This is a quick idea in response to ../AppBrowsingAlternative02
Having the search entry in the top panel means that it is dissociated from the results. (The results appear in a pane to the right.) I think this might make it a little strange if the search results update as you type (we do that currently, it's good if you want to search for an app quickly by name or something.) It also means that if you browse to the more pane of Documents or Applications, it's not clear that you can type in the search entry to narrow further.
What if we just put the search entry right on the background above the workspaces:
Once you started typing, a panel would appear with search results. Possible visual effect - when you focus the entry, the top part fades in with a quick fade. The search result panel then slides down from that.
I've included some other ideas here as well about the search results:
- Show just a few results for each type of possible search result. You can type until you see what you want, or you can click on the category header to drill down.
- Use largish images and a horizontal layout for the search result. Keynav: up/down to go through the categories, left/right for individual results.