Ribbon Design

You want to use a ribbon in the next release of your application. There are many decisions that you need to make, but you’re not sure how to proceed. You want to make sure that using a ribbon solves problems—not introduces new ones. You want to take full advantage of the ribbon’s capabilities and be consistent with the Microsoft ribbon guidelines. Most importantly, you want to make sure that both new and existing customers are thrilled with the results.

An effective ribbon is hard to design, so don’t take success for granted. Who better to help you than the person who wrote the ribbon guidelines for Microsoft Windows?


We will review your application, and do the following:

  • Provide a questionnaire to help us understand your existing application and your goals for using a ribbon.
  • Evaluate your existing application’s commanding design, looking for its strengths, weaknesses, and discoverability issues.
  • Validate that adapting a ribbon really is a good move and determine what it will take to be successful.
  • Take an inventory of the application’s commands and determine which should be move to the ribbon. (The remaining commands will be in context, shortcut menus, or dialog boxes.)
  • Organize the commands into core, contextual, and modal tabs based on the common program scenarios.
  • Organize the commands into groups, then choose the best presentation for each command.
  • Choose tab, group, and command labels that are clear, concise, and consistent with established standards.
  • Recommend program architecture changes to support advanced ribbon features such as live preview.
  • Work through details such as the application menu, quick access toolbar, command sizing, galleries, shortcuts, accessibility, maintaining backward compatibility.
  • Review the results for Windows ribbon guideline compliance.


During this process, we will provide:

  • Early feedback at key decision points.
  • An initial draft of the proposed ribbon design.
  • A final document of the proposed ribbon design, along with supplemental information that you’ll need to be successful.
  • A conference call to discuss the results.


For more information, please contact consulting@uxdesignedge.com.


For more information, please contact info@uxdesignedge.com

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