← Back to team overview

unity-design team mailing list archive

Re: Some impressions about the current status of Unity


the dash and apps lens do allow you to browse your applications it's just
not near as streamlined as the old menus or the dash search is and because
of that the general experience of browsing applications in the dash for a
number of users falls short of the experience they had with the old menus.
i think the biggest problem that people who miss the old menus really have
isn't so much the number of clicks. i think the real problem lies with the
much more complex motions you have to use as opposed to the simple ones the
old menus allowed.

here's a sketch of what i mean. http://ubuntuone.com/4Yfzjw60XVrAJLAkQOjCOI

in the "worst case" scenario the user has to click to show the
filters/categories and the "show more results" option resulting in a lot of
jumping around with the mouse as opposed to the relatively simple motion
those users got with the old menus.
in the best case, when the filters are already shown and you don't have to
"show more results," you still end up with a extra movement and having to
move back into space that you've already passed over.
using a quicklist shortcut to the apps lens will cut out a large chunk of
the extra movement but you're still left having to go back towards where
you just passed over.

there are users, like myself, who hide their filters again for various
reasons and will almost never get the best case experience when browsing.

so how can browsing applications in the dash be made a
more pleasant experience?
i think all it would take is some rearrangement of what's already in the
dash lens.
something like this should work nicely.

moving the lens buttons to the left side puts them close to the dash button
and makes them much quicker and easier to get to. it should actually put
them somewhat close to being as easily used with the mouse as the quicklist.
the filters/categories are placed just to the right of that since if
someone is browsing instead of searching that is likely to be the first
thing used in the apps lens.
then the applications are show to the right of that.
this arrangement leaves the mouse movement flowing from left to right
through the various areas of the dash>apps lens in the same order that the
user is likely to need them when browsing their applications.

it may not be a perfect solution to the browsing problems in the dash and
it doesn't fix every issue in the apps lens but i'm sure it would make it a
much more pleasant browsing experience than what we have now.
please note that this would have very little effect on users who search
their way through the dash as this wouldn't replace that functionality. it
should just improve mouse use in the dash.

Josh Strawbridge

Follow ups