Aparently a lot of users of OpenOffice see a need for an overhaul of the UI :
So OpenOffice.org is starting project Renaissance :
The problem statement
As you all might know, OpenOffice.org users complain about its cumbersome and outdated user interface (UI). A great deal of functionality is hidden in many overstuffed toolbars, poorly structured menus and complex dialogs. Functions are thus difficult to access for novice users or too inefficient to use for expert users. In addition, the UI offers an antiquated look & feel which is hardly capable to communicate innovation and to create joy of use.
Since recently, office productivity vendors started to seek for experience-based differentiation by focusing on usage efficiency and a visually appealing interface. With an inefficient and visually unattractive graphical user interface, it will be hard for us to motivate more users of competitive offerings to switch to our product. In addition, we will face difficulties entering and growing in market segments with users who value a fresh look & feel and an easy to access and to use functionality.
Are you an OpenOffice user .. be patient; its a long term project…
OpenOffice’s UI will be getting a refurb
In a long-term project, the OpenOffice team wants to thoroughly rework the free office software’s user interface. This was already widely expected to happen with version 3.0, which no longer looks contemporary in many users’ eyes. In addition, the office suite’s menus have become so cluttered and badly structured that users find it impossible to locate certain functions – a problem Microsoft addressed with the ribbon feature in Office 2007. Ribbons have replaced the classic menus of Word, Excel, Access and Powerpoint in the latest Office, and will come to Paint and Wordpad in Windows 7.
Project Renaissance is now acting on the criticism and hopes to attract widespread user participation. In a first phase, the project wants to collect users’ opinions and experiences – an online questionnaire is already available, and will be followed by an extension to OpenOffice that collects application usage data and forwards it to the project team in anonymous form.
Strong recognition for Microsoft Office and the ribbon. Which as also this clipping suggests will be in almost all Microsoft Apps in the Office 14 wave (next version).