Funny story about the origin of the Office ribbon menu

Note: This post is over 4 years old. It was first published in January 2007

Office 2007 ribbon menu

According to Diggnation, Microsoft ran a number of focus groups for Office 2007 and asked people what new features they wanted Office to do. They gave a list of needs and nice-to-haves. Funnily enough, all of the requested functionality was in Office already, but nobody could find it because it’s all hidden away in the many-layered UI.

This is an important lesson – if your users can’t find a feature, it may as well not exist and you’ve wasted your time making it. The Ribbon menu has done a lot to fix this problem, since it only shows you the features relevant to what you are doing at that particular point in time.