If you don’t already, get a feed for Jensen Harris

Jensen Harris works on the MSFT user experience team and has been regularly posting great info about the much talked about Office 12 “ribbon”.  If you are interested in Office 12, usability or reasoning behind the ribbon, check out his blog.  Plus he is funny to boot.

Some recent posts:

What programs get the new Office UI?
A number of programs and services make up what is now called the Microsoft Office System.  Not all of them will include the new user interface I’ve been blogging about in Office 12….

The Why of the New UI (Part 1)
This is the first in a series of Monday entries I’m going to publish over the upcoming weeks in which I outline some of the reasons we decided to pursue a new user interface for Office 12….

Ye Olde Museum Of Office Past (Why the UI, Part 2)
Today, I want to take you on a journey.  A journey that starts back into the cold recesses of the mid-1980s, back into the days of EGA and serial port mice and the MS-DOS Executive……

Thrown For a Loop
The Ribbon is an example of what’s called in academic circles “modal” design.  Broadly, this means a design which is split into “modes”, only one of which is active at a time.  In the Ribbon’s case, this means that the features are grouped together into tabs, and only one tab is shown at a time….

Be Willing To Be Wrong
Early in our work designing Ribbon content, we had little data to go on in terms of how different content layouts within the Ribbon would affect the usability of the features being laid out….