This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
The goal of this document is to support the Unity design team by providing a centralized community design document that streamlines suggestions from users. This document takes into account the current state of Unity design, available usability test results, and input from the community. It also aims to offer beginners, perpetual intermediates, and power users a pleasant experience and to encourage the transition from beginner to perpetual intermediate by way of accentuating useful features.
The following people contributed to this document. Without them, it would not have made it this far. Arian van Gend, Thibaut Brandscheid, Joseph Slote, Matteo Pagliazzi, Martín Casco, Cristian Yones, Niklas Rosenqvist, and many others.
In order to keep this document on track, the following guidelines should be followed: All text should, where possible, be checked for conformance with the current Unity design philosophy, the latest usability tests, and community wishes, and should be written in grammatically correct English. Where helpful, a UI description should be accompanied with a mock-up for visual support; Where necessary, and/or helpful, add references. When updating content, also remember to update the change-log information for easy book keeping. When possible, link to the original idea source (e.g. mailing list). If you are viewing this document and feel that you’d like to add your voice, please write out your idea, and contact Arian van Gend (or check the chat function in Google Docs - it’s under the blue bar to the right).
Table of Contents
Community Proposed Unity Design Goal Table of Contents Change-log Definitions Quick Previews The Problem How to perform a Quick Preview action? How does it look? Advantages The Launcher Lens-quick-drops The bottom of the Launcher File drag and drop Dash and Lenses The Dash Standard Lenses Universal Applications Files/Folders People Conversations Global Menu Appearance Behavior Indicators Existing Indicators Messaging Menu An e-mail daemon Spacial redesign Me Menu Session Menu Third-party Indicators Work-spaces Overlay Scroll-bars Current implementation Down-sides Up-sides Improvements Ubuntu Welcome Center - Introducing Unity Aggregated Shortcut list under Help menu Keyboard Shortcuts, Mouse Gestures & Touch Actions Appendix A - Power users The PanSpace - A work-space supplement
Tasks Search features for perpetual intermediates and power users Appendix B - Minor niggles and feature tweaks Appendix C - Alternative Ideas (Delivery Room) A unified keyboard shortcut configuration Alternate Dash designs. 1 - Applications are our primary focus when opening the Dash. Introduction. Statics. Dash Main Structure Files and Folders. Actual Dash Behaviour A dynamic workspace icon 2 - A simplified Dash design which allows for a cleaner AppLauncher 3 - Different navigation and Dash lay-out Global Menu (old) System settings in the Universal/Application Lens Avoid duplicating notification information Dynamic Work-spaces References
Change-log 0.99 Every section has semi-final text. Updated Messaging Menu section to reflect the new design. Small adjustment in the Global Menu section . Cleaned up as many comments as possible.
A user that is progressing in acquiring experience with an application. They can be reordered like any Launcher item. and indicates it’s ability to receive a dragged object when one is being dragged. and can be extended to handle more if necessary. When the Dash is closed. and from the Dash by pressing <space> when an item is focused. It can be accessed from Nautilus. so it can open any file type that the system can handle. It can receive dragged objects. AppLauncher Perpetual intermediate Quick Preview . Apart from the UbuntuOne Lens-quick-drop there are no default quick-drops installed. A quick and easy way to display an object. having outgrown the status of beginner. such as a file. but not having mastered every aspect of the system yet. this is where the favourite applications. the ‘Open File’ dialog. The dock on the left side of the screen (the Launcher in Application mode). It can also be clicked.Definitions Lens-quick-drop A Lens entry in the AppLauncher. in which case it shows a file open dialog to select appropriate files. but a different appearance (border/color?). without having to open it in the dedicated application first. A Lens-quick-drop has the same icon as the accompanying Lens. and Lens-quick-drops are shown. It is universal.
all a Lens can do is open Totem and play the selected video – leaving all that interesting special YouTube stuff out because we are limited by the application that delivers the content (the same goes for other Lenses). We suggest to abstract the content view in a standardized way that better fits the individual needs of the task performed.if useful. In a word: pleasant.. This enables a fast verification of the content and easy look-up of a specific bit of information..: . Dash: press <Space> on a search result or by right clicking it. Ubuntu lacks a standardized way to get a quick overview for different tasks.When did I modify last time ..? . How to perform a Quick Preview action? Nautilus: press <Space> or select ‘Preview’ through the right click menu of a file. In the case of the YouTube Lens.What is the file size of .A user can't distinguish between search results (File Lens) bearing the same name. this would mean that a Quick Preview window would open and play the YouTube video. .What kind of files can a certain application handle? . . The UI of the Quick Preview should be minimalistic and clean.g.. the information could be enriched with the power of Zeitgeist. Quick Preview is meant to be a great way to display all kinds of (detailed) information on items in a unified way for Lenses and Nautilus . The Problem Currently. Quick Preview could be a very handy tool to do just that.? A second problem is that we will need a way to channel the output of the upcoming custom Lenses. press <Space> again or <Escape>. e. To close a Quick Preview window. and also show the video-text-info and how many people have already watched it. This idea is strongly influenced by Gloobus Preview. Today. Imagine a YouTube Lens where a user can search for videos.Quick Previews Benefits: enable the user so preview a file and zeitgeist information on it super quick.
For Dash. Quick Lenses could be a smart and useful enhancement for Ubuntu. This enables user to preview a file by looking at the file path or opening a picture without loosing the results page (current state in natty). size. it could be used to preview a selected file and show the more common information (name. it's there to display file content in the best possible way. If the content is too big to fit a scroll-bar is shown. Dash would remain open when performing a Quick Preview action. Under Nautilus. Quick Preview would make it possible to keep the one-icon-one-result lists and remove some of the weaknesses it has right now. unified and clean.How does it look? Quick Preview shows a window of ‘the right’ size. mp3 tags ... Quick Preview isn't there to edit a file.. path. buttons could be shown to open the file. Depending on the file type. quick description. There are only two further buttons: one to make the preview full-screen.). and another to open the file in the dedicated application for editing. . with the object previewed in it. Zeitgeist usage statistics. to perform useful actions. Advantages Quick Preview would give the user a handy way to have fast and uncluttered access to the information he is searching for..
since it can’t be moved. It could be an easy way to upload photo’s to Facebook for example. Launcher changes The Launcher in 11.). The Trash bin would be replaced by System Settings. To solve these problems. but there a few changes that should be made to improve the functionality even further. and to enable quicker mouse-bases work-space switching. requiring attention. etc. Add a dialogue question to prevent unexpected removal of items.).04 works pretty well. The same problem exists with the work-space switcher. Dropping files to its icon uploads them to the cloud for storage. not running. . new album name. Add a possibility to restore default launcher items under System Settings. and Trash on the bottom of the Launcher. on of the best even according to Fitt’s Law. Use back-light toggle instead of ‘Always on’. indicates application state (running. The launcher should not hold anything other than applications and Lens-quick-drops. and muddies the purpose of the Launcher. etc. item count. to more easily differentiate between running/non-running applications.The Launcher Benefits: focus the Launcher on applications and Lens-quick-drops. Dragging and dropping the right objects there pops up a minimal dialog (if necessary for this drop). The launchpad entry can be found here. The Launcher utilizes alphabetic <SUPER> shortcuts for Lenses and numeric ones for Applications and Lens-quick-drops. except for UbuntuOne. The Launcher displays a favourites list of applications. as depicted below. progress bars. and to make the Launcher look less busy. we propose to place the work-space switcher. with some much used options (for Facebook this could be album choice. The bottom of the Launcher The idea was first proposed in the ”Thoughts on Unity design”-Ayatana thread and was later refined in the ”A realistic vision for the next iteration of Unity”-thread. and acts differently from the other Launchers. This appears inconsistent. Lens-quick-drops A Lens Quick Drop is an Launcher item that can perform some action on objects of a certain type. The Trash currently has a prominent place on the Launcher. No Lens-Quick-Drops are installed by default. to allow fast and uncomplicated access. in separate block.
A quick-list will appear with one option: ‘Add here’. is suited to handle this file (as it already does in 11. .04). Dropping the object onto a Lens-quick-drop should perform a predictable action on the object and inform of the success of that action through a notification bubble. “show desktop” and let the icon change accordingly. providing effective workspace switching. It should also be made possible to ‘pin’ a file to the quick list of a suitable application for quick access. it should show the user which application.By having the workspace switcher in the very bottom left corner it can be easily accessed (Fitt's Law). This is done by hovering over the desired place to pin it. and a temporary change in the icon. Spread. Since people manage windows in many different ways it should also provide a second click context menu where the user can choose which window management function it should provide: Expo. The icon for Expo is depicted above. or Lens quick drop. Dropping the file onto an application should open and focus the application (if it was not open and focused yet) and open the file in the application. for the other modes clear icons would still be needed. File drag and drop Should one drag a file to the launcher. alt+tab.
By its size and placement. as many people seem to overlook it. The other Lenses will be manipulable in the same way application launchers would be. it serves only to close that lens context. .. The first of these Lenses should always be the Universal search Lens. removed. The Dash Clicking the Ubuntu button should open the Dash in its universal search state.Dash and Lenses Benefits: focus the Dash functionality and make it easier. at the same time. and have quick lists (second click menus).. It does not bring up the new context)4. and by pressing the <super> key. The Dash should be accessible from the Ubuntu button on the top left. clunky.Fourth. however. and more powerful. and the current cost of switching lens context (when one clicks on a lens when another is already opened. and avoids cluttering the launcher. It should also change the Launcher content to a list of Lenses..04 is. and extensible search mechanism to users through the different Dash contexts they provide. the Dash is hard to discover. Their implementation in 11. Lens-Quick-Drops. and not future-proof.]2 This focuses the Dash functionality in one place. which should be used only for applications. [. and their state. displayed in a similar fashion as other items on the Launcher. and to future-proof it. The reasons for this are the needless multiplication of lenses in the launcher. it is easily associated with the window management buttons. The icon is too small and understated compared to the icons in the Launcher. we propose the following. Lenses offer a powerful. This button should be made more prominent. meaning they can be reordered. In order to streamline the design.
thus results can span multiple Lenses. in the Launcher when the Dash is open. the Dash consists of a search bar. instead of Applications. navigating the Dash relies mostly on the arrow keys. Standard Lenses Universal The context of the Dash when opened should always be the universal search mode. three rows of six results. The first six results should be the six most used applications that are not in the Launcher already and that are often opened at the same time as the currently focused application (to provide more coverage for applications). The left and right arrow keys should be used to navigate within categories and within search field text. so they can be searched quickly. The tab key should be used to switch Lenses. The two rows below show the twelve most recently used files for the focused application. meaning that any search will be performed everywhere. and the clicked Lens should be indicated as the active one. and are all available locally. Pressing and holding the super key should show letters on the launchers for quick context switches. in the same way that the Launcher does for applications. and under it. therefore. These contain the most important information for a user. When scrolling search results. This can be seen in the mock-ups below.(a) Lenses. Clicking a Lens item should switch the context of the Dash to that of the clicked Lens. This allows quick finding within the users mindset without . Files. When opened. This means that any search entered in the search bar should now be performed on this Lens and it’s results should be displayed. the grid shows a shadow effect on the top and bottom to give a slight 3D effect. and People Lenses. Within categories they should wrap around at the edges. The Lenses that would be searched by the universal mode would be (at default) the Application.
Files. then People. the results show a maximum of one row (six or nine results) per category. . The categories are Applications. (b) Search box. in that order. They replace Applications in that case. (a) Lenses are only shown in Launcher when the Dash is open. here we have two rows: First row: Six (6) icons most used applications (that are related to the focused application and that aren’t on the Launcher).even having to search first. (c) Grid. In case no application is opened or focused we show the six most used applications that are not in the Launcher and the twelve most accessed files instead. When performing a search in this context. Second row: 12 icons at least for Recent Files (again are related to the focused application).
(c).(a) Lenses on the Launcher. (b) Search box with entered search terms. . (d) and (e) The three categories. Clicking ‘more results’ shows all results instead of one row.
Applications .When a user doesn’t make use of the People Lens. the search results shows more files instead.
(a) Lenses at left edge. but some tweaks should be . Internet Apps. (d) Grid. Here all Applications are listed in a grid mode using Header per Categories (not shown in mock-up). and a list of file types it supports. with headers for each category. The link in the Search bar to show ‘All installed Applications’ from Ubuntu 11. and open the Software Centre when clicked. Files/Folders The files and folder Lens already works quite well in 11. (e) A link “Aplicaciones disponibles para descargar” (English: “Install more applications” to directly open the Ubuntu Software Center.. (b) Search box.The Application Lens shows all installed applications alphabetically ordered per category. (c) Categories Selector. Office Apps.04. The quick preview in this Lens should show a screenshot of the application. and so on. Select between Applications. This allows a new user to browse through all applications installed. a short text indicating it’s functionality.04 should be changed to say ‘Find more applications’.
(a) Lenses on the left edge. Nautilus’s users shortcuts. For editing the information.made. a social network site (probably handled by Gwibber). This will ensure integration with the rest of the Desktop. (c) Categories Selector (d) Grid.2 Contacts application to show the same options in the Dash as that application. we should add a button titled ‘Manage contacts’. a. Here we have: First row: 6 (six) icons for Recent files not related to focused application. regardless of the source.a. this should be integrated with the new Gnome 3. (b) Search Box. so it’s not available here. that opens . Second row: Favourite Folders. ordered chronologically. (e) Nautilus’s users shortcut view (shows all the shortcuts). because all the information is already shown. The Quick Preview option in this Lens enables out-of-application checking of files in a Gloobus Preview like manner. Contacts can come from a e-mail application. or another source.k. People The People Lens should allow you to find any contact that you have available to you. If at all possible. Quick Preview makes no sense here.
(g) Social Links Conversations This Lens should enable you to find any piece of ‘social data’ available. (e) Avatar (128 x 128 px) (f) Contact Information. and recognizable form.the Gnome Contacts with the right contact focused (if at all possible). but also encompasses (recent) posts to and from social network sites. Global Menu Right now there are 2 problems with the Global Menu (GM): . Quick previews here show the conversation source in a useful. The order of results should be E-Mail. Chats. and chats. (a) Lenses at the left edge. (b) Search Box. (c) Contacts List. Social data entails not only e-mail messages. (d) Link to Gnome Contact. Social Networks.
Semi-Menu Mode 3. Title Mode 2. Behavior Double clicking on the Global Menu should maximize/unmaximize the currently focused window (right now it’s only possible on window titles .everything is visible). Appearance When the mouse gets near the GM.” Does menu location matter? . The Global Menu should show the application menu (not the window menu of the selected program .current state in Natty). GM should quickly fade to 'Semi-Menu Mode' and stay that way until mouse reaches the top. Mode Name 1. Informally.not on the Global Menu itself). this idea tries to solve the first . Ask Ubuntu . When hovering.Mark Shuttleworth about Global Menu: “Ted Gould blogged some research he did on the use of menu's. it should switch from ‘Title Mode’ to ‘Semi-Menu Mode’ showing its menu items in a lighter shade.Low targetability because the menu appears only by mouse-over Hard to discover for new users The second point can be ignored since new user will learn quite fast where the application menu is. Full-Menu Mode Definition Shows the title of the current focused window Shows the menu of the current window in a lighter shade when the mouse comes nearer (~64px to the GM) The mouse is over the Global Menu . The advantage of this approach is that switching from ‘title’ to ‘menu’ would go more smoothly than when Global Menu font brightness increases as the mouse comes closer. his findings support the idea that menu placement is less an issue as we use them less than we tend to think we do.the main problem.menu is fully visible When the mouse gets closer to the Global Menu. the menu would show in ‘Full-Menu Mode’ (white font color .
it would seem that all the functionality I need quickly would be a toolbar.. it seems to matter very little how far they are away from the canvas I'm working on. If it's the case that I only use the menus when exploring.“ Pros: ‘Semi-Menu Mode’ solves the targetability issue. and the menus only exist to expose the full breadth of functionality that the application provides.. Title-Menu hybrid analogy would be more obvious Menu targeting would improve considerably Relaxed title-to-menu switching .“.
g. Existing Indicators Messaging Menu The Messaging Menu will receive most of the functionality of the Me Menu. Still. Still. the redesign will tend to overload the menu on some screen for many users (net-books especially will suffer here. and contains broadcast. to avoid a situation where the user must scroll the content to view it all. but it would enhance the desktop experience for a lot of users. below that recent responses from people.Indicators Benefits: streamline the functionality of the Indicators. and a clearer functional reasoning. This might be a little feature request.) below.). Thunderbird. Therefore. in the cases where the content does not fit the height of the screen. How do we resolve this problem? We use a solution similar to the one used for the Sound Menu and the Date/Time indicator. It should show the name of the chat client (Empathy / Pidgin / etc. In the case of the Messaging Menu. or when the height of the content surpasses a certain threshold. displayed on top. Each logical section is divided by a line. or not. Evolution). because it is the most directly used. It also fits into the philosophy that a user should not need to care about whether an application is running. thereby converging on a cleaner implementation. instead of the list. Any other item added to the menu will be displayed below the primary items in the same . and we address these here. and e-mail (Evolution / Thunderbird / GmailWatcher / etc. The second column is to the left of the chat column. with a quick status post field.1 and this is consistent with the treatment of music players and the Sound Menu. there are a few details that are not covered in this design. An e-mail daemon A daemon should be added that enables the user to receive e-mail through the Messaging Menu even if the e-mail application isn't running (e. Spatial redesign As stated below in the section for third-party indicators. we suggest to display the three main categories in two columns. because of the limited height). It should also promote an easier overview of the situation. merging in this functionality makes sense from a logical standpoint. and remove some last rough edges. with one column for chat directly below the envelope icon. We allow a different layout to be used. we should allow a different indicator layout to be used when it makes sense for the content. and has the most entries. and below that the user statuses. This new layout should make use of the available horizontal space when needed.
into the Time and Date Indicator. or only an unreliable one. . and final. such as Google Calendar. This is done. In this case the Messaging Menu would display a bell icon overlaying the envelope. column to the left of the broadcast/mail column.columns. it will no longer be a separate indicator. because changing status is at that point the less frequently undertaken action. It would also be useful to show a notification before an appointment begins. Swapping some less used options to a sub-menu results in a more focused main menu. which is overkill when only appointments are required. Time and Date It should be possible to integrate web calendars. The status fields should appear below any recent chat activity. Me Menu According to the latest design specifications. instead of shown separately as they are now. until the unlikely case arrives that even these two columns are filled completely. It’s functionality now befalls the Messaging Menu Session Menu The Session Menu is to cluttered and needs some clean up. When using a web calendar. containing only ‘useful’ items. without having to use evolution. in which case the custom added entries move to a third. and to overcome situations where there is no no Internet connection. appointments should be cached locally to ensure performance. which would then also appear in the Messaging Menu. To look consistent with the case of having only one column. the entries for Empathy and chat status should be merged there as well. starting at a straight level to look more balanced.
. Third-party Indicators At the moment. then suspend (so keep the power on). all indicators are restricted to using a list of text..’ under a subcategory ‘Switch to. MacOS X works this way too. Some custom Indicators show content that fits less well in a list structure. as well as ‘settings’. The ideal option would be to save the current state to the hard-drive. There are two exceptions. The interface would look cleaner and less cluttered. The Dash (which should be made more findable) should show System Settings as a result when searching for ‘options’ or ‘preferences’. System Settings should be added to the desktop right click menu (under ‘Change Background’). with an icon to the left. The Sound Indicator shows album art. This enables fast resuming. and have a faster visual orientation. As an example. let’s look at the Weather Indicator. Unity Benchmark Usability – April 2011 showed that: “None of the participants discovered the ‘system settings’ option in the top right indicators menu. Put the ‘Guest Session’ and ‘Switch from XXX.. a third-party Indicator that shows detailed weather information. This way the Session Menu would contain ‘most used entries’ only. The location of the System Settings should be changed. and is consistent. The proper name for the option in the menu would then be ‘Sleep’. Users need an icon either in the Launcher or in the indicator area.’. and could benefit from a little more positioning freedom. and also add an option to boot directly into other OSes to the restart and shutdown dialogs. and the Time-Date Indicator shows a calendar...” To fix this we should add the menu item in these two places. where users can expect them to be found.Ditch the Hibernate mode and keep Suspend: This is less confusing for beginners (than having the ‘same’ functionality twice). or a folder in Nautilus. even when the power fails in between.
the content looks clearer. next to the normal list options. Click events and style remain consistent with the rest of the Indicators.Compare this to way a similar extension looks in Gnome-shell. It would therefore be prudent to allow third-party Indicators to show a differently layedout drop-down. It is simply a discussion of the presentation of content. . but because it isn’t shown in a list with small icons. The bottom image shows similar information. Note: this is in no way a comparison between Gnome-shell and Unity. and more usable. so only the positioning and icon sizes can be changed. more modern. We want to prevent losing the clean and consistent look and feel of the current Indicators.
Images and text can be placed on the grid freely. . on which elements can be positioned. Of course. where appropriate. and prevent inconsistent look and feel at the same time. This would add sufficient freedom for better content display. When an area is clickable. the normal format for Indicators should be used. We can use IDO and adapt them to display more widgets and items in the indicators. it will highlight in the same way as the normal Indicator would. This ensures all Indicators use the same appearance. This addition is only for Indicators with content that doesn’t fit well in a list. This grid is a fixed size.We propose to add a grid option.
and quicker to use as well. so they are all accessible (this would look like the Scale plugin executed inside of Exposé). and easier. and with the icon on the Launcher. The Work-space switcher is in the bottom left corner so it can easily be accessed. When dropping a item on the Work-space Exposé remains open. which is visually distinct from it. They will allow quicker access to the Work-spaces when using the mouse. As shown above. and show all applications in a non-overlapping lay-out. They can be dragged from Work-space to Work-space.Work-spaces Benefits: make work-spaces more visible to the average user. Also. the Work-space switcher and Trash bin are moved to a bottom section in the Launcher. we can access work-spaces in Unity with a shortcut. we propose the following changes. and a close button on the top left corner. . efficiency. and separate the icon from the Launcher. At the same time cater to the power user with speed. It should also be possible to drag items from the Launcher onto a Work-space to open the item on that Work-space. An option should be added to the Unity settings to allow making this a hot corner for even faster switching. and shortcuts. it’s functionality doesn’t relate to applications directly. Accessing the Work-space switcher shows the Exposé plugin of Compiz. Applications have a caption with the name of the application in it. until specifically instructed to quit with <Escape>. At the moment. Therefore. All work-spaces are laid out. This icon is not positioned to allow easy and fast access. This would allow a user to quickly organize the applications he needs in this session without having to move them around later. since it is mixed in with other icons in the Launcher. or by double clicking a work-space. so it takes away from the one function of the Launcher. with the icon in the bottom left corner.
and this is not the case. which isn’t the case. The overlay shows up when the mouse is nearing the scroll-bar. This makes its placement unpredictable and it feels awkward to use. To solve the problem of inconsistent placement we could position the overlay controls over the scroll-bar itself. because a scroll action is like a visual search for content. The scroll-bar will not cover this search focus at all. the most important content will be found in the top or bottom of the window. The same goes for the horizontal case. and since the controls are small. but it suggests one can already click and drag the overlay this way. Allow middle clicking the overlay controls to jump to a section quickly. First you have get near it and see where it shows up. as the old implementation allowed. which now stand in the way of full-scale adoption. and is therefore confusing. and remove some rough edges. The scroll-bar is sometimes inside. This duplicates the effort for a common task by ~+50%. and only then can you grab it. which results in more space for content. but it suggests that the target has been reached already. This is helpful for positioning your mouse. There is less visual clutter on the screen. Improvements The overlay controls should be emphasized when clicking makes them active. Grabbing the overlay scroll-bar takes longer then before. Up-sides The solution saves screen space. . The idea of having them outside of windows is to maximize space for the content. Current implementation Down-sides Inconsistent positioning. they would hardly. and sometimes outside the application. This also prevents the delay in finding the controls. but having them outside feels as if it’s not part of the window. Middle clicking on a point in the bar to quickly jump to another part of the document is now impossible. and annoyances. Having them show up when the mouse is near is helpful.Overlay Scroll-bars Benefits: Streamline the design. if at all overlap with content. Also. when scrolling vertically. as the second down-side states.
So why doesn't Ubuntu? I made this mock-up earlier for the thread "Ubuntu Welcome Center". This isn't a professional way of handling this problem . Aggregated Shortcut list under Help menu . Imagine the mock-up without "install ubuntu-restricted-extras" and add a check-box for "show on start-up" and maybe add an "Open the browser to go online"-button. The “Ubuntu Extended”-button could open a view in Ubuntu Software Center with all the featured apps. The main idea is that we should give new users a tour of the main parts of the OS.Introducing Unity Today when a new user uses the OS for the first time there is no way for the user to know what do next.leaving it to somebody else. much like what the Ubuntu Tour people are working on. There is a help program but how is he supposed to find out about it? When I first started using Ubuntu/Linux I had to go online and read tutorials in blog posts. Windows features a welcome center program and even Linux Mint does. thus providing an easy way to expand Ubuntu beyond the default 1 CD installation image size policy. The launchpad entry can be found here.Ubuntu Welcome Center . but perhaps integrated into Yelp and with a much improved UI. This would be very beneficial for the new users of Ubuntu since the Unity interface is quite different to what people migrating from other OSes and Desktop Implementations.
some are not shown at all. we should add a new menu item ‘Shortcuts’ under Help (and include a shortcut to access it). Some of them are distributed around the different application menus. To remedy this. sort the shortcuts by category's (according to the application) highlight the most used/more useful ones Maybe add an option to hide all non most-used-items too . Currently application shortcuts are quite hard to find.Benefits: allow new users to quickly learn the shortcut for an application.
Show a list of recently closed applications (Dash) ‘ALT-Tab’ between Work-spaces Show Work-space switcher. The shortcuts are the default values. Mouse Gestures & Touch Actions Benefits: enable power users to quickly get their work done. . They can of course be user changed. Below is a comprehensive list of shortcuts that should be available in Unity. Shortcut Super+Enter Function description Open application Lens and list all files that the user has worked on in the last month for the focused application. Pressing shortcut in overview again → focus next Work-space Switch directly to Work-space N Open application menu Open Me Menu Open Session Menu Implemented? no Super+X CTRL+ALT+Tab CTRL+SUPER no yes no CTRL+SUPER+[nr] F10 Super+M Super+S no yes no no Mouse gesture Make a left arrow Make a right arrow Make a Z Make a long / (left bottom to upper right) Make a O Make a ∆ Function description Move to work-space left Move to work-space right Close application Minimize all applications on the current work-space Implemented? no no no no Show the Workspace Switcher. Also add a menu entry to every launcher item to do the same.Keyboard Shortcuts. or zoom out to show all applications (PanSpace desktop) Lock screen no no Mouse gestures should be animated and have a decent trail for better visualisation.
switches applications Implemented? no no no .Touch actions Two finger swipe right Two finger swipe down/up Three finger swipe left/ right Function description Show the Launcher Open/Close the Dash in universal mode Works like alt-tab.
Imagine. ergonomic. They consist of designs that enable a fast. You would be looking at a zoomed-out view of a virtual desktop four times the size of your computer screen. often keyboard-heavy work-flow.slote@gmail. Users could move around this virtual desktop just like they were panning around in graphics software or viewing a map. . also. Imagine if you could not only rearrange the windows from this view. Imagine if you clicked on the workspace switcher. Each standard workspace could be turned into a PanSpace. Once learned. easier window management and navigation. and most should probably only be available through the repositories as add-ons. these features will truly empower users to work more efficiently and effectively. but also interact with them as if they were full size. None of these ideas should be activated by default. but any degree in between.com Benefits: PanSpace is an intuitive and efficient addition to the current multi-desktop workspaces implementation.A ZUI work-space supplement Curated by Joseph Slote: joseph. allowing the both the speed of normal workspaces and the flexibility of the PanSpace to be fully utilized.Power users This section describes design ideas that cater specifically to Power Users. You then removed the borders between the four small screens.Appendix A . That is the premise of the PanSpace workspace. that you would not be limited to zoomed-in and zoomed-out views. that is sometimes harder to stumble upon and have to be learned by doing. and maybe even fun. Combined with intuitive navigation methods. Navigation on this gigantic desktop would be quick. Note that it it is not necessarily meant to replace the current workspace implementation. The PanSpace . it could allow for faster. since they fall outside the scope of regular Unity design. It increases the "virtual" resolution of the display by extending the desktop beyond that of the display borders.
which can be found from the Task Lens by searching. use a three finger swipe or the like. Use a hot corner (most likely the lower-right).the virtual screen size would adjust automatically to encompass all windows. See the section on Tasks for more information. any movement over a certain velocity against that edge moves the virtual screen in that direction. a console window and a web browser in the user’s previous arrangement.being able to operate at various levels of zoom would make navigation a snap. This instantly opens an IDE. For instance. On touch screens. Auto-arrange would make sure that windows don’t overlap unnecessarily. the cursor's traversal from lower left to upper right of the display would move the virtual screen from lower left to upper right as well.the particular orientation of a set of programs/windows could be saved to the Task Lens. Navigation Methods Click & Drag with the right mouse button. Note that users would be able to zoom to any size. Tasks greatly increase efficiency. where a click and drag would move the virtual screen. Have a small spot on the launcher with a small navigation window like in GIMP and PS. would benefit vision-impaired users by allowing them to zoom in easily. This is similar to the way Compiz Zoom navigates. Who needs to hide windows behind other windows when there’s infinite space to put them in? Different Maximize behavior . When the mouse cursor bumps up against the edge of the monitor. or clicking on an item in the recent Tasks list. Netbooks and other devices with small screens would not be hindered by their screen resolution. Also. For instance.When a user clicks the maximize button on a window. a programmer could have a “C++ Programming Task”.Features Improved Tasks . That way. Resizing in the normal fashion would remain an Advantages The need to minimize programs would be lessened or even entirely removed. and. no unintentional overlapping would occur. like the Compiz Zoom feature.Probably an optional feature. The application group could then be moved and re-sized as a whole on the virtual screen. the view of the desktop would change to zoom in on the window instead of modifying the size of the window. . Zoom . Auto-size . not set sizes like “in” and “out” Auto-arrange . It would remain always visible and would display the view’s current position in relation to all the windows. All programs could remain open because the user's palette is of infinite size. They could simply expand a program with a button-heavy interface beyond the borders of the screen. programs would never need to overlap each other unless the user wished it. Have the virtual screen move opposite the motion of the mouse.
like a website or a game. and remember the position and size of the applications involved. which standard displays your most recent and most used tasks. Clicking it opens a dialog that asks for a name for this Task. This way. one clicks on the Task icon in the Launcher. It would also show statistics on when the task was last done. Zeitgeist enables us to do a lot of this. and maybe some other applications. locations and window size of applications) when we need them. a text editor. save all applications and open files for this workspace). To save a task. When one uses a computer one performs various tasks. as well as the Dash context. All we need to be able to do is store this data with an associated name. in which case it’s window configuration is shown. and then reposition and resize the windows to suit him. if only one application is open. No notification is shown of this. . They will be placed on the PanSpace in a fresh location and the view-port jumps there. A task may be to write a thesis. tasks can be found through the Tasks Lens. and therefore. Search features for perpetual intermediates and power users The search bar should always allow quick context searches of the following format: <lens shortcut letter>: <search term(s)> For example ‘a: gedit’ could perform a search for ‘gedit’ in the context of applications. Every task has certain files. Could a “project” be a subset of a task that defines a specific set of files to use? So for instance. and how long the task has been done in total. since it ‘understands’ which files belong together. since it is the expected result. A task can also be quick previewed.Tasks Benefits: enables a power user to very quickly open a group related applications and files. and in that case one would probably have a browser open for research. Many tasks are performed with several applications open. the active lens indication in the launcher should be updated. along with a list of all the applications and files that are used in this Task. web sites and other objects associated with it. It would be nice to be able to restore our preferred task configuration (open files. All necessary information is then saved (for now. Performing a search this way switches to the associated Lens. with multiple files. Each would automatically open with the relevant files. because they get opened at the same time. This will always be just above the trash bin. a user could choose a task (which he named himself) and continue working without the overhead of having to reopen every applications and every file. Once saved. Clicking a task opens it’s associated applications and the corresponding open files. A notification is shown if something goes wrong. there would be a general “Programming” task with particular projects. or.
and power users to very quickly find what they need. . thus enabling perpetual intermediates.Searching this way is quick and doesn’t require to use the mouse to switch context.
Either the icons of the shown items should be slightly smaller. . which should be addressed for a more polished. They are mentioned in other places of this document. It should only come back when the field is empty and the mouse clicks somewhere else. The lenses show a scroll-bar under some circumstances. For example. The current Unity design encompasses some rough edges. but it does on the second search (with the same terms). Copy and pasting is broken in conj unction with the Dash and the Launcher. This text does go away when one clicks in the field. regarding the placeholder text. for easy finding. The Dash and Launcher theme is inconsistent with the rest of the theme. do not. When using the Radiance theme the Launcher appearance doesn’t conform. the Quicklists have an arrow form on them to link them better to the Launcher item.Minor niggles and feature tweaks Benefits: remove some rough edges and problems from the experience. or the dash should be made a few pixels higher to avoid this visual glitch. Universal dash context shows no file results on first search. The Dash often doesn’t have keyboard focus on first launch. and stream-lined experience. The Me Menu suffers from a crippling bug when posting to social networks. or the keyboard cursor is used to go somewhere else. This goes for the <Control-C><Control-V> and select + middle mouse button variety. so it feels more integrated and polished. The App-Indicators on the other hand. even though it is not necessary (only a few pixels are not visible). but as soon as the mouse moves away this text comes back. They should also be submitted to launchpad to they can be addressed. but are collected here.Appendix B .
we must delete this. Dash Main Structure The Dash. along with the Launcher.Amass all hot-keys from various parts of the OS into one editable place. Introduction. must be the center of our OS. and more powerful.Appendix C . Here are some Statistics1 provided by the last official Unity Benchmark Usability by Canonical. . until they are accepted into /rejected from the document. but most of the times when we call the Dash it’s for selecting an application that we don’t have in the Launcher.Applications are our primary focus when opening the Dash. 1Once we reach to the final decision. Please try to include a detailed summary of the idea. which we need to improve considering that it only searches in our Applications and Recent files. Another important function is Search. A unified keyboard shortcut configuration Create a unified hot-key map . at the same time. A deeper search is required. Pros: be the first Cons: be the first Alternate Dash designs. Benefits: focus the Dash functionality and make it easier. They only describe the differences between designs. and should be read as an alteration of the main design proposal. Below are three designs for the Dash that differ on a few points with the Dash design described in the main document. Everything is there.Alternative Ideas (Delivery Room) In this section new ideas are written out initially. Statics. 1 .
[. That’s why I suggest that the main screen for The Dash must be Installed Apps. but there are a big number that users that not use Desktop client mail such Evolution and Thunderbird.. Also some icon for Contacts lens has been proposed for this main screen. on the Launcher. Example: When we call the Dash we need to have a full access to our installed Apps. (b) Application Lenses. I think it’s for usability reasons. Dash provide us quick access to more apps or easily access to other info through lenses. In this way.T. On the top right. Office. On the top of the Dash. since our most used apps are on the Launcher.) Needs improvement. Studies and statics says that (b) is the most used one (see my consideration about this). Also. Icon Lenses (not Apps lens any more). .. and (c) the Files and Folders Lens.].. Dash’s main screen structure: NOTE: Actually The Dash show 18 icons. because those applications are on the Launcher. [. not only to find information about their computer. Participants who discovered the Dash found it very useful.. ElementaryOS show Applicationss. So it’s redundant information. Mock-ups The image below shows the Dash with it’s main screen focus on Installed applications. Mac OS X Lion. Also. So their contacts are in the cloud. Below that we can add 6 icons for Recent Files. but for any programme or application they were looking for..[. iOS. I consider that this lens is one of the best. but were more inclined to use Files and Applications Lenses at the bottom of the Launcher. Then Installed apps. Categories Selector (System.. For example. recent files.] Also some statics provide by M. search box. we have three ways to open the Dash: (a) the Ubuntu button.. a grid with 12 icons for our Installed Apps. Internet. maybe like the Unity 2D concept. (Matthew Paul Thomas) are really useful to us. A grid with 6 icons for Recent Files.P. and son on.] They had a tendency to go to the ‘Home’ icon. I don’t care about my *most frequently used apps*. honestly. In the left. almost every participant first looked into ‘Home’ to find computer settings and to change their wallpaper. Android.
Like me. we need to browse those folders to reach it. so the search feature it’s not a good solution. This lens should have a back and forward buttons to click through folders. Most of the time I don’t remember the name of the file. to browse around more like in a normal fIle browser. With this. but the focus is on our installed applications. This guarantees space for Third party lenses. . This is one of the most useful Lenses. In this way we can do exactly the same as we do now and it’s less confusing and more practical. but badly implemented. In both cases the browse ability it’s a good feature. we can browse on our lenses without the need to perform a new search. So search feature it’s not a good solution. even if we’ve performed a search. if we have a file called “Unity 11. Files and Folders Lens. the files names inside that folders are the same. and usually. It also guarantees simple access to them. Files and Folders. And like Dash Idea – Easy Lens Switcher we use the Launcher space for Recent Files in the down edge of The Dash. but is not in our Recent Files list.10” in /Documents/Ubuntu/Projects/ folder.The image should have show the lens icons on the left on the Launcher space. and some third-party lenses that users install. when they become a reality. I’m sure that you manage a lot of documents every day. Also I have my Records in Folders.
Pro’s: Easy to identify on which workspace we are.A simplified Dash design which allows for a cleaner AppLauncher The idea was first proposed in the ”Thoughts on Unity design”-ayatana thread and was later refined in the ”A realistic vision for the next iteration of Unity”-thread. Office. we can move it without Scrolling.) implemented. but it’s more much better implemented. a feature many used Gnome-Do for before Unity. even with the mouse. So why are we presented with so much information? The only thing relevant to us are most often our search results since the dash does not provide a good browsing experience. . The suggestion it’s use the same system.. Internet. The idea is based on the thought that the appLauncher should contain nothing but launchers. This is because everything is in a grid layout which makes it hard to scan and process the information.Actual Dash Behaviour Problems: Poor Filtering Options/Categories Selector (System. like the ones Gnome Shell displays for some of it’s “indicators”. Unity 2D Filtering Options. From personal experience I know that you usually use the search function to find files or applications. Also. Suggestions: Maybe is not the best one. Cons: Doesn’t extend easily when users add work-spaces 2 . The launchpad entry can be found here. Unity 2D also has better behaviour for this. When we click with the mouse or fingers on an empty space for the Dash. A dynamic workspace icon The idea is to implement a dynamic icon for the work-space. Today when you open the dash you are greeted by lots of information. a good solution for keeping space could be use Comboboxes. Poor touch-friendly options for moving without scrolling.
This scheme of work is more touch-friendly and keyboard-friendly (the one used to use gnome-do . folders and applications but by selecting a lens in the view depicted above we can have a clean and non-confusing way of using lenses. The buttons "see more results" are removed.So why don't we make the Dash a “Lens handler”? An application for selecting installed lenses and searching. Our favourite applications which we use often are located in the launcher anyway so I don’t see a need for recently launched applications and such in this view. In other words.Different navigation and Dash lay-out If you press a key character at any time. These buttons are replaced by a scroll bar below the row of options (this can be seen in the picture below) and two large buttons on either side of the row to allow navigation. The icons for the options that appear at the ends of the row fade (like gnome-shell). By default it should search results for files. regardless of whether we are selecting some option in the dash. (The view in the mock-up shows the most used lenses and provides a link to show all installed lenses) Pros: ● be the first Cons: ● be the first 3 . the search box NEVER lose focus. write the character in the search box. but this improvement would definitely change that. Today I don't install extra lenses since they take up valuable launcher space.
or synapse knows I'm talking about). .
Pros: be the first Cons: be the first Global Menu (old) Benefits: streamline the design by working around some rough edges. etc). The two images below show the Files and Folders Lens with the scroll-bar. while keeping the . with or without contacts.When you open the Dash. and the default universal lens repectively. it shows you the first lens you have in your launcher(in the dash view). so you can choose what lens will be the universal lens. You can install different "Universal lenses" and choose the better for your needs too(oriented to apps or to documents.
A good solution will be to use Global Menu for applications. we don’t need to do cumbersome window actions to get where we need to go. Then describe the short-term strategy. Have an arrow next to the app name to corroborate this idea. This would solve the Menubar problem in a very elegant way. In this case. All our Windows must integrate to Global Menu. not root’s one distinction. The arrow also lights up when using alt-tab to show the connection more clearly. This makes it easy to reach a menu on an application. Root apps aren’t integrated. make it easy to switch application focus from the application name in the panel. Hard to quickly find the right menu (it’s not visible initially). TODO: First describe an ideal state (most applications no longer using this kind of menubar at all). Application title looks strange when cut off. This also fixes the findability issue and is more touch friendly. Problems: Touch unfriendly. and trying to maintain the connection between the menu and the application. if we are chatting and the Contact Windows are not focused. like MacOS does. Different approaches: TODO: Pick the best one and X the rest. Menu seems too separated from the application sometime. and mitigates the time lost when travelling up to the menu and the wrong application was focused. like Empathy (Contact and Chat) or the GIMP. Hard to discover for new users. This has been used on major websites for navigation for a while now. This way.implementation as clean as possible. Allow scrolling/swiping on the app name to switch between apps. Actually Global Menu show the application menu for the active Windows. we don’t have to make it active before accessing it’s menu. which is the long-term solution. Always show the menu itself (it’s not that distracting since our focus is usually somewhere else. and seems to work well in practice. System settings in the Universal/Application Lens Adding a system settings (or maybe just Settings) Lens could be a good way to expose . when the wrong app had focus when we reach the menu bar. Implement the MegaMenu9 idea that’s being considered for Gnome 3. different from the focused one. Solution guidelines: Show the separation between application title and menu differently. making it more powerful and clearer. Of course a menubar item does more than just provide navigation. This has major benefits for applications with multiple windows.
Maybe show separate results from tabs/sections in those applications. the Ubuntu button changes color (something more obvious than just a triangle appearing).finding the settings when you need them. It can also collect all settings in one. and possibly with Gnome Tweak Tool. Maybe we can integrate gnome3 system settings into a special lens which can be open from the dash. Pros: Be the first Cons: Be the first Avoid duplicating notification information Right now. possibly showing a notification nearby as well. as is default right now. This detracts from the clean implementation of the Messaging Menu (top right. . easily searchable place. and easier. the Ubuntu button shows a triangle). and afterwards. and shortcuts. Pros: be the first Cons: be the first Dynamic Work-spaces Benefits: make work-spaces more visible to the average user. At the same time cater to the power user with speed. Possible solutions: Only show events on the icon in the Launcher. It wiggles shortly. It works the same way it always has. and topleft. both the messaging Menu and the AppLauncher icon can inform you of an event happening (such as an arriving e-mail). Only show events through the Messaging Menu. and have clicking them open the settings application with the right tab/section focused. We would have to think about how the results work with the system settings app. an icon start wiggling for attention. the icon changes color. and quicker to use as well. efficiency. We should only advocate one notifier to avoid unnecessary distractions. and on the left.
as implemented in Gnome-shell. . It’s displayed as a filmstrip of work-spaces.This section is strongly based on Dynamic Workspaces. Dynamic work-spaces always have one empty work-space on the right. Clicking on a window focuses that window. Dragging a launcher to a work-space opens the application there. but we need to think about Ubuntu’s own identity. so picking one is easy. Clicking a work-space switches to that work-space. not because it is a bad one. We do want to differentiate our solution from theirs. The bottom of the screen shows the dynamic work-spaces in full-screen when holding the mouse there (or when three finger swiping up). Dragging an app to a work-space moves it there. Note that this idea can still work when users prefer a fixed amount of work-spaces. in which the current work-space is slightly bigger than the others. A work-space shows all windows on that work-space next to each other. This works the same way as it does for the Launcher.
Alan Cooper. http://www.com/2011/04/unity-benchmark-usability-april-2011/ 3.canonical.ubuntu.gnome. http://www.com/MessagingMenu/ .launchpad. About Face 3 6.co.linuxuser.uk/opinion/linux-users-ubuntu-column-100-with-markshuttleworth/ 5. https://wiki.net%2Fubuntu%2F%2Bspec%2Fdesktopo-system-settings&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNHPl3LLcgvxbwct1ibeirQMFBvBoQ 8. https://lists.canonical.com/2011/06/10-ways-in-which-ubuntu-can-improve-unity/ 7. https://live.com/2011/03/quit/ 2.google. http://design.html 9.com/2011/06/01/ready-for-gnome-3-2-meet-gnomecontacts/ 4. http://design. http://techlaze.wordpress.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2011-April/032988.ubuntu.com/url? q=https%3A%2F%2Fblueprints. http://justinstories.org/Design/Whiteboards/Menus 10.References 1.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.