Activities Overview Experiments

A design attempt, focusing on simplicity.

Goals and scopes

  • keep the workspaces list visible all the time the user needs it
  • when switching between app windows (alt + tab), display a nice overview
  • allow access the same overview using the mouse
  • faster workflows to open new apps
  • avoid resizing problems with dash and workspaces list


Workspaces list

Top left hot corner reveals a vertical panel holding the workspaces list. In case there are many workspaces, the list is scrollable and items never resize.


When an empty workspace is selected, the apps grid is shown. Activating non running apps icons results in opening the window on the current empty workspace.



If windows are opened on the selected workspace, user can close them by swiping them to the right of the screen. There is no way to display the apps grid on a workspace which already have opened windows.


When user starts typing, the search bar slides up, pushing the actual workspace content out of the top of the screen. When the bar is cleared, it slides down, pulling back the current workspace stuff. This reassures the user her stuff have not just disappeared when she pressed a key.


Drag 'n' drop

Touching or clicking an item closes the overview and puts focus on it. However, drag and drop allows to manipulate a bunch of items without going out from the overview. It's available for everything in the workspaces overview :

  • User wants to start a couple of applications ? She can drag an app icon to the first workspace and another one to the second.
  • User has too many windows opened on a workspace ? She can move them away.
  • User's search has been fruitful ? Why not opening multiple results ?


The dash holds only only running apps, and is accessed outside of the activities overview. It can be shown in the activities overview too, in which case the workspace list is hidden.

It uses the space freed by the recently moved away message tray. Thus, it allows to switch between apps either using a keyboard or a pointer.

When entering the dash, the current windows is zoomed out, and other windows of the same applications are horizontaly aligned with it.


See also

Previous experiments :


Design/Playground/Activities Overview Experiments (last edited 2014-07-22 18:59:00 by MathieuJourdan)