Zeitgeist Hackfest- User Experience Team

Here’s a quick mockup from the Zeitgeist Hackfest. The code for this should be online later today.

Mini GNOME Activity Journal

  1. Jason says:

    Looks good, needs some UI cleanup:

    - Squircles are ugly, just use a rounded rectangle for your menu.
    - The background does not need to be black behind the items, make it transparent like the stuff under the arrows
    - The backgrounds behind the items should be less saturated, and brighter so the text will stand out. Those could also be nice and transparent too.
    - There is no need for a close button on a menu, click off is implicit
    - The search bar is too dark to make the text readable, I would keep this the same color as the other backgrounds
    - Menu tail is way to big, should be 1/5th that size, round the tip too
    - Menu needs more contrast at the edges (some kind of outline something) to make sure its visible over black also
    - Individual items are probably too large to show a useful number of them at the start of a search. It might be worth considering some kind of dynamic scaling on their size to get better packing with lots of items.

  2. aantn says:

    Hi, Jason.
    Thanks for the feedback.

    At the moment, I'm trying to focus on getting all of the prototype's features working, but I'll do my best to fix everything you pointed out afterwards.

  3. theaxer says:

    Great idea. Look forward to playing with it.

  4. Ketil says:

    Looking great man!

    • aantn says:

      Thanks. Sorry that I didn't get a chance to say bye before you left this morning. It was great to finally meet in person and work together.

  5. liberforce says:

    - Obviously unreadable and due to lack of contrast between background/font color.
    - No consistent thumbnail alignment policy (left ? center ?)
    - Please use a normal contextual menu, or you'll screw the desktop UI consistency
    - Try to see how this scales with more than 3 documents…

    • aantn says:

      Again, this is only a mockup. The colors wont be an issue in the actual code and the thumbnails are aligned differently because I wanted to see how each alignment would look.

      As for the other issues:
      1) In the current prototype we can fit 8 documents on one row. The primary purpose of the bar is to let users find and act upon their recent documents without needing to look for the documents in a filemanager. 8 documents is a good start to find something that you worked on earlier in the day. We're also going to have a more compact view for finding items that were worked on in the past week, etc.

      2) We absolutely will NOT use a contextual menu. We're primarily targeting large-scale linux deployments in corporate/government environments. (E.g. Dave's deployment in Largo, Florida.) Most of our target users have no technical knowledge whatsoever and do not use right menus. At last year's UI hackfest, Dave Richards claimed that 60% of all users never click. Quite frankly, I'm not surprised. I almost never right-click and I'm a power user.

  6. pestefo says:

    Hi aantn, where i could keep following the work?
    I'm very interested on learn from your work.
    Any IRC channel? :P

    Great work btw!

  7. Shaun says:

    Could you explain some what the background colors add to this? Will a user who can't see the colors properly be at a disadvantage using this interface?

    • aantn says:

      Each file is randomly assigned a background color the first time that it is used. We then present the file everywhere with that color so that users can scan through a list of files and subconsciously use the file's color to find it faster.

      There's been some definitive usability research on the subject, but we would like to do some tests ourselves to determine what the best way of assigning colors is. (E.g. Should similar files have similar colors to help users find related documents? Or, perhaps, should similar files have different colors to differentiate between them?)

      In any event, we're going to use around 7-9 colors. Users who are color blind will be able to change the colors to something more usable or enable an option that will do so for them.

  8. zekopeko says:

    Look like a really nice concept (kinda like the Dell Bar on the original Mini).
    But please, please make it beautiful. The current mock-up is lackluster visually.
    Perhaps as a Gnome-Do user you could take some visual inspiration from Docky's right click menus?

  9. aantn says:

    I'm already downloaded Docky's code and am working on a Python version. :)

  10. pdfsd says:

    There is a (gnome-do) like application already written in python called Kupher

  11. Zappa says:

    That's great! As I saw the mockup, I thought "hey, that's how I want to look for my recent documents!"
    It would be great to have something similar for the side pane of gnome-shell, obviously extended to recent applications.. I mean, all this wonderful stuff will hopefully land in gnome 3, so why should gnome-shell use anything different than zeitgeist and gnome activity journal for its search pane in the overlay!?
    Completely unconstructive comment, I know. I'm just sharing my hopes.. ;-)

    • aantn says:

      We'd love to see integration with GNOME Shell.

      Siegfried Gevatter added Zeitgeist support to GNOME Shell as a Google Summer of Code project. His patches are still awaiting review, so in the meantime we decided to develop a new user interface which doesn't depend on the shell. I'd love to see the two UIs merge together at some point.

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