Re: [Tails-ux] Category-based applications menu / Activities…

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Author: intrigeri
To: Tails user experience & user interface design
New-Topics: Re: [Tails-ux] Category-based applications menu / Activities overview
Subject: Re: [Tails-ux] Category-based applications menu / Activities overview

> intrigeri:
>> sajolida:
>>> I think that the biggest problem with the Activities Overview is even
>>> more about learning how to get there than about knowing that it exist:
>>> it only has a pretty weak signifier on the desktop.
>> Right. […]

> The "Application" button comes with a ⏷ (downward triangle), which is a
> common signifier for "drop-down". The "Activities" button doesn't have that.

Absolutely. FWIW, I took a quick look at the code and is seems pretty
easy to add this arrow icon to the "Activities" button.

> I agree with your hypothesis though I'd rather not consider the
> "choosing by elimination" a good design practice.


>>  - The (relative) strength/weakness of the signifier for accessing the
>>    Overview is a function of its styling, wording, and perhaps even
>>    more importantly: of what other UI elements we display by default.

> Agreed, except the "more importantly" part. I think that the ⏷ and the
> wording are more important that the "choosing by elimination".

Nod. Renaming the "Activities" button should be pretty easy as well.

>>    That is, the "learning how to get there" problem seems practically
>>    tractable :)

> I really don't think that the slightly sub-optimal categories of the
> current "Applications" menu should lead us to replace it any time soon
> because I don't think that the advantages will outweigh the downsides,

You mean the advantages/downsides in terms of UX here, right? I'd love
to know what downsides you're thinking of, apart of the one that
you've already mentioned in this thread, on which I've been focusing
so far, since you said it was the biggest one.

> let alone the time spent working on this.

Right, I would not want to underestimate the migration cost.

To balance this, let me make it clear that maintaining the status quo
does not exactly come for free either: we've been paying a recurring
cost for keeping the Applications menu + desktop icons in a good
enough shape. For example, the last iterations (Buster) took us hours
of work.

That's one of the two main reasons why I'm spending time looking at
options that would kill this maintenance cost (the other one being:
brute-forcing the Applications categories to find the app I want to
start is not my ideal way of interacting with the system, and
I suspect it matters even more for occasional users who won't remember
by heart in which sub-menu the launcher for app X lives).