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New Launcher Concept

ArthurTaborda
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New Launcher Concept

Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:26 am
Ok, so I was reading the discussion about S&L replacing Kickoff and I had some Ideas how to integrate the best of them. I did a mockup to better undertanding and I hope you contribute with new ideas. The mockup is not perfect due my poor hability in image editing (I want to add some more things but I dont know how on inkscape). But I am sure a designer can take the idea and make a more polished mockup.

So, here it is:

Image

to see it bigger: https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-VKCe ... rawing.png


So, My idea is to make a full screen launcher (like unity, metro, slingshot...), with the most used applications not so far from the mouse, which I think is the most annoying thing about it. You could drag and drop to applications area. You can view apps by categories too, like takeoff.

The search could work just like unity, showing apps, files, videos, music...

Here is the SVG file if someone want to make some change: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0BybJIJ ... UlUOTktU2s
trebor
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Re: New Launcher Concept

Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:11 am
Nice Mokup

I would add two proposals to it
I) The quick links to recent documents, paces and favorite applications (maybe also include kontacts like in lancelot) should be expandable if they don't fit to the screen size.

II) nepomuk file search should be included with a nice presentation (with categrories like documents, music, videos, emails, kontacts, pp)
ArthurTaborda
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Re: New Launcher Concept

Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:24 am
Yes, The idea was to these sections should be resizable. Maybe 48px is too big for the icons size, cause it barely can fit in my 1366x768 screen.

And the search should be just like unity or ROSA Launcher. They show the results separated in sections of apps and documents. Nepomuk can handle this.
Minio
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Re: New Launcher Concept

Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:19 am
There are few things you should think about again:
1. This mockup has two places for application (in lower left and whole right). What is difference between them? Why there are two places from which I can run an app? Which one should I use? What are scenarios for them?
Your post says that most used applications should be not far from mouse, which indicates that "Applications" section shows most (recently?) used apps, while right part of screen shows apps marked as "Favorite" by user.
There is definitely difference between most used app (which gets filled automatically) and "Favorite" app (which was marked such by user's arbitrary decission). But is this good to expose that difference to user? Personally I would put some faith in user and prefer "Favorited" apps to most used, if they differ.
2. There is too little space for "Recent documents" and "Places". In just one project I can use around 10 different documents, so limiting this number to only four defeats the purpose. That leads us to:
3. In your second post you said that sections should be resizable. But how? Do they have little button that shows all items, or do they show all items at startup? If they are to show more items, they need more space. This space must be taken from another section. Which one? How does that UI scale? Do expanded sections hover above another (so layout is generally fixed), or do they not (layout is fluid)?
4. I am not sure about bar in lower part of right section. It violates basic principle of classifications - that they are supposed to be disjoint. "Favorites" is out of place, as one item can go both to "Favorites" and, e.g., "Internet". But there may be some point in violating this principle, as user might want to quickly go to apps he or she uses the most.

Please note that I am not native speaker, so I might have chosen rather unfortunate words somewhere. My intention is to provide constructive criticism, not attack anyone.


Best regards
Mirosław Zalewski
Using KDE 4.11.3 on Debian testing amd64.
ArthurTaborda
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Re: New Launcher Concept

Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:41 pm
Minio wrote:There are few things you should think about again:
1. This mockup has two places for application (in lower left and whole right). What is difference between them? Why there are two places from which I can run an app? Which one should I use? What are scenarios for them?
Your post says that most used applications should be not far from mouse, which indicates that "Applications" section shows most (recently?) used apps, while right part of screen shows apps marked as "Favorite" by user.
There is definitely difference between most used app (which gets filled automatically) and "Favorite" app (which was marked such by user's arbitrary decission). But is this good to expose that difference to user? Personally I would put some faith in user and prefer "Favorited" apps to most used, if they differ.
2. There is too little space for "Recent documents" and "Places". In just one project I can use around 10 different documents, so limiting this number to only four defeats the purpose. That leads us to:
3. In your second post you said that sections should be resizable. But how? Do they have little button that shows all items, or do they show all items at startup? If they are to show more items, they need more space. This space must be taken from another section. Which one? How does that UI scale? Do expanded sections hover above another (so layout is generally fixed), or do they not (layout is fluid)?
4. I am not sure about bar in lower part of right section. It violates basic principle of classifications - that they are supposed to be disjoint. "Favorites" is out of place, as one item can go both to "Favorites" and, e.g., "Internet". But there may be some point in violating this principle, as user might want to quickly go to apps he or she uses the most.

Please note that I am not native speaker, so I might have chosen rather unfortunate words somewhere. My intention is to provide constructive criticism, not attack anyone.



Ah, my bad.

In Applications section, what I really was trying to say is that it is the favorites apps that you see in kickoff, lancelot, and others... I just put Applications because "Favorite Applications" was too long to put there... But it is really a old school fav section.

And about the space.. Yeah, it seems to be the big problem here... There is no enough space for 3 sections (at least with these big icons). One idea I had but didn't put in the mockup is that the sections are scrollable, and we have more itens than its shown. Other solution is to provide tabs (like kickoff already have) and make just 2 sections visible (not the best solution I think, but could be customizable).

About the resizing... The separators are the "resizing areas". You can make applications with just 1 line and recent files with 6.. And the sidebar should be resizable too, making possible have more columns. Its very customizable. Why not rearrange the sections, so if you prefer to have places more acessible, you put this in below.

Oh, and about the "Favorites" in the left part, it was not suposed to be there. I just ripped it from takeoff. It really doesn't make any sense there.

No problem about the words. As you can see a I am not a english native speaker too :)
trebor
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Re: New Launcher Concept

Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:48 pm
ArthurTaborda wrote:Other solution is to provide tabs (like kickoff already have) and make just 2 sections visible (not the best solution I think, but could be customizable).


Please no tabs. Like I said before it would be better to have expandable and collapsible categories. Maybe by clicking on the headline. If more space is needed there could be scrollbars (or we should think about to use the right space additionally).

So first the normal starter screen will come up and after clicking on a headline the category should expand

Image
http://i47.tinypic.com/alkygh.png
User avatar scummos
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Re: New Launcher Concept

Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:09 pm
I'm sorry to say this, but I don't like fullscreen launchers, at all. I just don't get the concept of them.

I use a menu mainly for launching applications I frequently use (classic favorites). For that, I don't want a fullscreen application to open, potentially even taking time to display itself (after all it needs to load lots of icons, for example), and, more important, making it necessary to move the mouse across the whole screen. I often find myself launching like five applictions from my favourites list at once, and fullscreen launchers make that somewhat slower.

Another thing I like to do is searching for an application. Here, too, a fullscreen launcher is not at all useful, a small popup menu will do just fine.

Then, I think layouting application icons in a grid is a bad idea in general. Sure, it looks pretty, but that's about all. Scanning a grid for a particular name is much slower than looking through a list, at least for me. If a single application gets added or removed, it might relayout large parts of the grid, making it hard to remember where to find a particulat application (that is not the case for a classical menu).

So:
  • If I'm looking for a favourite application I saved before, filling the whole screen with a launcher just adds unnecessary flicker, is potentially slow, and requires a lot of mouse movement.
  • If I'm looking for an application I know the exact name of, I might type it into the search field, which will likely only yield few results. Most of the screen will thus be blank, probably. A small list of names is just as good for searching.
  • If I'm looking for an application I've seen before but don't know the exact name (maybe I just forgot the spelling) I find a classical list *much* easier to look through than those gnome-like application grids.
  • Last but not least, for people who want large grids of applications there's the desktop for exactly that purpose. It even has the advantage of a fixed manual arrangement of items, making it easier to remember where a particular item is.

All of the above is just my personal opinion, of course. Fact is, just because gnome and microsoft use full-screen menus is not a reason for KDE to do so, too.

Greetings,
Sven


trebor
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Re: New Launcher Concept

Sun Jul 15, 2012 4:22 pm
@scummos

Your arguments are valid. But I think this depends on the workflow of the users and what they expect from a starter. Having an additional starter doesn't mean that you couldn't use the classic starter anymore.

While I'm against a fullscreen starter on any kind of diplay size, a starter with more space than the classic starter makes sense to me. The big pro is the fact that you can present more information without clicking through many tabs and afterwards you have to scroll. In this proposal you have recent documents, favorite applications, places pp on one screen.
The best benefit from my point of view is to have the possibility for clear structuring of file search results. Classic starter nor krunner provides this at the moment. For someting like this you will need more space.

Sure for starting every application by clicking on it this starter wouldn't fit the needs of the users. But to present structured search results (apps + file searching) plus additional the possibility for quick starts (on the left size) suche a starter is much better.
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Re: New Launcher Concept

Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:23 pm
Hi,

sure, there will be users for whom this kind of starter will be suitable. I just wanted to mention that there's a (probably substantial) amount of users for whom such a starter might not be useful, and that it should be very carefully considered whether to make such a launcher the default.

I can't say much about file search, just that it almost never worked the way I wanted it to in KDE. :( But having a good file search function with a nice presentation of results would indeed by desirable. Although I think a quarter of the screen would also be sufficient for that, wouldn't it?

Greetings,
Sven


trebor
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Re: New Launcher Concept

Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:44 pm
scummos wrote: Although I think a quarter of the screen would also be sufficient for that, wouldn't it?


I think this have to depend on the screensize. On my 23" desktop screen a quater would be sufficient to me. On my 11" notebook it have to be larger.
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Re: New Launcher Concept

Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:40 pm
trebor wrote:I think this have to depend on the screensize. On my 23" desktop screen a quater would be sufficient to me. On my 11" notebook it have to be larger.

For netbooks, there's plasma-netbook which has a fullscreen search as desktop anyways. Adding another launcher there seems odd... :)
But yeah, you're right in that it depends on the screen size.


ArthurTaborda
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Re: New Launcher Concept

Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:38 pm
In my opinion the small launcher idea is becoming very deprecated and don't have any possibilities for big improvements for the user.

Lets say you want to open quassel and you dont have this on the favorites section and you just remember the icon but not the name.

Kickoff:
- open kickoff
- move mouse to app section
- move mouse to internet section
- click
- scan the screen top to bottom while the list until you find it
- click

Full screen launcher:

- open launcher
- move mouse to app section
- scan the screen (no need for scroll) for the app
- click

The full screen launcher doesn't necessarely have to make you move the mouse a lot. You usually launch apps in the favorite section, so you should be used to it's localization. For some app you dont use much I think full screen launcher is still better.

So, is scaning a grid layout worst than a list? Everyone have their own opinion, but I think a grid is better. The elementary team has made some experiments with a lot of users and the results were very good. Here is the link: http://labs.elementaryos.org/experiment-1/

And with a full screen launcher there is so much improvements we can make. Why cant we implement a plugin system to search for videos in youtube? And another plugin for musics? What about a timeline files view like ROSA? (http://wstaw.org/m/2011/06/07/plasma-desktopMp4061.jpg)

The options are unlimited.

And it doens't have necessarely to be the default launcher. I am sure when kde changed from classic to kickoff a lot of users didn't like. And the default need much less mouse movements too... So why did we change?


I am interested in implement this myself. I am learning QML and already implemented a plasmoid in just 1 week... A launcher like that doesn't need a lot of effort to make (the initial idea). If some developer want to help too would be great, and ready before KDE 5.
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Re: New Launcher Concept

Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:53 pm
ArthurTaborda wrote:Lets say you want to open quassel and you dont have this on the favorites section and you just remember the icon but not the name.

For me, this sounds like a very hypothetical use case. :)
Much more likely is that you only remember it was an IRC client, and then the "internet" section will really help.

Why cant we implement a plugin system to search for videos in youtube? And another plugin for musics?

Can't krunner do most of this right now?

So, is scaning a grid layout worst than a list? Everyone have their own opinion, but I think a grid is better. The elementary team has made some experiments with a lot of users and the results were very good. Here is the link: http://labs.elementaryos.org/experiment-1/

This focuses on the icons instead of the names/descriptions of the applications, which is not how I tend to find stuff. If you're looking for an icon, a grid layout might indeed be suitable, but icons tend to change a lot and look different on different computers (different icon themes, ...)
Also an actual comparison between how fast the average users finds an application by name/icon in a grid/list would be interesting, only testing one of those doesn't really tell anything.

Don't get me wrong, I really don't want to stop you from implementing this. I'm sure there will be many users who appreciate it. It's just that I tried the concept in gnome and windows 8, and didn't like it.
After all most of this discussion is about what you actually want an application launcher to do. I want it to have buttons for the 15 applications I use most so I can launch them quickly; a list of all applications where I can find something I rarely use (like if I want an application to burn a CD, I often just search the menu until I find anything that does); and optimally, a search function. Other people might want it to do different things, and will thus need a different (or configurable) launcher.

Instead of just grumping all the time, I'll try to say something constructive instead: I think the lancelot approach is quite good in fact. It just needs more solid right-click menus in my opinion, adding stuff to the task bar or favourites is a bit painful currently (and the popup menus are a bit buggy too). If that was improved and the animations reduced a bit, it would be a really fine launcher application.

Greetings


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Re: New Launcher Concept

Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:12 pm
@scummos

Dont like it, Does Not mean (Does NOT support).
That what I don't like most about KDE the development follows much the of the developer's mood.

Two reasons why it is Essential to have App Launcher :

# New ways to interact with computers : todays & tomorrow computers wont use mouse & keyboard only Touch Screens, Control Gestures, Sensors like KINECT have became widely used in computers & we're not talking about something in the future it's really Exist today, so it's really important for any DE to be compatible with those Technologies.

# Get Advantage of Bigger Screens : I have 24" Screen why I have to stick with App Menu that ONLY take 6'' inches of my screen !
Give me Nice looking App Launcher that Get Advantage of My Screens, Provide more options & Cool animations.

I know that many people out there complain about Metro or Gnome Shell usability, but that wont stand for too long as soon as they got new computer which has one of the above technologies.

Greetings,

@ArthurTaborda

Cool Mockup bro , Greetings .
apache
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Re: New Launcher Concept

Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:48 am
Similar to Homerun
viewtopic.php?f=226&t=107239
Why don't you combine these two ideas and create one full-featured, with many options to chose from launcher?

 
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