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Re: Efficiency of launching apps in Elementary, Gnome Shell, and Unity


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Felipe Erias Morandeira wrote on 30/11/12 10:42:
> On 28/11/12 13:45, Matthew Paul Thomas wrote:
>> I just came across an interesting comparison of Gnome Shell, 
>> Elementary, and Unity. It focuses on the efficiency of a 
>> particular task: launching a game that you can't remember the
>> name of.
> Some random thoughts:
> I guess that you are partly talking about reordering Unity so that 
> there is a clear progression top->down and left->right from general
> to specific. Gnome Shell should do something similar, by the way.

That would help, certainly. If the application categories were on the
left instead of the right, the Dash would require much less pointer

But it's far from the only way to make things faster. For example, if
the Dash used a simple text list for categories, instead of buttons,
less space would be taken up by button borders, so there would be more
room to show more applications, requiring less scrolling.

Also, the home lens, the Applications lens, and the Documents lens
could be merged into one, by putting "Files" on the same level as the
application categories:

    * All Items
    * Files
    * Accessories
    * Developer Tools
    * Education
    * Games

That might be more learnable, too, since there'd be fewer lens icons
to learn.

> It feels like the initial screen is trying to cater to at least
> two use cases at the same time (open and install), instead of
> clearly prioritising one of them.

Yes. Trying to do both doesn't just mean they compete for space and
require more scrolling; it also means showing showing whole categories
(such as "Developer" and "Fonts") that wouldn't normally need to be shown.

Mark was right about this back in February: "To launch what you know
you have installed, use the Dash. To explore what may be installed, or
may be available, use the Software Centre. Now, neither piece may yet
be ideal, but we should improve the design of those pieces for their
specific purposes, not try to make everything do everything."

> I still don't quite get the usefulness of listing non-installed 
> applications before the user starts searching or giving other
> input. It seems a really long shot that the user is looking for
> e.g. a FTP client at that precise moment. "Apps available" could be
> replaced with a single button until the user is specifically
> searching for something.

Web search is a similar task that would be useful in that model.

  Want something else? * Search Ubuntu Software Center * Search the Web

> Maybe it is not needed to have a explicit, labelled distinction 
> between "Most frequent" and "Installed". The list of installed 
> applications could be reordered by frequency of use (in a smart
> way, e.g. apps that are used every day move to the top, everything
> else stays sorted alphabetically, changes are slow) and/or allow
> for manual reordering.
> ...


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