Design Concept for VisualBlogger 2004 Beta 3

I keep getting all this flak that my UI design skills suck. My only response thus far has been... "DUH!" So I've been working on some new UI, the first of which I showed off last week. I call it the "sexification" of VisualBlogger (sexification being a word I just made up meaning "to make sexy.") My CEO keeps telling me that I should stop using the word "sexy" in relation to software. I told him that if a computer program was 1/10th as sexy as a woman, more people would be happier using their computers.

So, colorful metaphors and software-related innuendo aside, here's a screenshot of where I'm at so far.

The tabs along the top represent different blog posts, even though they currently say "DockControl1", etc. It should have much more of a Word-like feel too it. I'm now using Tim Dawson's (man is he awesome or what?) SandDock control, which allows me to combine a OneNote feel for documents with a decidedly VS.NET feel on the right. The Post Options and ScratchPad can now be unpinned and hidden on the right, giving you lots of blogging space. And, the ScratchPad can fly out from where it is docked, serving two purposes. 1) It eliminates a bug in which switching from the HTML view to the ScratchPad to the Design view looses the changes from the HTML view, and 2) It makes the ScratchPad much more usable for blog note taking. On yeah, and it can be docked anywhere on the form.

I'm still playing around with it, but it's already growing on me. A lot. I still need to figure out how you would choose blogs and categories from this UI, and how to handle the MDI situation with the spaghetti code that the old form was using. I should get a handle on all that over the next few days.

Alright, it's feedback time. Is this better than the old UI? Should I try a few other things instead? Please give me your feedback, cause I want to wrap up Beta 3 this week.


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