This is just a copy of my forum post here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=10816912

The original poster is quoted, my response is in line.

I'm an end user just like many others, for many years I enjoyed the excellent GNU / Linux distribution that you and your company Canonical have created.*Today I speak respectfully to you to ask publicly that listens the requests from Ubuntu end users.

It depends, if the end users have no real experience or methods in getting feedback directly from users, and/or don’t have the qualifications, why should they regard our input over those who have sound knowledge of UI design and also have done the testing and feedback to validate their design decisions?

You might as well be saying “I like my wallpaper to be grey, so make it grey because I prefer it that way and users prefer it that way”, I mean sure, you might like it grey, and your buddy might like it grey, but what about the other 1 billion computer users, is grey an acceptable default to them? have you done the right research to backup your claims?

But I, like others found that the interface has been proposed, the Unity-Shell lacks two features that I consider most important: A Menu Tree and an Independent Taskbar.*Features that are present in virtually all other desks, both the environment of free software, and proprietary software.

When you say Menu tree I assume you mean “applications, places, system” drop down menu, which is still there, just it doesn’t look exactly the same.

This is actually a common problem with users, they believe that because something looks the same, it is therefore better. So with Unity being different, it is therefore worse.

There’s an article here on the issue: http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2007/06/product-loyalty-consumers-mistake-familiarity-with-superiority.ars

In order to get to the drop applications catagory menu, click on the “Applications” launcher button, then on the right side you’ll see “All Applications” with an arrow pointing down, once you click on that you get a menu, which you can then filter down to get the applications you want to get to. or you can type the application name into the dash and hit enter.

Your last line however is a common fallacy, just because it is popular does not make it right, argumentum ad populum.

I found this quite fascinating:

Along the bottom was the “Tray”, which featured three buttons (System, Find, and Help) and a file storage area. Another icon, Wastebasket, was a container for deleted files.

Users had considerable difficulty deciding what each of the three buttons on the Tray was for and later had trouble remembering where to go for a particular command because their functions overlapped in certain contexts (e.g., to find something in Help, do you go to Find or to Help?).

http://www.sigchi.org/chi96/proceedings/desbrief/Sullivan/kds_txt.htm

3 buttons was confusing?

This is from Windows 95 usability testing, and yes, that “Separate UI for Beginners” looks very familiar.

windows 95 Ubuntu 11.04

What it should allow the Menu Tree, is to directly access applications without going through the Dash of Unity and using only the mouse pointer.

Why would you needlessly duplicate functionality, for what appears to be no other reason than to appeal to Gnome 2 die hards? Also how badly would that flow? I can’t see OS X implementing a “start menu” and sticking that in its dock so it can appeal to windows users? can you?

It is necessary that the new Taskbar will be independent of the current Unity Task Bar, where they accumulate indiscriminately, both available programs, such as those running, and it should be possible to switch from one program to another, simply by clicking mouse pointer.

You can do that with the launcher, and they don’t “accumulate indiscriminately”, there is a specific flow of how programs end up where they are in your launcher, however if you do wish to “accumulate indiscriminately” you can simply drag and drop the icons around on the launcher, neat!

I think that both requests are completely reasonable, I'm not asking you to go away none of the current characteristics of Unity. So it will be time who decide what type of access is the one that most appeals to users.

If the year were 1910, you would be asking to put a horse in front of a car, because you feel this represents increased efficiency because it’s more similar to the buggy and cart and as the buggy and cart is widely used, it is therefore better.

I mean it’s not like we didn’t give Gnome 2 plenty of time, we have statistics and it turns out a rise from ~0.8% maretshare to ~1.4% market share over a decade suggests Gnome wasn’t appealing to many people, in addition the sheer volume of bugs filed against gnome (you really need to see it to believe it) suggests that many people who do use gnome 2 didn’t actually like it all that much anyway :P

I do not think this question of choosing between the red pill and blue pill. There on the table hundreds, if not thousands of pills, and all lead to what many consider the truth called GNU / Linux.

What you are suggesting is jamming two pills together and calling it a new better pill because the first pill you have used a lot and it is good, therefore if you combine it with another pill, it will be super pill.

Is Ubuntu Ready for change?

Ubuntu is ready, Ubuntu was born (ready) with a clear goal, replace Microsoft Windows as the leading desktop operating system, and it will do whatever it takes to get there, the question is, are linux users willing to deal with the fallout when they find their favourite linux distro turn into an operating system not obsessed with developers and technical users, but the mindless zombies out there who represent your average, uninitiated, computer user, and the problems they bring.


I’m interested in where Ubuntu goes to next.