My opinion on the new Office 12 UI

I have had a few people ask me what I thought about the new Office 12 user interface (haven’t heard? welcome back from under your rock… check it out here) and my verdict is out and will remain out until I have the chance to get my hands dirty with it.  Some people are crooning over it while others are blasting it, but I am not interested in those opinions unless you use it at work as a MSFT employee or are in the TAP program.  Seeing screenshots and blurry images of it in the PDC keynote does not make for an application user experience.   That is why I am reserving any opinion or judgment, but I do have hopes….

I hope MSFT employed the use of a kick-ass usability team from the start in order to make the most usable UI.

I hope there aren’t cases of ‘follow the other guys’ and instead in any case of the UI that looks really familiar already is because usability tests dictated that is what works best.

I hope application features truly are easier to find and use and that the new format can increase speed of working.

I hope screen real estate is still something you can control with showing/hiding and the size of toolbars.

And I hope Joe User can handle the change, I don’t worry about us geeks.