Thursday, February 02, 2006

TopDesk & How I'd Change It

Problem: TopDesk makes the best use of available screen realestate to stuff in varied sized thumbnails. If you close a window, this order is recalculated, leaving the user with no idea of where his firefox window just went.

Evidence:
I used topdesk and it gave me a headache. General feelings of grumpyness ensued.

Explanation:
If something isn't where I left it last, it upsets me. For instance, I lose my house keys and spend much time wandering about aimlessly rechecking the same spot that I looked 18 seconds ago, eventually finding them in the "safe spot" I put them last.

By the same token, it's distracting to the point of near unusability to keep losing my firefox windows.

Solutions:
Organise the windows in a circle, similar in essence to a clock face. Try to keep applications in the same "quadrant" across many sessions. See below.

topdesk3


When a thumbnail is hovered over, a dim but visible, larger shot of the window should appear in the center of the circle. If I close a window, then go back to topdesk, Firefox should have started in the upper left and *stayed* in the upper left. Applications should be grouped by window name too.

Other solutions: Dim tinting of the application windows depending on how much I use them - the more often I switch between two applications in TopDesk, the more yellow / red those two get.
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