Microsoft shows off Office 2008 interface prototypes

In a very rare move, Microsoft recently unveiled a plethora of screenshots that showed early interface prototypes. Some of them feel closer to Office 2k3’s interface, and some of them are even “wilder” than the Ribbon interface that they ended up adopting in the end.

Read on to see more pictures of how the interface evolved through it’s development.

The following picture shows a slightly “crazier” seashell instead of the more traditional Office button we have in the current version. Though it’s visually appealing, it would have certainly created many restraints for the developers, which would end up breaking the program’s functionality.

This next picture shows a “middle” version Ribbon with a very dark look, which reminds me a little of the “dark aqua” style that some Apple fans named to the latest versions of Apple programs like iTunes.

And finally how the interface currently looks, and why the options were organized in the way they were: due to the way the human eye reacts to the interface and which areas caught more “attention”.

Although it’s debatable, I’m one of the fans of the new Office interface, and since the early beta builds I tested I was glad to see how much care Microsoft placed in the interface rather than increasing the complexity of the program, like some of the earlier builds did.

In all honesty, I think Windows Vista’s interface would have been much better if they had adopted some of the ideas the Office interface design team did with the Ribbon.

[Source: I started something]

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