The Story of the Ribbon

I was reading through commentary from people who attended last week's MIX conference in Las Vegas. Running across Miguel de Icaza's kind words reminded me that I hadn't posted a follow-up about my MIX talk yet.

Last week, I presented a session at MIX called "The Story of the Ribbon." I talked a bit about the general design process we used to come up with the Office 2007 user interface, to iterate on it, and to evaluate it. As part of the discussion, I showed for the first time some of the early prototypes we worked on (and abandoned or refined) along the way.

It's always fun to present substantially new content, and this was my first time giving large portions of this talk. The audience was great and, although you can't hear them on the video, they seemed to be into it and enjoying the presentation. It was a lot of fun!

Watch "The Story of the Ribbon"
(Video, audio, and slides)

Download "The Story of the Ribbon"
(Slides and audio only, Windows Media, 146 MB)

Alternate Formats:

Download for iPod
(.mp4, 121 MB)

Download the PowerPoint slides only
(.pptx, 20 MB)

Dowload the slides only as a PDF
(.pdf, 19 MB)

Although I showed a few prototypes, I truly only scratched the surface of what the team created during the design phase of Office 2007. I spent a weekend painstakingly going through thousands of pictures to choose a few representative samples to show. Because I only had 75 minutes, I knew clicking through 25,000 pictures probably wasn't going to work.

Here are photos of the beginning and the end of the talk courtesy of Long Zheng. (You'll have to watch the presentation to see what's in-between!)

Over the last few days, the screenshots of the evolution of Word from version 1.0 to 2003 have been lifted from this presentation and subsequently posted and reposted all over the web.

That's OK, but if you want to see the full, original screenshots along with the commentary and discussion, please read parts 2, 3, and 4 of the Why the UI? series of posts.

While at MIX, I also participated in a panel discussion called "What's the Secret Formula?" along with Mike Schroepfer from Mozilla, Dan Harrelson from Adaptive Path, and Daniel Makoski from the Surface team at Microsoft. This was an interesting discussion about some of the challenges inherent in delivering on great user experiences.

Watch "What's the Secret Formula?"

Thanks to everyone who came up and introduced themselves after the session and throughout MIX. I enjoyed talking to you and meeting so many of you face-to-face!