after the introduction of the Macintosh, software has outgrown the basic building blocks of today's standard user interface. The upcoming version of Microsoft Office does away with the top-level menus and toolbars in favor of a new task-oriented, contextual user interface.

This seminar will provide a historical perspective on the evolution of the Office user interface and the battle against the mounting complexity of the product. You'll get a behind-the-scenes look at the different design iterations, and an in-depth look at the new Office UI constructs, including the Ribbon, galleries, contextual tabs, and the MiniBar. You'll also learn the ideas behind "results-oriented design," which Jakob Nielsen wrote, "might well be the way to empower users in the future."

As manager of the Office User Experience team, Julie Larson-Green is responsible for the redesigned Microsoft® Office “12” user interface. She leads a multidisciplinary team in the development of the overall user model for the Office family of applications.

Larson-Green joined Microsoft in 1993 and has contributed to the design of several products, including Visual C++®, Microsoft Internet Explorer, FrontPage®, Windows® SharePoint® Team Services and Office. Prior to joining Microsoft, she was a software engineer on the Adobe PageMaker desktop publishing software for the Macintosh and Windows.

View this talk on line at CS547 on Stanford OnLine

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