New R2 Deskbar Mockup

First thing, I am looking for criticism, and positive feedback I would like the replies to have a pros and cons section… I don’t want to hear “This sucks!” or “this rocks!” unless it really does… and why you feel that way.

As a history on me, I have been in the community for years and years and years (since 1995) so I have a little bit of experience with BeOS, and just wanted to kick it up a notch.

First, this menu by default will be on the bottom of the screen, aligned with the center line of the screen. It will have only the clock, the Haiku, and Disks menu.

Haiku Menu: It will be similar to the normal Haiku menu
Disks Menu: It will have a Zsnake (look it up) menu to track through the file structure
Clock: Double clicking on this will bring up the clock/calendar prefs

Tracker Icon: this may have become depreciated with the new deskbar

As you use the computer, the applications will show up in two different types of icons: Blue means it’s running, Red means it’s crashed

You can drag and drop an application to make a shortcut (which will be Grey). When you open the application it will transform to one of the above blue or red icons.

The colors should be gradiant, and possibly a transparent red overlay for the crashed application

The mouseover will brighten the blue or red background color, denoting the clickability of the icon.

On any open application, it should show a list of all of the windows (like the current deskbar) with an X to close any window you want, even if they are hidden.

On the crashed application it should show the list of windows, with a red background (or transparent red overlay) on the deskbar selection for that window. This will allow you to quickly identify which window needs to be killed.

The deskbar can be dragged to any edge, or corner. It will expand with the number of applications. When the number of applications expands to a higher level than can be displayed, it will show a scroll bar, and can be scrolled with the mouse wheel

I have a number of other improvements, and I will document them in this thread… Just wanted some feedback…

Please don’t be too harsh!

Well since no one else is responding, I’ll critique my own work.

This deskbar is everything I liked about three different operating systems. Windows, BeOS, and MacOSX

Windows has the problem of not being able to order the windows on the taskbar. This was solved by MacOSX, but the "Mac on acid" look never really appealed to me. BeOS always had a "start menu" like appearance, and originally in R3 it had a disks folder on the desktop. I think if the disks icon was there with the zsnake menu, it would be easy to navigate.

The ZSnake needs to have a delay of about 1/2 second where if you are “off the mark” and where the menu is not that it will default back to the previous menu, and the previous one after that… etc… This will allow you to make a mistake in mousing, without having to start over (we’ve all done the hunt down the VESA script file, and accidentally got stuck in some other folder)

The menu itself should be done with a scalable vecor graphic, so the size is always the same no matter what resolution you are running. This would look much more professional, and allow less experienced people to enjoy high resolution more… not to mention reduce the number of calls to the helpdesk about "why are my icons/text/whatever so small".

the deskbar handle has two functions, Zooming the deskbar (making it larger, smaller) and moving the deskbar to a corner, to the middle top, middle side, it can be oriented in any way thinkable, even movable in the middle of the screen (like a dockable window). Zooming occurs with right clicking, moving with left clicking

I personally like the idea (but then again… it is mine)

I’d have to see this thing in action before I could criticize. But I really like the idea of a disks zsnake in it.

Thanks Iso,

I will make a more complete mockup of the look/feel sometime this weekend. Unfortunately, I don’t really code anymore, it’s been like 2-3 years since I did anything with Win4Be…

Here’s a little of what I described above… I’m trying to keep the icon size small, for space sake… this is designed to be resizable on the fly, make it as large or as small as you want (to a certain extent of course… I think the icons should not be smaller than 16 pixels on the screen for geeks, and as large as 128 for visually impaired persons). It is resized by grabbing the handle on the left of the H button with the right mouse button, and dragging away from the menu to enlarge (it should be proportional to the mouse drag) or towards the menu to shrink.

The font of course is user selectable… so the font below is not a feature of this mockup…

You can click and drag the icon to anywhere you want it on the deskbar between the haiku menu and the clock (although, why not let them drag it anywhere?)

the above would look like this… after you have clicked and dragged the application to the new location.

seriously… there are enough views on this that there should be more than just one comment… don’t be shy… comment away… I’m one of the few people who actually made money off of BeOS… and I’m willing to make haiku a winner.

I think people are afraid of your "rough" mockup… looks like it was done in Paint, no offense.

Aesthetics aside, I really like the concept. Maybe pass it by the Glass Elevator guys?

Thanks for the feedback j_freeman, I’ll see if I can link up with the glass elevator guys and see what they think…

It actually was done in paint… good eye…

This is a mockup… not final by any means, just to get the basic look/feel down, nothing out of the ordinary… The reasoning behind this is that you wouldn’t do a movie without a rough sketch, and you wouldn’t present an incomplete idea in photorealistic detail…

This is an incomplete idea, and the point is to only serve as a basic understanding of the flow of the deskbar, and improve before I get to programming again…

The ‘hide’, ‘show’, ‘close’ and ‘kill’ symbols bring too much visual clutter and seem to be a big step backwards… both BeOS and Mac OSX have none of this. In Mac, symbols like ‘x’, ‘-’ and ‘+’ only show up when you hover their round stylized ‘aqua’ dots (at least in my setup)…in BeOS you just remember which shape does what and those shapes didn’t escape from an alphabet or relate to what you can find on your keyboard…proving there’s no need for that.
Another thing is BeOS’s clever co-operation between tab height and deskbar which makes the top-right corner the ideal place for it. Pity to throw that away, IMHO.

no i don’t think buttons belong on a menu.
that’s #1

arielb Can I get some explanation to the reasoning behind not wanting buttons on the menu? The reason for the buttons on the menu are for if you have a window that is crashed, or one that is hidden that you want to close (or unhide). What would you change about this?

Meanwhile The button size can be configured, also if you look at the first illustration, it does go into the corner, like the current deskbar you can drag it around. The Icon size can be changed to fit like the current haiku menu does.

With a current tab height of 20 pixels, a 16x16 icon has only two pixels of margin at the top and two at he bottom.

When you take that into account, I think colouring the background in different colours is a bit too much…things could become not so clear and obvious as you’d want.

(A true-sized illustration would make it easier for others -and myself- to see if that’s the case.)

Also, I think an icon deserves not more than a set background colour, either chosen by the user (menu background, menu selected background, desktop background) or just defined by default: grey (menu background), blue (menu selected background), another blue (desktop background) and white (file-background in a window).

Why? Maybe out of respect for the icon’s creator, because (your) new changing surrounding colours affect the icons a lot.

Well, look at the items in blue to see the problem. Those buttons are too close together and people will click on the wrong one by mistake.

I’ll make a new mockup later this week… I’ve got some really good suggestions coming in, and I want to incorporate them…

This is a more graphical version of what I am talking about… I haven’t had a chance to reduce the number of colors in the png files… so later on they will be changed.

I have changed the running icon from blue to white,
The link to a program or document is on the bar with no border.

This would be the maximum size (I would hope!), and all of these were done with SVG (a.k.a autocad), exported to png, then edited in paint. the icons won’t have an actual size since they have the new “HVIF” icon format. I tried to make it more realistic looking instead of shrinking sizes down. You will find some graphic artifacts in there, but it should be crisp and clean when the final version is done.

The clock is even in scalable vector graphics, and I would like to be able to scale the text up and down as well.

And this would be the vertical version.

I think I get it now. merging quicklaunch with the taskbar to use windows terminology. So right now in xp I have 2 firefox icons-one in the quicklaunch and 1 in the taskbar. we can get that down to 1.

So in your example, if i click on bemail, it would turn white. Let’s say there was another link to the right of bemail. so does that mean bemail moves to be with all the other white icons?

For the menus, i really do like XP here (I set to grouping but it’s not as consistent as BeOS) . just right click on each item so that you could close, minimize,etc on each window.

And of course, if there was only one window, just one click should open it. When I used BeOS I had to click 2 times!

also, what’s the folder in the clock?
and that a thin scrollbar under the bar? I don’t think that’s such a good idea. to hard to click on

now the crashed apps…i’m not so sure this should be in the UI. the OS should handle this and just kill the app automatically. Of course, there should be session saver for every app.

The folder under the clock is just a deskbar tray icon (think the speaker for volume control).

The thin scrollbar (is actually, in this case not supposed to be there) is so you can see all of your applications that are on the deskbar (like in this scenario, where it’s so freaking huge, if you have more than a four or five things on there… you would be off of the deskbar). I’m used to putting about 20 things at once, so there needs to be a scrollbar to find what you want, BTW you can also hover over and use the scrollwheel to find what you want)

The Icon, when you run it stays where it is, there are no classes of applications, you can place it anywhere on the bar you want. you can group things, or not.

The idea is if you only have one window open, then you should only have to left click on it to switch to it. not click on it, then click on the only item in the list.

arielb I think you have this UI down, It’s quite natural isn’t it?
I’m working on the other mockups later this weekend after I fix my Golf TDI…

I guess a simple way of describing the scrollbar is if you have too many items to display on screen, it will show up (It only shows up when there are too many to display, and it should be obvious to the user when it does)