Re: [Usability] application names in the application menu

On Sat, 2008-03-29 at 19:38 +0100, daniel g. siegel wrote:
> On Sa, 2008-03-29 at 12:27 +0000, Calum Benson wrote:
> > In summary, now that you're a core desktop application and there are  
> > no other core applications with a similar function, your menu entry  
> > should not include the word "Cheese".  It should be something like  
> > "Webcam Snapshot" (I'm sure we can do better than that, I haven't  
> > really woken up yet!), and the tooltip something like "Take photos and  
> > videos directly from an attached camera".  You can use the name  
> > "Cheese" in the application itself, and in the documentation if that's  
> > what the current docs guidelines allow, but preferably no more than  
> > necessary.
> i can do that without a problem, BUT i would like to have that
> "standarized" over the GNOME desktop. i thought about the 3 things we
> use at the moment and i came up with this:
> [application name] (e.g. cheese)
>   + strong identity for the application
>   - confusing for people
> [application name] [short description] (e.g. f-spot photo manager)
>   + enhances the projects identity
>   + gives an idea what the application is about
>   - the application name is confusing for people
>   - looses its romance (unreal tournament vs. unreal tournament first person shooter game)
> [short description] (e.g. text editor)
>   + gives an idea what the application is about
>   - probably not easy to find?
>   - the project could loose its identity and finding the project page or
>     bugs page could be more difficult for users
>   - if several applications, which do the same are installed, this
>     creates confusion, e.g. firefox and epiphany
> now the HIG suggests to use [application name] [short description]
> or [short description] if this is possible. could we agree to just use
> one of those three mentioned or at least do the same?

It's a shame that in 2008, we're still limited to 1980s
menus and very short labels.  I've attached a very bad
mockup of how descriptions could be right there in the
menu where users can see them without hovering for the

Hypothesis: Users will scan the description for a given
application at most three times before they learn the
title and/or the icon.

Hypothesis: Scan times for users who know titles will
not be significantly adversely affected for reasonbly
sized menus.

Real designers could make something better, I'm sure.

On a more here-and-now note, I've long opposed using
only the generic name for any application that does
not have OnlyShowIn=GNOME in its .desktop file.  It
would be presumptuous of us to put Epiphany in KDE
users' menus as "Web Browser", for instance.

And honestly, I tend to think any application that
only uses a generic name should just get renamed.
(And yes, I know I'm guilty here.)  We can never
seem to get consistent name usage in documentation,
online forums, marketing material, etc.

Short version: Say Cheese :)


Attachment: appmenu.png
Description: PNG image

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