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Space, Discoverability and Improved Workflow Logic

  • 25 November 2014

In memoQ 2014 R2 we introduce a ribbon. However this is not just a new toolbar but a significant improvement to the memoQ user experience and gives the user more space, makes commands easier to discover and improves the workflow logic.


The problem is a simple one and is faced by many software developers. Over time we introduced more features, our software became powerful and our customers more productive. One of the design principles we have adhered to since the beginning was to keep the interface simple. A memoQ user has to easily be able to find what they need and use it quickly without having to search through menus or even other parts of the interface. It is now ten years since we started work on memoQ and eight years since the first version was used by a paying customer. During this time a lot of very useful functionality was introduced. However, we have always been very concerned about the user experience and some times when we introduced functionality the interface became a little more cluttered and it became a little more difficult to find the right command.
 
 memoQ 2014 R2 will be released in the second week of December. With this release we address this issue and greatly improve the user interface. In particular we give the user more space, make commands easier to discover and improve the workflow logic.
 

Space

In memoQ 2014 we introduced functionality where memoQ could extract images or embedded objects. This was a great new benefit but it highlighted the problem we had with space. We were using the bottom quarter of the screen and not giving a lot of benefit for it.

 Translations
 

In memoQ 2014 R2 we have taken the commands which are below the toolbar and added them to the ribbon. This greatly increases the size of the list box used within memoQ.

 memoQ 2014 R2 - Ribbon


Discoverability

In memoQ 2014 it was relatively easy to find commands, providing of course you were an advanced user who used memoQ every day of your life for the last two years. However, from time to time we came across people who wanted to do something and could not find the right command.

 With memoQ 2014 R2 we have changed all that. If you want to find something you look in the ribbon. These are very logically named and hopefully much easier to discover what you want. Each new button in the ribbon has a long tool tip which gives an accurate description of what the command does.

Abbreviations - memoQ

Improved Workflow Logic

The biggest story with the new interface may that memoQ has moved from having a "librarian" mindset of commands to a layout that reflects the sequence of tasks. We have taken what we learnt about real-life workflows in translations and put this into memoQ. This has resulted in a huge improvement to the memoQ user interface. We have logically placed commands together which fit together in the workflow of a translator or a project manager. We believe that this improvement will be an important improvement to how memoQ users work with the software.

Workflow

One other thing

In memoQ 2014 R2 we introduce a ribbon. We are grateful to our customers and friends who have commented on this already. Some have pointed out negative issues. A number have said that they have learnt the memoQ commands and now they have to find everything again. We believe this process will be easier than they think. However if they don’t like the ribbon they can always minimise it by selcting the “^” button in the top right hand corner. A translator can also be working in the translation editor with just keyboard shortcuts and these have not changed since the previous version.

 We realise in future releases there may be some improvements needed to how we implemented the ribbon. We look forward to hearing your views when you get to use the software. I believe that the main change will be more space, easier discoverability and better workflow logic.
 memoQ 2014 R2 will be released in the second week of December. Before and after the release this blog will discuss some of the changes you can expect.