A file-based menu system has been the defacto and ubiquitous solution for navigation and option-picking for applications since the earliest days of computing. The vertical hierarchies lend themselves well to the linear tasks in word processing, printing, etc. and are born out of a need for saving screen real estate while allowing users a quasi-intuitive way of accessing functionality.
Over the past few years, we've seen a number of companies create alternatives or addenda to the file-based system: Microsoft Ribbons, Firefox's upper-left orange bar, Adobe/Macromedia "Palettes" with mixed success. The Ribbons are -- arguable -- no easier to use than the file system while "Palettes" are so useful that Adobe and Macromedia fought over them.
I want to use this space to play with different ideas for the menus in LibreOffice: at both suite and component levels. My primary approach would be that all functionality that is available across the component products would be treated with the same design and interaction model. Specialized functions within the component products would have their own treatments -- perhaps -- but would always be found in the same location with the suite-level structure.
This is a proposed new menu system UI. It takes the current File, Edit, View... and puts them into one menu. The mock-up should be self explanatory, but here follows some explanation in case it fails at that.
Here are some icons made by Jonata, and He did a great job on these.
I think that we can use these icons for the menu. We just need to flip them around change some things and make a main application icon.
I made a main application icon and an extra tool bar to the side.
Here is what it would look like when the icon was clicked.
Now what we have to do is decide what goes into the menu. I made this more like the Firefox menu bar but with some more commonly used functions showing. I liked how they put Edit grayed out and then showed the cut, copy, past(I X for “Delete”) icons next to it with a side menu for more options.
If you look at the Firefox menu they took all the menus and put them into this one button. Should we go something like that or keep only the most used features in there.
Here are some icons that I have made for the side of the tool bars.
Each tab corresponds with its own tool bar. Here are a few of the Bars and Tabs that I have made to show what would be in them.
[animated gif] Media:Libre-Tabs.gif
Clicking the tab will bring out the corresponding tool bar. I don't know whether we can make it swing in and out like this but I think that it would be cool. Here are all the tool bars that would be in all programs. These are the Bars that all the programs will have.
These are the bars that will go specifically with each program. I Have only shown what is different for this program. the other bars can be seen in Writer. I have not done tabs or Menu bars for Drawing, and Database. The Formula Tab and bar has be shone in the other programs bars.