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Re: Opinions welcome: Restructuring the system menus

On Dec 30, 2007 1:09 PM, nodata <lsof nodata co uk> wrote:
> Good point. But why must a user choose a category in order to find an
> application? Surely a menu is only useful if the user doesn't know what
> the application is called. Surely an app can be in multiple categories?
> I'm not a fan of hunting through menus. It makes no sense to me that my
> (Evolution) address book is under the "Internet" menu, but my calendar
> is under "Office".
> Perhaps we should look for a different approach.

You probably want some kind of task oriented tag system, instead of
just using categories.

Your address book, email, and browser all belong to the Internet task.

Your address book, email, and address book all belong to the PIM task.

Your calendar/todo system, word processor, and spreadsheet all belong
to the Office/Workflow task.

Of course, the system isn't set up for it nearly as well as it is for
just pigeonholing everything into single categories, so I just put my
most frequently used apps on a bar on the side of my desktop, and
touch the menu system rarely.  Alot of  the desktops, except for Gnome
and OS X seem to focus on monitoring which apps get clicked on the
most, and try to provide this for you automagically.  They fail,
because rather than making things easy, they put a bunch of frequently
used items in unpredictable spaces, forcing the user to hesitate when
trying to do what he/she does the most often.

Of course we probably need some good usability studies, and I'm sure
Microsoft has enough money invested in their POS start menu that says
users like having their commonly used programs shift position

A task oriented desktop has been my (increasingly devalued) 0.02 USD
for the past year and half though.


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