Saturday, June 7, 2008

Ribbon tying you up?

I've just read an interview with the product designer for the ribbon. Quite interesting and revealing. "The introduction of the ribbon is part of a larger effort to improve our customers' productivity — making AutoCAD easier to use than ever. " I'm sure he is aware there are many who would ask "what were you thinking?" I had to identify with another user who said it was the first time (since the first time) that he had opened Autocad and had no idea where to start.
"AutoCAD is a difficult program to learn. Where is a new user to start? " - I didn't like the idea that the whole interface has been geared towards new users. I think the focus should be on the dedicated user who is on the machine for most of his working day and just needs to get on with the job rather than focus on newbies and "making it easier for them" (said with a whiney voice). I must admit I get impatient with lazy drafters unwilling to spend time improving their efficiency.
BUT I think if I step back and listen to what he has to say about his vision for the future, (which has been put on hold for most of the 'architecture' interface), that the ribbon is customisable, it is an improvement on the dashboard (how to turn a 22" back into a 15"), and they are focused on productivity, I guess it will eventually become part of our work practise and we'll move on. As long as they give it to Revit as well :-)

Anyway I think it's worth reading the whole article. NEW! And part 2


Anonymous said...

and now in 2010... only ribbon positive I've read is that it has indirectly slightly increased drawing area on display. uselessness or rubegoldberg "workflow" of the ribbon forces user to use typed-in commands, impelling user to completely hide the useless toolbar (aka ribbon).
the ribbon is simply a multi-level flyout with dodging oversize icons as the intermediate flyout level, and that requires very wide display if someone were to attempt to show all of the flyouts.

Nathan Ellery said...

I posted this article 1.5yrs ago. I use ACA2009 in production work and home and on both I've left the ribbon open. I thought I might as well get used to it - it's not going away. But I use it little, the layer panel, the Dynamic block panel. But the DBP dissappeared on me and I found other ways (Right click menu) to get what I want so I don't care. It won't be repaired! We will probably move to 2011 version when it comes out so I wonder what's different. It's just to slow to open,open, flick etc. I just type a command and I'm done (heavy alias & lisp user). I'm happy to type - it's quicker and it's easy to bring your customisations along.