The THINGS! Menu
Over many years most Operating Systems and Desktop envirorments have often included a menu to Launch programs and applications.
With the Things! menu instead of launching applications we focus on common tasks we perform regularly.
To open up a conversation with a certain contact, send him an e-mail or visit his facebook page we usually were forced to first open the specific application to perform the task, then search or access this contact, and finally write whatever we were going to write. With the Things! menu instead, all these steps can be reduced to a simple click and hover.
The Things menu could be placed on the right side of the panel in contraposition to the application menu, or right next to it. In this presentation we've considered placing it on the right side. But obviously, this is just an example.
Example 1: Contacts
Imagine you are writing an important essay and suddenly you're reminded that you still need to tell your wife that you're arriving late from work. You could open the email program, search her through the contact list and write her a short note. But with the things menu it's much easier.
1- Without leaving your current task or whatever you're doing click on the Things! menu button on you panel.
2- Hover to the desired task/category and contact and choose the action you want to perform.
Not only can you perform a single action, but choose from several different option: "Hey! I wanted to show my friend Jean some photos!" No Problem!
Just hover and click to the "Send Files" button and that's it!
Important: Right now! Do it: Click on your current panel's menu and launch any application (a notepad, for example).
The Things! menu would be as easy as that!
Example 2: Playlists
Let's see how we can easily play our prefered playlists. Not only that, we can also edit them or even share them with others as easily. The options are unlimited!
Let's take a closer look at the things menu and it's structure. The green arrows describe it's elements:
Program integration would make it possible to create your playlists in your favourite music player (such as Banshee or audacious) and immediately find them ready to be used in your Things! menu.
Example 3: Web Places
This is another very interesting example of what can be done with the Things! menu. Imagine you could launch your favourite websites as easily as currently you can do with applications.
Not only that, but you can also sort them in different categories. Program integration could make it possible to fetch these or sincronize them from your current browser's bookmarks.
As you can see in this example, the user is free to edit the name of the categories and add as many as he desires to customize his own Things! menu. Which brings us to the next point.
The Edit/preferences button at the bottom would make it possible for you to:
1- Choose your preferred application for each action. Eg. What music player should the playlists open with?
2- Edit the menu to add your own tasks, categories, launchers, etc.
That way you can customize the Things! menu in order to make it do whatever you want it to do.
One Menu to rule all the Things you do
The objective of the Things! menu is to put all your most common actions in to one singe place that's extremely easy to find and use.
- Similar to a traditional menu - Almost everyone is familiar to it.
- No need to type anything. Only use the mouse.
- You don't need to stop doing or minimize anything. It's always there on the panel.
- Doesn't use up the whole screen. Only a part of it.
- You can find there everything that's important to you.
This has been the presentation of the Things! menu. An Idea I came up with a couple of days ago.
I focused specially on making it easy to use but also very comfortable and unobtrusive. Many new panels and docks fail to make program selection as comfortable as it was with a traditional menu, requiring more clicks or use up the whole screen. I wanted to make the Things! menu as comfortable as possible.
Please tell me what you think and let me know if you have any questions.
If you are a developer, feel free to use this idea and make it real or experiment with the concept, modify it, etc.
So, If you like the idea you can do whatever you want with it as long as it's released under a Free Software License (as in freedom).