This a redesign of the shell's overlay, with some of Fitts' laws in mind. And some things that I think can improve usability and user-friendliness of the shell.

Hot Corners

First of all, the activities, add workspace, and linear/default buttons are placed on the corners and you can just move your mouse over to each one of the corners and add a workspace, change from linear to default, close overlay. Also, the scrollbar is moved on top so the mouse can be tossed up and scroll to the workspace the user wants. There should be options that will allow the user to switch the old desktop switcher and scrollbar if the user wishes.


Next is the color system I've used. Green is for selected items, current workspace and application. yellow is for applications that aren't responding, red is for applications that need your attention and white is anything that can be clicked and will do something. Grey is reserved for borders and the like because no action will be taken when anything grey is clicked. This coloring system should be easy to adapt to and can help aid usability and accessibility. Plus, it adds color to the shell. But these should be only the defaults and can be changed using themes.

Then, the menus for applications and recent files. They were made to look like a box and provide symmetry for the shell. And they can also be used for other functions like, if you right-click on an application, it can provide window management while for recent items it can give the user options on what application to open the file with and if the user wants to favorite it or never show from the list. This way will also help users in usability because the options are always in one place.


And for applications, they should be 32 x 32 and have text as a popup and in the place of the text in the current build should be window indicators. It should also be customisable, moving apps to where the user wants them to and stay there for easy access. The search bar should be able to search for applications, any kind of file and run commands. And the menus for apps/recent files can combine into a larger box and can change if the selected item can have different tasks. And the menus should still be able to be change using a menu editor if necessary

Recent Files

Recent files should be classified by common file type, Music, Video, Images and Documents. This will provide the average user more accessibility because the user will be able to tell which of his files are what. The menus for recent files should be able to change by user should they want to add, hide or show filters. The only problem with my presentation would be the space for names. A possibility could be that it will hide items like if the user hasn't ever opened a music file, then the existence of that column would be unknown to the user.

Desktop Overview

And the desktop overview itself. It should still have current shell functions like scroll on windows to zoom, close button, etc.


And finally, the placement of the panel should be on the bottom to provide familiarity and ease of access for windows users. But the should be an option to turn the hot corner off. I'll explain the shelf HERE. And the time shouldn't be in the middle, therefore I've moved it to the side, beside your name. Which I'll talk about HERE.


Please edit this page and leave comments behind and even fix any errors that I've made.

Projects/GnomeShell/DesignerPlayground/FittedShell (last edited 2013-11-22 17:00:20 by WilliamJonMcCann)