Forget about Windows Vista’s Windows Aero graphical user interface applauded by Microsoft as one of the top new evolved features of the operating system, but less popular with the platform’s users. Windows Seven, the successor of Windows Vista has the potential to introduce a completely revamped GUI, courtesy of Julie Larson-Green, Corporate Vice President, Windows Experience Program Management. If the name sounds familiar it is because of the new interface brought to the table by the office 2007 System. Together with
Steven Sinofsky, Senior Vice President, Windows and Windows Live Engineering Group, Larson-Green is
responsible for the Ribbon.
“Most recently, she has been responsible for leading the user-interface design for Office XP, Office 2003 and the 2007 Office System, which is being applauded for the innovation and reinvention of the user experience for productivity software,” Microsoft revealed adding that “as corporate vice president of program management for the Windows Experience at Microsoft, Julie Larson-Green oversees the design for the Microsoft Windows operating system. Her responsibilities include the end-user interaction design and overall experience for the Windows products after the release of Windows Vista, which will be available in 2007. She is responsible for program management, product design, usability and product planning.”
Essentially the future visual style and design of Windows Seven are in the hands of Larson-Green. And given the fact that Larson-Green plus Sinofsky managed to produce the excellent Ribbon for Office 2007 while scraping the old and obsolete interface of the Office suite, the same can be expected for Windows Seven. Not counting the small details such as the Vista Start Menu orb and the translucent and glass effects, Vista’s UI is traditional and follows in the classic Windows style line. It is time for a breath of fresh air and for a redesign. But it remains to be seen if Larson-Green and Sinofsky will show the same courage they did with the Ribbon for Office 2007 with the GUI for Windows Seven. It will be more than a bold move, it will actually be a gambit.
Jensen Harris, the Group Program Manager of the Microsoft Office User Experience Team told APC that the Ribbon: “originated with Steven Sinofsky. Steven had certainly noticed, like we all had, the growing interface clutter around the core Office apps, and he thought we should put a set of people together and at least think about this. But I sometimes think that he didn’t really expect us to actually replace the entire UI! (…) Julie is definitely a champion of building great user experiences, and I know that in Windows she’ll be looking to do the same types of things that she did in Office, which espouse great design values. Whether or not that means we’ll see such a radical overhaul of the UI in Windows 7, I think it’s too early to say.”
Microsoft, Windows Vista, Aero, Windows Seven, Windows 7, Windows Seven Ribbon