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October 12, 2009


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Recognition rather than recall. Do not overload the customer's memory. Make possible actions visible.

I beg to differ on this one. Would not this rule out the ribbon? Many commands are not visibile when you need them and others show in different locations. Sounds like you are not following your own development rules.

Flexibility and efficiency of use. Support both novice and expert users through alternative command access (accelerators)

With the ribbon now both novice and expert are on the same level, non-productive.

I expected there would be comments like this. I wasn't posting this to defend anything just introduce a topic. Would the above heuristics rule out the ribbon? I think the shifting of tool positions will frustrate recall. Other changes such as icon language and text labels would help. This inspection method is also just a tool and can miss issues that show up clearer in longer term tests. To productivity I've read a lot of people on-line citing novices are having an easier time so I don't think a definitive statement can be made there. Also this specific heuristic suggests alternative access for experts, such Revit's keyboard shortcuts, so enhancements there might be appreciated. Regardless there are some real factors underlying dissatisfaction and heuristics can help categorize them.

Interesting error message to feature. The rewrite certainly helps to make the message clearer, however we have found that the explanation is not always the case/cause. We have seen issues with linked DWGs that cannot be found, and we have found the error carries all the way through from an un-found linked DWG through a linked Revit file, into a Revit file that users are working on.

I'll will contact you offline about your experience with the error. While its a good example of a long error that speaks to a need for a design that avoids it I've always assumed it provided the correct guidance.

I am still going to have to disagree with the "Makes it easier to learn." I am teaching a class of 20 and they are struggling with the interfaces changing and tools hidden. This was never an issue with < 2009. We are also struggling with the options bar issue. Prior to 2010 all options were located there. Now Half are there and half are in the Ribbon. Plus without the Type selector and properties button the options are way to the left, almost hidden by the browser. All of these are slowing the learning not speeding.

And I am not asking you to defend, but how can you say all of these tools you proport were used and the result was clearly flawed.

Time for new tools.

I may have accidentally implied it but it is not the case very tool is used on every project or interpreted optimally. There are also external constraints on a design such as implementation challenges, time, business goals - much like a building project. Your experience teaching is good to share. I have read a variety of opinions and have my own experiences. I'll concur with you and state my personal opinion is the option bar is not fully resolved. 2010 removed contextual commands and left the options. The common experience prior to 2010 was the option bar was consistently overlooked so an effort was started. I'm curious if other features such as the rendering dialog or consistent open dialogs would be more emblematic. The ribbon is the largest and most recent project so it tends to represent everything. More time will tell.

By coincidence we had exactly that error message for the same reason as robert (in v2009). Although the message in v2010 is more descriptive, I never would have figured out it was an attached dwg in a linked Revit model causing the problem. talking of which, the messages relating to attached/overlay nested Revit links need some serious attenntion.

Tim/Robert, Please send me an email offline and we can discuss links and these messages. I could even set up a conference call if its not to difficult to coordinate.

I appreciate the Fig. 1 comment - those of us who have been in software development/sales must be able to relate to this - kudos for your willingness to be funny!

Actually Microsoft had one much funnier. I had a screenshot but have missplaced it.

In NT 4.0 adding a new feature that was not installed prompted the OS to say

Feature not available. Please insert your Windows NT Install CD into the Floppy drive.

Dialog continued to exist through Windows 2000 and was gone by XP

I looked that error and it seems it misleads by reporting on nested items while implying it is the parent. There are also implications of ownership made which may or may not be true. Thanks to Robert for more info.

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