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Small features for improving Abby's experience



A collection of smaller features that have a relatively high
impact-on-abby/work ratio:

* A post it note feature that allows Abby to drop notes on her desktop,
but also drag them to a panel edge where they stick on top (allowing
notes to be irritating is key to standard use of notes as reminders).

* Show file attachments (but not little attachments like keys?) as first
class objects. File attachments are usually more important to Abby than
their containing messages

* Let Abby mark e-mail messages as tasks, and have due dates set on
them. E-mail is the most common place for people to store todo items.
Support this existing behavior better.

* OO.o help by example: given any OO.o object in the paste buffer let
people "Recreate by example", which steps through how to create that
item. Most people learn best by example, and it also allows people to
build on "things they've seen". With traditional help systems you have
to figure out what things are called, and hope that there's specific
documentation on an item. This way Abby can use existing documents and
things she's seen (people have pretty good "wasn't there something...."
memories) to do new things in her own documents.

* Files and folders can be moved seemlessly between the panel and
nautilus. The same items apply in both. In the distant future, allow
snippets of text, images, and other document contents to be directly
dragged in. Allows drag-and-drop to have the deferred property of cut
and paste, but retains the nice physical aspect. Also allows for
multiple items to be naturally in the "clipboard".

* Integrate music player seamlessly with the desktop. Use the desktop
interface as the primary piece of the music player, not an "extra". In
other words, the play list itself lives on the panel. Allow the music
browser to be a floating window. Flips the dominance between the window
presence and the panel presence.

* Mark relevant items as "sysadmin" in the .desktop files and provide a
marker on the account that shows them or hides them. Cleans out the
menus a lot for Abby. Also adds the possibility for Horatio to browse
through a smaller admin-only tool set.

* Provide the ability to turn menu items from a non-base set "on", using
a checklist. This is *not* full menu editing, but should easily fill
Abby's demand for menu editing. More importantly, it reduces pressure
for constantly increasing menu sizes over time. On the backend, Horatio
can define two application sets: default applications, and applications
which are "allowed" but not default.

* Collapse volume control to a single slider.

* Preferences cleanup, focused around Abby

* An improved calculator designed around quick, small "back of napkin"
sort of calculations. Not modeled after the deficiencies of physical
calculators. Abby will typically be working in another context, so a
good calculator needs to be designed for running in small time windows,
and make it very easy to get results into other apps.

-- 
Seth Nickell :: Interaction Designer, Red Hat :: <snickell redhat com>




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