Shell Redesign Proposal: UI Consistency in Overview Activities
Hello everyone! Happy New Year. This is a post I tried to make on Reddit, but being a new user and not having Karma, I don't know if the original post has been archived or deleted (because of anti-spam system). I don't know if this is the right place, but I hope my idea is seen, since it is my first contribution to GNOME and I don't know if this is the right place. Cheers!
So simply put, I am a new redditor. I just joined, because I have seen a heated discussion about the future design of GNOME 40, and wanted to give some suggestions. I don't know if this is the right place or if developers can see it. I've been using Linux for 2 years in a row. For the first time in those couple of years, I am forced to Windows (both due to insufficient Wi-Fi drivers, which were expected to be ready for the 5.8 kernel, a bug that does not allow the screen to rotate automatically, and my concern about resource consumption GNOME in general ...).
And boy do you feel the difference. In any case, to the point: you will realize that in any design, the minimum things impact the use of certain functions. People generally do not change their computer wallpaper or modify the system, so I have some justifications for the concept that I present (I did it in Krita) and how I suggest they may be implemented o considered in the future, or I would have liked to have when I was a new user at the time.
I clarify that despite this, I am not a very expert in Linux, I am only interested in making my machine work. With the least amount of click possible, no unnecessary jams, and looks relatively good. They are simply ideas that I liked and captured as a result of reading the debate, and I don't know to what extent it conflicts with the vision or philosophy of the developers or GNOME. In advance, I know it is still in development, but I wanted to share a brainstorm.
1) Horizontal design: I have tried Deepin, and boy, even having a 2-in-1 laptop, I never liked the horizontal apps section. A touch gesture is different from what you would expect from the touchpad and from it with respect to the mouse. Grabbing windows is perhaps the most counterproductive and annoying thing, reminiscent of Windows 8, so that's a big no. However, if there was a button to move between sections, it wouldn't bother me at all. Still, I did not capture it in the images.
Regarding the work areas (next point), if I know where the windows are, it's done, it seems like a great and consistent change with the gestures on the touchpad (if they will come by default), and if it is implemented well , it would hardly bother in the least. In that sense, refusing to replace the vertical would only be a reluctance to change, which naturally cannot be applied today.
2) Virtual desks: Better to hide and come out when you need them. In a single click or by hovering over them. As an artist, I'm not only interested in moving the current window to another desktop, but also in moving other windows to the current area. The current GNOME does that very well, although it is true that the thumbnails are very small. Make note that in the images, in order to avoid redundancy, the actual desktop only show the app in usage.
The design of the work areas encourages their use. On Windows, it appears unattractive by default; on Mac, gestures hardly make you wonder if they're other desktops (people call them a thousand different ways). Notice how, in Elementary, you not only have a view of them through icons, but they are in a single click. However, the bland design hardly encourages its use.
3) Activities: Desks with desks, and applications with applications. Avoid mixing things up. New users (family or friends, for example) will get frustrated if they don't see what they want to make as explicit as possible. Even being relatively clear, you are probably wondering "what is this? How do I do this?" As long as the icons are more accessible at first glance and have internal consistency, users will use it as they will have the least possible distraction.
Which GNOME does not do very well, although with respect to another issue, with the minimize icons and the dock visible by default. In fact, the layout of the tabs in files is relatively inconspicuous, or confusing. One thing that GNOME does great, though, is that once you know how to move and position things, you hardly ever have to search or relearn again. It is very institutional, although to a certain extent, it has poorly implemented functions that cannot be reduced to simple aesthetics.
4) Dock / Panel / Apps: The fact that the button is always in the same position (as on the edges, for example), makes it much faster and easier to open it. If you put the apps button on the left, users will associate it with such Windows, and when they have to open it, it is only to move the mouse to the activities corner and act safely down to the bottom by intuition. I would also be pretty nice if you have an clipboard applet by default (not in the images) or change the bright by up-down gestures in Battery (like you do on volume).
In this case (dock), I personally would prefer there to be 3 sections: next to the apps button, there are 2 or 3 "quick access" icons (files, photos or something like that, local, although I put terminal for no reason), a section focused on "preferred apps" like Krita, the browser, LibreOffice, etc. And one at the end where the configuration button is (system monitor, perhaps, I put it just as an example). Of course, it would be great to have a bar that indicates recent or preferred documents, within the apps section.
So, that's all. Please, enjoy your day. I'm not a developer, and doesn´t speak english that great. Still learning, so I hope the images captures my little ideas, since I was a nobbie to this day.
Thank you for reading.