Monday, September 13, 2010

ERDAS IMAGINE 2010 Ribbon UI: Invest one week and experiment for yourself

There have been many positive comments about the ERDAS IMAGINE 2010 Ribbon user interface (UI). There are some users who have not made the transition, saying they do not want to learn a new UI. I understand the comfortable feeling we have with an old UI. I remember not liking the move from a command prompt / menu system of the ERDAS 7.x series and the pre-ArcGIS versions to the graphical user interface (GUI) of ERDAS IMAGINE in the 1990s and of ArcGIS in the 2000s. Notwithstanding humans seeking to stay within a comfort zone of what is known, if we are not learning something new every day, are we wasting the learning skills we developed in all our years in school?

Val Clarke, a wise friend of mine and Dr. John Jensen's, told me in about 1983, "There is no growth without change." I have discovered over the subsequent 27 years, he is correct.

To help with ERDAS' customers transition (or growth), ERDAS wrote a document last year to help the transition. This document is named, "Increasing Workflow Efficiency with ERDAS IMAGINE 2010" and
can be found on the ERDAS IMAGINE Product page under the "Product Literature" tab (see:

The move to the Ribbon design has allowed ERDAS to expose more of the power of ERDAS IMAGINE than ever before. We spend a lot of time on placement of functions, and continue to debate and improve each development iteration. If you have not spent one-week using the ERDAS IMAGINE 2010 Ribbon User Interface, you are missing out. Invest one-week and then tell me if the old UI is better than the new.

Don't take my word for it. Invest one week and experiment for yourself.


Hugh Pumphrey said...

There is no doubt that the interface is more beautiful and will be more familiar to new users. The old one was rather a hang-over from the 1980s. The main problem I have with the new interface is finding things that you know must be there. Like the raster attributes editor. The docs tell you to use this for many things, but not how to find it in the new GUI. I have spent an hour or two clicking every button in the new interface and looking at all the documentation. I still can't find it.

Unknown said...

I've been using the ribbon interface for some time now, in Imagine and other software such as Microsoft Windows and Autocad. I DO NOT LIKE IT.

I think it's unfortunate that as a consumer who pays megabucks for software licensing that I'm told, basically, that I have no choice but to use what the company says I should use. I'd be happier if there were a choice to use either. After all, I'm paying for these products.

People would argue that I don't *have* to use them, but realistically they are the industry standard of choice. NOT PLEASED.

Paul said...

Hello unknown. Why unknown? Let the world know who you are. Be proud of your observations.

In ERDAS IMAGINE 2010, ERDAS gave you both User Interfaces (UIs). You could use the old and/or the new. So, you do have a choice.

Also, there is a command search function whereby you can search by the command names and aliases and the Ribbon will tell you where to find the command in the Ribbon, and give you the option to launch it right then and there.

I am not sure there is another software company that has developed an old UI with the release of a new UI, nor one that allows you to search for the command.

Is the Ribbon perfect? No. Nothing is perfect in this life. The stated goal is to make remote sensing technology simpler for people entering the remote sensing market. ERDAS wants to expand the technology from the pioneers to the new adopters. Research indicated this could not be done withe the old UI.

Finally, for the real oldtimers, if they look carefully in the executable, the old UI is still there. It is not supported by Customer Support, but it is there and works 99% of the time. So, choice is provided by ERDAS. :)