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Free software menus reinvented

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 193.238.164.245] on February 22, 2008 12:53 PM
I don't see the point of reinventing these menus, personally. The approach by Gimmie and others appears to be to categorise applications into various categories. However, what's so difficult about organising the existing menu into categories? I mean, it isn't difficult to sort your menu into different categories. The existing Windows 9x "tiny" menu approach is slated as "application centric" but it works beautifully for me. I use XP at work and pressing Windows | P | right cursor | N gives me Notepad in about 1 second. How can I gain anything by bundling all the application launchers into another application?

I'm sure they have many benefits for new users if they can't find an application to do a certain thing, but when the user has moved on from being a new user, they'll probably find it really really really slow to launch an app. They'll hopefully learn to assign keyboard shortcuts to open applications rather than poking around the menu. eg. Ctrl-Alt-5 will launch a word processor. It doesn't happen that often, but miracles might happen...
But in any case, once you've used a computer for a while, surely you'll remember what the app is called and learn the things it does? When going to work in the morning, do I think "Travel | Modes of Transport | 4 wheels | car" or do I think "car"? I think "car" because I have learned (very quickly) that a car allows me to do a certain thing and has certain properties. The same will surely be true when using applications.

All this dumbing down of menu interfaces and rethinks of the interface may be good for some to a certain extent, but it is infuriating if the designers think that:
1. everyone likes getting pain in the wrist using a mouse to launch anything
2. everyone loves using a giant screen-hogging blob to show types of applications (Vista menu anyone?)
and do not realise that:
3. long-time users work very quickly with the existing system
4. if it isn't broken, don't fix it.

Remind me again, how exactly is the existing system broken for anyone who has never used a computer for less than 1 week? And what is the default Vista menu anyway? From using it at work, it appears to want to be:
1. a menu system
2. a search tool
3. a "run command" box
4. a button panel
What's wrong with it being just a menu?

Rich

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