Thanks for interacting with me on this. Often people think in binary terms (yes vs no, my way or the highway), instead of in scaled terms 0-10).
Instead of setting up a straw-man, like crammed
& attacking that idea, why not consider fixing this serious deficit in your product?
The only 2 choices are not
1) huge wasted, screen hogging space vs.
2) crammed clutter.
So far as actual arrangement is concerned, at least 70 percent of the banner space is unnecessary. The removal of all that text-stealing space would not result in clutter if it were done ergonomically.
I speak in respect of space. I don't know what is possible so far as needing to put things in separate bands across the screen. But it doesn't look like rocket science to me to fix this space-waster.
By comparison, it looks to me like the new version 10 wastes more space that 9 did, & 9 wasted a lot of space.
You say,"The toolbar is very customizable, in fact many of our users have more icons on there than there is room. So, allocating the space is necessary."
If some users need more room, how does that indicate that allocating space is necessary? It might indicate that more space should appear or be selectable for those who want it. But why does that require a huge blank, text hogging space for those who don't want it? The problem is not allocated space, but space that is unallocated -- space that just fills the screen for nothing.
One solution could be to leave things as they are as one option for version 10, but supply an alternative compact (yet neat & uncluttered) screen arrangement.
Thus one could choose in preferences:
1) spread out huge banners of largely blank space vs
2) compact & ergonomic.
3) something in between.
Edited by Enoch, 04 October 2012 - 11:22 AM.