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[libreoffice-design] UI Refresh/Refinement


I've seen a lot of discussion about the UI here. A lot of people calling for
the implementation of the Ribbon and people that have felt any such adoption
would alienate users that came to LO to find refuge from the Ribbon (I'd be
interested to see some numbers regarding this). As years have gone by, the
Ribbon has now become a success. It has people actually lauding it on sites
like Slashdot with drastically reduced opposition.

That said, the Ribbon was never the right direction for LO. LO wasn't ever
about adopting what works for competitors, it was about providing the best
Free and Open Office solution possible. That doesn't come with the caveat of
being familiar to users that have used it from day one. It comes with a
commitment to improve wherever possible and part of that is providing the
best User Experience possible.

The user interface for LO is dated, there's no denying that and while there
are a few bandaids that can be applied to make it less dated. Perhaps a
bigger discussion needs to be opened regarding how to revolutionise the
experience. Can LO provide something that's future-thinking?

Now, people must have ideas that they've not come forward with and I'd like
to read them. But I also come with my own proposal that I'd like to bounce
off of you all: I'd like to suggest contextualising the User Interface.

The first goal of any such endeavour is to decide on what needs to be in the
primary UI and what is contextual? Formatting for example is somewhere that
you can drastically refuse the real estate as much of that is contextual.
Insert is another one.

It's important to bear in mind that I'm not talking about removing these
functions, just putting them within a menu and only exposing them within the
primary UI upon when they're likely to be used. One thing I've learned for
certain as a result of using modern smartphones is that contextual works and
people have adapted to these incredibly quickly. I want LO to leverage that.



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