Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 18th Nov 2007 15:46 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces This is the sixth article in a series on common usability and graphical user interface related terms [part I | part II | part III | part IV | part V]. On the internet, and especially in forum discussions like we all have here on OSNews, it is almost certain that in any given discussion, someone will most likely bring up usability and GUI related terms - things like spatial memory, widgets, consistency, Fitts' Law, and more. The aim of this series is to explain these terms, learn something about their origins, and finally rate their importance in the field of usability and (graphical) user interface design. In part VI, we focus on the dock.
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"I am a big fan of the quicklaunch in windows (I hate, hate, hate the start menu, and always have)"

But start menus are - for a very good reason - found in almost all desktop environments. You tell that you hate them but fail to explain why? Care to elaborate?

I don't know why he hates it, but here is why I do: there is just so much information in them to easily find the application you are looking for. Especially in Windows, where each installed application puts its entries by default to the Programs root. I have seen such start menus all too often. And if you arrange it to folders (like Games, Utilities, etc), it will take a lot of time to go through the folder structure. Under Linux, it is a bit more sane, but it is much more difficult to edit the menu than in Windows, making it again a bit uncomfortable.

Of course, it is absolutely necessary to have something like that. But for programs I use every day, quicklaunch is much faster and more convenient. That was on Windows, though; on Linux, katapult beats every other solution for me. I do not even have a quick launcher anymore, just alt-space, type the first 2-3 characters, and there is the app I want. Brilliant.

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