The comments on the last two posts on screen real estate have been great. This is exactly the type of discourse we have been shooting for. I want to expand a bit on the vertical ribbon discussion and explore the topic of consistency. In his excellent paper on the topic, Jonathan Grudin, argues that pursuing consistency for it's own sake is misguided and that a user's tasks should override blanket consistency. To that end, the ribbon was designed as a system to be internally consistent to promote the transfer of learning but flexible enough to accommodate each product. For this release, each product team designed customizations based on specific users' needs and tasks and then prioritized the work based on the release schedule and resource availability. For instance, the Inventor team optimized their ribbon for expert use by developing a "compact mode" that turns all icons small and removes all labels (see below.) Our team, on the other hand, focused on customizing the contextual tab feature to accommodate the enormous number of possible combinations the Revit model allows.
The use of shared components across the Autodesk products is a relatively new practice. The customizations developed by each team during one release are evaluated for possible future implementation by the rest of the corporate products. With that said, what are your thoughts on the Inventor 2010 compact ribbon? Based on what you see below, is this something the Revit team should consider incorporating into a future release?
Inventor 2010 "compact" view of the vertical ribbon