Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Concept Desktop -- A Basic Sketch

This is something I've been kicking around in my head for some time now. It's not revolutionary, nor do I even claim it would be particularly good. It definitely needs more thought. The mock-up isn't intended to look how the real thing would (so I guess it's not really a mock-up, just a quick concept).

The main idea is obviously to improve "intuitiveness" by  mimicing a real desktop where possible. Points:
  • "No distractions" full-screen work with the bottom 10% of the desktop always visible. Click "show desktop" to work outside the application.
  • Task-oriented. Not application-oriented.
  • Completely DnD. Move an app to another workspace by dragging it to the workspaces area. Close an app by dragging it to the shelf. Create a note by dragging it to the wall.
  • Common office functions are accessed from the tools at the back of the desk. Should I have a music player?
  • In common with the concept for Soylent, communication is people-centered. The address book is all-important. The phone and SMS are there mostly for showing incoming alerts. "I want to talk to Joe. Oh, he's on IM." Not "I want to IM someone. Oh, Joe's on."
  • Large thumbnails of every document and application running. They appear in perspective.
  • Recent documents appear on the right, with the newer documents in the front and the older ones in the back. I guess you can bookmark documents, too.
  • If you open your calendar to a date, you can see a summary of communication and document activity on that date in addition to obvious stuff like appointments. Web pages visited? Is that a good idea?
  • When you mouse over recent documents, the thumbnail slides out and enlarges to give a better view.
  • The walls are available, though I'm not exactly sure for what. Right now, I've got applications on all desktops (Rhythmbox), contact info for my boss (the business card), and sticky notes. I guess I could put anything up there with DnD.
  • I don't know how to make search appear intuitively.
I've seen some mock-ups of stuff for Gnome 3 and Ubuntu lately, so I thought I'd put my 20 Korean won in. Like I said ... I don't think I've come up with something particularly special.


Anonymous said...

Looks like Microsoft BOB


You know what? I'd never read about MS Bob until a few days ago, but a description of Melinda's failed attempt made me think -- "Wow! That sounds pretty much like what I thought something should look like."

I'm not sure whether to be embarrassed or not. I definitely agree with you, though. MS Bob.

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