In between watching the Google Wave video and Slumdog Millionaire, I got around to completing the first set of tabs for the ribbon in RSS Bandit. Screenshots are below, as usual let me know what you think.

Fig 1: The home tab. This is the default tab on launching the application. I like that formerly hidden features of the application like subscribing to newsgroups and managing podcasts are now front and center without having to compromise on the common tasks that people want to perform.

Fig 2: The ability to synchronize RSS Bandit with your Google Reader or NewsGator Online feeds is also now a lot more discoverable instead of being hidden in some obscure menu with an obscure name ("Synchronize Feeds"). 

Fig 3: The folder tab. This is menu is contextual and becomes selected when you click on a folder in the tree view. There are two features I’d like to call out in this view; Rules and Filters.

Fig 4: The rules tool is where we’ll end up placing existing and new options on behavior the user would like executed on receipt or viewing of new content.

Fig 5: The filter tool is used for filtering the items that show up in the list view. We've had several requests for this feature over the past few years but couldn’t figure out an elegant way to incorporate it into the user interface.

Fig 6: The feed tab. This is a contextual tab that is selected when you click on a feed in the tree view. One feature that I love which is now properly highlighted is that we support creating new posts in feeds that support this such as newsgroups (existing feature) or posting a new status update on Facebook if you have hooked it up as a feed source (new feature).

Fig 7: The item tab. This is the contextual tab that is highlighted when you select an item in the list view. There are no new features highlighted here. What we do think will be interesting is if we make it straightforward for existing and new IBlogExtension plugins to end up showing up in the item tab. So you should think of this tab as being extensible and should expect that some of our existing plugins (e.g. "Email This", "Post to Twitter", etc) will also end up in this tab.


Sunday, May 31, 2009 9:57:49 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
To be frank, I think it's far too busy, and I would question the desirability for a ribbon-style toolbar on an RSS reader, something that really doesn't need that much functionality.

Then, I like my menus, so there is personal preference.
Sunday, May 31, 2009 10:38:57 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Wow, just wow. I really hope this Ribbon UI is an option because in these screenshots it looks like an amazing waste of screen space.

I understand (and actually like) the use of the Ribbon in something like Word where there's a large number of options and sub-options that people use on a regular basis, but for something like RSS Bandit, or any feed/news/email reader it's complete overkill.

This was my great fear for the Ribbon UI, that developers would integrate it into their products without thought about a) whether it was really needed and b) what's appropriate to be in a Ribbon item.

The most commonly used commands in RSS Bandit (and most rss/email readers) are basically Next-Item, Prev-Item, Next-Feed, Update, Add, Mark-All-Read and Star/Fav/Mark. These seven or eight commands fit perfectly in a regular toolbar and even leave enough space for a couple more, and even a search bar.

The way the different Ribbon panes contain many duplicated items and rarely used options (podcast settings?) suggests to me that there are really not enough frequently used items to justify a Ribbon and as a result you're struggling to keep it from looking bare.
Monday, June 1, 2009 2:03:01 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
It looks ok but wonder about the heavy use of contextual tabs and UX regen overhead.

I'm not sure if it's part of the fluent toolkit but have seen ribbons with the option to force small icons and disable the text labels which addresses many on the concerns regardng screen real estate.
Monday, June 1, 2009 6:11:52 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
The ribbon is showing up everywhere these days. Even the new versions of Word and Paint have it and they have fewer options than RSS Bandit.
Henri Wiechers
Monday, June 1, 2009 9:08:19 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Add a few more options and you may be able to do away with that annoying space where content is displayed entirely!

Ribbon use here seems inappropriate. It reminds me rather of the spoof 'Microsoft Redesigns the iPod box' video.
Monday, June 1, 2009 10:49:15 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
I can understand wanting to implement a ribbon UI, however I just really don't think it works for a RSS reader. To me it would make more sense to have nice simple menu bar like Windows Mail and Explorer and Photo Gallery have with an option alt- reveal for the occasionally used menus like File and so on...

Just out of curiousity though... how come you chose the 2007 ribbon style over that new one showcased in the Windows 7 apps?
Monday, June 1, 2009 12:05:53 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Looks about 14 pixels taller than the Word 2007 ribbon, and you can really feel the loss of space in those screenshots. 14px might not sound like much, but please, try putting Word up against the mock-up, and see how much more compact it manages to be.

I think that with some trimming and compactness, it might be much more readily accepted.
Monday, June 1, 2009 12:07:58 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Improving the look of the tree and item list views would also be higher on my list of feature requests than a ribbon: The fonts look dated and the constant refreshing is distracting.
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