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Passive notification system with intuitive actions

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User avatar Fri13
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This is my version of the notification system what's idea is based for multiple different features (check the PDF at bottom for longer explanation).

Mockup of the Notification tiles at right side of the desktop:




Mockup of the Notification configuration module in SystemSettings.


Video of the Notification configuration module:

Passive notification system with intuitive actions from Fri13.



1. Notifications are by default passive. They do not jump top of the window. They don't need attention or actions.

2. Notifications can give a information what tells the user that something important has happened. User can ignore it without need to take a action to hide it.

3. Notifications allows a two mode actions:
a) A half-action is single click, it does not actually launch a action but it gives a user more information about the notification when needed by extending the tile in bigger version (check PDF).
b) A full-action is double click, it does the default action about the notification. User does not need to do half-action first to execute full-action.

4. Notifications are historical, they are in timeline order, the older
notifications gets stored or they are even removed if they are not crucial after the timeout.

5. Notifications follows the user actions in the applications and tries to speed up the notifications message by the users own memory of the tasks. Example, if user copies a folder what takes time, the notification from it is tied to the memory of copying a folder and separated from the memory of the copying a few files.

6. Different animations for notifications and configurability of notification places is important in this notification system. Use of the existing technologies to solve notifications problems in different use cases. Example, multiple window open at once on desktop, one window in fullscreen top of the others, a dashboard, hide-all-window/show desktop -functionality, activities, nepomuk and plasma theme support (of course!).

Please give critic or suggestions what you find good/bad about this idea.


Example animation videos:

New notification system 1/3 [Mockup] from Fri13



New notification system 2/3 [Mockup] from Fri13



New notification system 3/3 [Mockup] from Fri13



Notification system explained fully in this PDF document
(17 pages, 2.3Mb with big screenshots and videos).
http://www.mediafire.com/?fcaa8mmmh4f8m97

Last edited by Fri13 on Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:23 pm, edited 50 times in total.
User avatar Moult
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You are AMAZING.

A massive kudos from me to you! +1 reputation karma as well.

There's only one thing I don't like - the glow at the edge of the screen and the ways to check for notifications. Did you forget that there is _already_ a little (i) notification icon in the systray? Simply let that be highlighted to tell if you if there are notifications to be read. That way I don't need to have glowy bars on the edge of my screen. (Also, how well will glows work without compositing?)


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User avatar Fri13
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Moult wrote:You are AMAZING.

A massive kudos from me to you! +1 reputation karma as well.


Thanks. I wondered if it is smart at all do work a long document with step-by-step ideas or situations (and I even left some functios from it :-/)


There's only one thing I don't like - the glow at the edge of the screen and the ways to check for notifications. Did you forget that there is _already_ a little (i) notification icon in the systray? Simply let that be highlighted to tell if you if there are notifications to be read. That way I don't need to have glowy bars on the edge of my screen. (Also, how well will glows work without compositing?)


The idea is that would be removed. As it demands the systray to be placed always to panel and having the panel always shown.

Like if user wants to have panel autohided or have a systray off from the panel as own widget on desktop, it would make seeing the notification much harder. The current idea of notification being in the systray is forcing user to have the old school desktop with a panel.

This my idea allows user to have a desktop without panels if wanted.

Did you read the whole PDF and especially the page 7?

Of course that red notification from edge of the screen could be possible be configured as disabled. But idea is to allow a clear notification what still does not interrupt the user with anykind pop-up. And as it shows clearly right away as well how many important notifications there is, it has some very much needed functions.

The worse case scenario would be that you are playing a fullscreen game and when that notification comes it would slow down the FPS. But I think it is same kind problem what needs to be solved as currently the notification has when it pops up.

But one very important feature in notification system is that you really get the important notification someway when it comes, not when user remembers to check out the notifications. And when the important notification comes or user checks all notifications, it should be very fast and easy. As just moving mouse to screen edge and the notifications would pop-up like autohided panel does and it would go back when moving mouse away top of the notification tiles.

I am not yet totally sure what would be best way to ignore and close the notification. That I left away from the idea. So far the best what I have come around is by right clicking the tile and it would be closed/ignored. So when doing a left click, user opens the notification to see more information (not needed to do at all) or double clicking to execute the default action and then right clicking to close/ignore the notification if wanted to get it removed right now and not after timeout.
User avatar Fri13
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Oh, I forgot to mention that as the (i) in the systray can be anywhere (widget on desktop, other position or panel than on bottom right corner) as this my suggested notification system position, it would not be intuitive that you see a small (i) somewhere (if you see it and it is not as widget behind window or in autohide panel) as it would not be linked directly to the notification.

As if (i) would make a somekind notification itself, it would draw the user attention from the work for it itself, asking to click it. And when doing something for it, it would be in totally different place than this my notification system would be.

In my idea the systray would not be a notification place at all. It would be deserved more for small applications or functions like klipper, battery widget, network-manager and so on.

One idea was to try to get this notification system work for different sized screens from netbooks (1024x600) to even 30" screens with 2560x1600 resolutions. As user can configure the notification system be a any wanted corner and any wanted size. With icons as 22x22 pixels or with 128x128 pixels. And were user using a mouse, keyboard or touchscreen.

The keyboard usage would happend that you press the shortcut for the notification function (like Ctrl+Shift+N or Ctrl+F7) and then you can use arrow keys to go up/down the list and left/right keys to extend or close the notification and enter or delete/backspace to execute or close/ignore the notification.
User avatar VaterGarp
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Anything different from the current horrible system of absurdly disturbing windows seems like an epiphany to me, and this one seems to be very flexible and unobtrusive.
IMO it should not be on the Desktop though; a shortcut should be provided but should not be the only way of seeing and accessing the notifications, as this is not something every user wants to remember and it possibly needs you to change your input device which is not ideal for something as common as notifications.
+1 nonetheless.
User avatar Fri13
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VaterGarp wrote:Anything different from the current horrible system of absurdly disturbing windows seems like an epiphany to me, and this one seems to be very flexible and unobtrusive.
IMO it should not be on the Desktop though; a shortcut should be provided but should not be the only way of seeing and accessing the notifications, as this is not something every user wants to remember and it possibly needs you to change your input device which is not ideal for something as common as notifications.
+1 nonetheless.


I am afraid I was not so clear with my terrible english how user could access to this.

I try to be more clear in here in very short way.

1. As a passive notification on desktop, like a panel but always below the windows. User only sees the important notifications as glowing mark edge of the screen (or with notification sound like "PING")

2. passive desktop + dashboard = Usually a shortcut or a active screen edge/corner where user swipes the mouse to get dashboard up shown. The dashboard would include the notification pile so user does not need to hide/unhide all windows or show desktop to get notifications seen.

3. Like a passive desktop + auto hided panel mixed with the active screen edge so when user moves mouse to edge, the notification pile could be seen. In reality the notification system never hides from the desktop but it would come top of the windows when moving mouse to the screen edge where the notification system is located.

Think about the page 7 situation in PDF, where user has a window in fullscreen and gets gets a small red important notification. Just move mouse to edge of the screen (naturally user aims to that glown) and the notification pile comes up and the important notification is right under the mouse.
envalin
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I very much like this idea, but I agree that it shouldn't be locked onto the desktop. I actually wouldn't mind if these passively covered my windows, and maybe have something like pushing the mouse into the side of the screen would cause the expansion to occur. I suppose if it all got too distracting, I would like it to toggle on and off with the I icon that currently exists in the system tray right now though. Very nice work though.

Also, it says the videos are password protected... can you change this?
User avatar Fri13
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envalin wrote:I very much like this idea, but I agree that it shouldn't be locked onto the desktop.


You could see/get the notifications from dashboard or by active screen corner/edge as well, they are explained on the PDF. So user would not need to move or minimize windows to get them. Important thing is that the notifications would not disturb user when there is no need. like when user has a fullscreen application. And only important notifications would be notified with the a glow.

But the ideal would be that you get just the red glow if you have a fullscreen app or the notifications are hided to edge (like auto hided panel). As then the red glow does not disturb user much but gives just the very gentle notification "something important happened, click when you can" instead "very important thing happened, click here now"

The one of the basic ideas in this is that they are passive notifications by default. Not asking user actions or attention if it is not very important (the red glow). And then user can do the action right away by looking the notifications from that part. Just by moving the mouse to the red glow part of the screen edge and you could see notifications.

I actually wouldn't mind if these passively covered my windows, and maybe have something like pushing the mouse into the side of the screen would cause the expansion to occur.


Getting them top of the window permamentally would cause many problems with windows with right edge controls. Usually that is the scroll bar or even OK/CANCEL or menubar controls. That would then demand the same function what Canonical tought, that you have only totally passive notification what gets transparent when you move mouse top of the notification and you could not have anykind actions on them and the clicks should go trough the notification to window under them.

And user could not configure the notification tiles to appear from any other corner of the screen in vertical or horizontal direction if the tiles would be top of the window. Think about situation you have those tiles in horisontal mode from top left corner and you have a window in fullscreen. Those would hide your toolbar and menubar or even window controls. Thats why they can not be always top of the window.

That Canonicals implentation is not wise at all as then notification is only disturbing and acts like a butler who disturbs you when there is no need or does not bring you the note what caller left for you when you are at the meeting, but butler still comes and asks you to come with him to get the note.

The idea to have a notifications expanded when moving mouse to active screen edge would cause easily a extension to happend. And it could not be possible to make with touchscreen.

Clicking the notification is very simple actually and I had idea that you could extend one by clicking the notification and then just hover other tiles and they would extend as well then, without demanding the new click. But that would not work either with the touchscreen so it should always be joined with that you can click every one to extend or click + hover to get all extended if you have mouse.

And that would work as well with the keyboard, that you could just first call the notification list with shortcut (like Ctrl+F7) and then use just arrow keys to go up/down and extend them with left/right keys. So to get all scrolled as extended, you would call the notifications, click left (in this mockup screenshot) and newest notification would extend, and then you could just scroll down to go every trough. Executing a default action (double click) with enter or close/ignore the notification with backspace/delete if wanted to get them removed right away and not after timeout.

I suppose if it all got too distracting, I would like it to toggle on and off with the I icon that currently exists in the system tray right now though.


The (i) could not be tied to that, simply just forget the whole (i) as it would not exist (it was left in mistake to the mockup). As we can not force user to have a systray or even a panel just to get notifications up. And it is not wise that you get a notification (the i in the systray) about notification (this mockup). Especially if you have the systray and this notification system configured with multiple different ways, as this mockup would exist on top left corner in horizontal and the systray would be in its default place at bottom right corner.

You would get a blue (i) to bottom right corner to tell "you have notifications" or "click here to show notifications" and then you would need to move mouse to top to the notifications. Or how about situation user has a systray on desktop or on dashboard or the panel where it is is autohide? We can not force user to have a systray always shown on the panel.

The one of the basic ideas in this mockup is to offer a user the freedom to configure the desktop more freely than the current notification allows. That means allowing user to have a autohided panel, a systray widget on desktop or even being without a systray widget. The user could get more flexible and powerfull desktop than what the current notification system allows.

Also, it says the videos are password protected... can you change this?


The password was in the PDF before the video links, it is "KDE_SC".
envalin
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To bring up your idea about the butler, I would like my butler to stay out of the way, but if I get a piece of mail, I would rather not have him put it at the bottom-most spot of everything on my desk. I know its easy to use screen corners and view the desktop, but I like responding to mail and IM's as quickly as possible as they appear, so it would be useful for me to be able to have the notification be on top so I could hover over it for a few seconds and have it display the contents without having to minimize everything I'm doing. I suppose in this sense, I'd like to see it be an option that at least some of them appear above the windows, since none of my mail or IMs are ever marked with an important sticky.

As for the I, I think it could be in the system tray or floating, so it could be panel dependent or independent. Either way, it's only purpose would be to collapse all of the notifications into the box to get out of the way, not anything remotely close to what it does now.

Also, you might want to check the pdf... I'm not finding the password, and for some reason Vimeo isn't accepting the password.
User avatar tushargok
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Idea looks fabulous. The screenshot created also looks very attractive. Most important notificaion will not come in between the work and will not disturb the user. Usability wise this looks really good. Also it gives feel of Android notification and something new and different than rest of the desktops/window managers. My vote goes for your idea. :)


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User avatar Fri13
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envalin wrote:I know its easy to use screen corners and view the desktop, but I like responding to mail and IM's as quickly as possible as they appear, so it would be useful for me to be able to have the notification be on top so I could hover over it for a few seconds and have it display the contents without having to minimize everything I'm doing.


When it comes to IM and IRC, you would not miss the messages as you would notice the red glow next to the screen if you have fullscreen window. Otherwise you would see them (and why not having a sound when such are received?) on side of the screen edges.

But you still would not need to minimize any windows. Just bring up the dashboard or use active screen edge to pop-up the notification pile top of all windows.

So simple no, user does not need to move or minimize or un-maximize the windowses to get to view the notifications.

I suppose in this sense, I'd like to see it be an option that at least some of them appear above the windows, since none of my mail or IMs are ever marked with an important sticky.


In such cases, are every email so important that they should disturb your every other work what you are doing in fullscreen mode?
And when nepomuk is ready, you would get important emails at that time notified as well, without the need from the sender to mark them important. Think about how you are at on project X activity and you are sending emails to co-workers. Every email what you receive from co-workers gets notified. But when your friend sends a email about the movie theather night (on that night in next 7 hours), they get postponed and not notified right away because you are working.

At some cases it would be important to get a notification from every email, but that means that every possible email would in the current system pop-up. In this mockup they would just be added to pile and have a glow on them so you can notice them when you have a window in fullscreen.

As for the I, I think it could be in the system tray or floating, so it could be panel dependent or independent. Either way, it's only purpose would be to collapse all of the notifications into the box to get out of the way, not anything remotely close to what it does now.


I would totally forget the whole (i) in the systray. Someway I dont feel it even belongs there among some widgets and plasma applications (kalarm, klipper etc).
As right now the (i) does not work if user has a systray as single widget on desktop or panel is autohidden. Or user does not have a systray at all! Thats why on my mockup the (i) is at the bottom (/oldest) with big icon and showing the timeouted notifications. Clicking it will give the list of all old notifications what user has not seen and are such that they can not be removed (like such notifications are not important to be stored forever when loading a webpage and user gets notification that page is loaded. User can see it from the browser itself and does not need th notification system for that).

Also, you might want to check the pdf... I'm not finding the password, and for some reason Vimeo isn't accepting the password.


Seems I then uploaded the PDF what did not have the password on it. But it is the KDE_SC

At least for me on three different computer, from three different IP address (without user account) I can get the video be shown.

Edit: I added the video links from the PDF to the bottom of the first post with the password.
User avatar Madman
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What irks me a bit is: what happens when the user places the notification widget somewhere in the panel, on the desktop or in the system tray?

I think this idea is fantastic, but that it should act as a fallback option for when there isn't a notification widget in the active activitiy. Remove the widget and this switches on, add the widget and it switches off.


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User avatar Fri13
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Madman wrote:What irks me a bit is: what happens when the user places the notification widget somewhere in the panel, on the desktop or in the system tray?


This notification system would not be like normal widget what you place to panel. It is tied to screen corners and has few different configuration options like is it horizontal or vertical position. Or what kind animations it would have, what shortcut there would be to summon it (dashboard, shortcut like Ctrl+F7, the active screen edge where it is located) or what kind size icons it would have.

The idea is that the notification is always totally passive and it would not disturb the user (thats why there is settings for disable animations or choose wanted etc) by popping up in front of the user face.


I think this idea is fantastic, but that it should act as a fallback option for when there isn't a notification widget in the active activitiy. Remove the widget and this switches on, add the widget and it switches off.


This is the good configuration question of the notification system itself.
As I have planned that user only need to enable this notification system, as it would not be as normal widget like systray or like taskpanel. Instead it would be configured from system settings itself.

The idea is that user could as well configure would the current activity/virtualdesktop show notifications from the other activities/virtualdesktops. And by default it does, but then those notifications would be marked with other information that the notification is from other activity/virtualdesktop. Of course the configuration option to set so that only important notifications are shown on other activities/virtualdesktops and not all.

Think about you have three activities (work, home, travel). You leave the work and you are on train. You watch video or you write a blog and then someone sends important email to your personal email. Even that you would not have configured that email account to be used in that activity but on home (what is running in background and not paused), you get the notification from that to current activity.

Same thing would go for virtual desktops, if you have default 4, you can configure the notification system same way as the taskpanel with the "show tasks from current desktop" idea. But there would be option to configure it "show important tasks from other desktops".

The nepomuk would be very helpful in many of these cases, where example the user should not want to get work email notifications at all when being at home, even that they would be very important.

This notification system would not demand user to have anykind panels at all. Or have a plasma desktop or plasma netbook interfaces with specific configs.

The systray would not be needed either. User use the existing dashboard, shortcut or active screen corner/edge to play with the notification system (mostly only when having window in fullscreen, otherwise user easily see notifications on side of the screen).

So even that this notification system would be using plasma theme, it would not be normal widget like folder view or clock. As notifications are such that they are one basic pillars of the KDE Plasma. And it really would need a own system settings applet like desktop effects has.

The activity/virtualdesktop should have own config options as well for enable/disable the notifications totally from them. In case if user wants that specific desktop or activity is such that there is no notifications.
Or what could be better place, is that the system settings -> Notifications would include a easy list of all virtual desktops and activities where user could just tick from what disable it.
udippel
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This is urgently needed.
I for one run the 'panel-less' KDE. No panel, even no borders. 100% full, real, estate on the screen. The only way to move away is an edge event by the mouse (or task switcher, of course - but I'm a mouse-man).
So the notification is the second most relevant thing after the actual full-screen. Therefore, your "They do not jump top of the window" irritates me in your description, despite of my agreement. I am afraid, your thoughts are (still) too much 'panel-centered'. I would not see a 'printer-out-of-paper'-icon in the panel, neither a 'network disconnected' if the message wasn't pushed to me.
Currently, it is pushed, but then disappears after a few seconds, and there's nothing I can do about it. I would on the contrary want the system proposed by you to pop up, and stay, until I close it, so that I can take appropriate action (e.g. connect to another network) and then close it.
User avatar Fri13
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udippel wrote:Therefore, your "They do not jump top of the window" irritates me in your description, despite of my agreement. I am afraid, your thoughts are (still) too much 'panel-centered'. I would not see a 'printer-out-of-paper'-icon in the panel, neither a 'network disconnected' if the message wasn't pushed to me.


So for your cases, there would be needed a configuration option "Stay always top" and you would see all.

Do you have every window in fullscreen?

Dont you use dashboard?

Dont you use anykind shortcuts for window management?

 
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