Microsoft is calling the Office 2007 interface the “fluent user interface,” which is one short step from the inevitable acronym FUI. The Office FOOEY (or maybe O FOOEY)… even more fun to say than GUI, and according to some users grappling with the new design, a fairly apt term, to boot.

And what, exactly, constitutes the FOOEY? Well, according to this Microsoft Fact Sheet, it consists of nine elements:

  • The Ribbon
  • Contextual tabs
  • The Office button
  • Galleries
  • Live Preview
  • The Mini Toolbar
  • Enhanced ScreenTips
  • The Quick Access toolbar
  • KeyTips

That’s a lot to take in, although once you arrive in the middle of FOOEY-town, the purpose of each element will become pretty clear. Less obvious, unfortunately, is how your old, well-worn menus and toolbars translate to the slick new interface. (O FOOEY! Where’d you put the damn view options…) Still, a lot of folks say it’s well worth “untraining” yourself from previous user habits and embracing the new system, including Justin James, who recently analyzed some of Word 2007’s design logic.

Along with the general befuddlement that’s like to accompany your fledgling efforts to master the FOOEY comes a host of new terminology. Like the items listed above. And a whole lot more. Check out Deb Shinder’s Office 2007 mini-glossary for a quick rundown of the most prominent new terminology.