Usability Test: optimized desktop space
Various KDE Extensions
Score 45%
Description:

This is an attempt at optimizing desktop-space and reducing user-stress by letting the user concentrate on the top of the screen only.
1. merging almost all the information content of the Panel on the top of the screen
2. using Mac-like menus which are allowed to cover only a third of the screen size but can cover 2 lines of text.
3. maximizing windows without their border. Thanks to the Taskbar at the top-middle, the user doesn't loose much of the information contained in the window title.

Note:
- kdesktop button on the left
- Desktop Access button on the right, close to the Pager and kompose.
- kooldock at the bottom to start favorite apps only.
- universal bar on the left (auto hidden ;-))
- kuake at the bottom (minimzed here)

Updates:
Screenshot 2 shows kmail maximized and the taskbar at the bottom of the screen
Screenshot 3 shows kate maximized with windows borders, kicker and the top window frame integrating more or less good with each other.

ogott

13 years ago

... but what are these network symbols in your systray? what program do they belong to?

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trollo321

13 years ago

This is knemo.

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ogott

13 years ago

thanks!

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felipe

13 years ago

I like the overall idea, my likes are different though.

I currently use a tiny kicker on top of my screen, with:

* K-go (a k-menu button with text support)
* Universal menubar (mac style menu)
* System Tray
* Clock-calendar
* Menu-list Applet

Nothing more, no taskbar, no pager, no kompose, no osx dock clones... Alt Tab all the way, and i don't use maximized apps so often. Just a superkaramba monitor i wrote myself with some buttons on it.

Totally unrelated: the big detail-not-so-detail is that my desktop is my home directory

See my screenshot:
http://www.pollycoke.org/linux-help/images/mydesk.png

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Superstoned

13 years ago

me too, I work almost only with fully maximized apps. well, I have set kontact to always open on desktop 3 (mail), no border, always maximized, not showing on taskbar & pager.

I think anyway that this idea is nice, although maybe some more modifications and thought can be put in it. personally I dont like the mac-OS x like menubar in the kicker, and its not necesairy cuz all aps are maximized - so its in its place anyway. but thats just me, Im not used to it...

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thomas12777

13 years ago

don't get me wrong, but the major advance of the mac style menu is that you can reach the menu eintry without having to care about the y() position of your mouse - that's lost in your configuration.

personally, i feel the taskbuttons are pretty useless, as you can very fast switch between apps by making use of the alt+tab keys (especially if taskbuttons are grouped i don't get any advance out of them)

what i really use more (most) is the kicker executor as it allows me to pass shell commands to execute apps (and typing on autocompletition is imho much faster than using the startmenu)

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grandinj

13 years ago

Good point.

In general there are 4 special areas of the screen which are MUCH easier to hit with the mouse - left, right, top, bottom, provided that the relevant GUI controls allow the the edge of the screen to be "hit".

I like the combination of the title bar and the menu bar, saves space and makes the file menu easier to hit.

Might be an idea to leave the taskbar at the bottom though, maybe just make it take up less vertical space.

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trollo321

13 years ago

> I like the combination ...

So do I ;-)

> Might be an idea to leave the taskbar at the bottom though

I've tryed on the second screenshot.
I used the external taskbar alone becasue of color problems. I like it too. I think it looks good. Of course I reduced the size of the top kicker.

But I find it more stressing to use the taskbar because I don't look so often at the bottom of the screen and because the color contrast between the application window and the taskbar isn't that good compared to when it is included in the kicker.

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trollo321

13 years ago

> don't get me wrong, but ...
I don't and thanks for the comments. I agree with you, but for most of the menu entries of all applications I do keep the position at y=0. So it is not that bad. For most applications only Settings and Help menus will be at y=0+Dy. So not far away off.

> personally, i feel the taskbuttons are pretty useless...
I use alt+Tab all the time too (especially pleasing expeinrence now that kde 3.3 is out). But for me taskbar is still very usefull. It reminds me of which applications are opened, which one are minimized, activated. I can managed the state of the application whithout activating the application itself,...
I agree that it could look nicer.

> what i really use more (most) is the kicker executor
Agreed, but I am used to Alt+F2. So I don't need watching at an empty field all the time ;-)
And I agree that the startmenu is a shame. I never use it. Like the file-search tool. Very bad :-(

My problem is that I think I need a large "kicker" to show all the information I need. And I don't want to have to look at the bottom and then at the top of the screen all the time (see answer+screenshot for the next comment). With your bagira theme, you get read of part of the problem by removing the taskbar, the virtual desktops,... So a single small kicker fits your needs.
But what do you think of maximized apllications without borders. I mostly work with maximized windows. Is it true for you too ?, for most of the people here ?

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grandinj

13 years ago

The second screenshot looks pretty cool.

I work with maximized windows most of the time.

About the only time I see people around here working with un-maximised windows, it is because the app in question either won't go max, or looks bad max.

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thomas12777

13 years ago

about max.d
depends on the app.
i use fullsize windows for coding but rather seldom for the mail app and surfing (imho this relies on the screen resolution you use)

about undecorated max.d
though increasing the available space, i think most users would (including me) really miss the close/min/(max) buttons and a full spectrum title (while removing the bottom/left/right frames is very usefull and <commercial break> possible in baghira </commercial break>)

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trollo321

13 years ago

>...most users would (including me) really miss the close/min/(max) buttons and a full spectrum title

Yes, I miss them too, at least as much as when I am in full screen mode.
There could be an icon similar to the "full screen" mode icon appearing when [window.max+window.noBorder] is activated. But this require real kde-programming.
Anyway, one does't have to use the "no borders" option. The system still performs well with normal maximized windows. But there I would like windows top frames from Plastik or Bagira or others to graphically better (smoothly) integrate with the top kicker (see the 3 screenshot)

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thomas12777

13 years ago

about icon for max.d windows:
you don't need kde on this...
look at the "shaped" screen edges...
they work exactly like this.
i simply place a properly shaped black square in every corner and call them to please keep on top.
you can attach this to a deco as well (i.e. display a nice button when the window gets max.d and remove it as soon as the window becomes unmax.d (by clicking the button) should be about 5 mins to code :)

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somekool

13 years ago

looks pretty good

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trollo321

13 years ago

Thanks

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Stumbles

13 years ago

Except for having kicker at the screen top and the additions you show. That is how I have all my applications set, that is maximized. Well most anyway.

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