Flow mode

Hi everyone,

This was originally sent in an email to Owen but he suggested the
discussion is moved to the Gnome-shell mailing list.

From time to time I am making various experiments in the field of user
productivity when computers are involved, I wrote a short essay about    
an approach which I apply in UI development, it summarizes the           
findings I made so far; I call it "question oriented UI design", it is   
described here:                                                          
The essence of the approach is that the UI of a system should be able    
to answer as many questions as possible using a small set of widgets     
and clues. Everything else that is on the screen which does not answer   
any questions - should be interpreted as visual noise, and removed (or   
simplified, or hidden by default).                                       
One way in which this can be applied is described here:                  
The article is about removing the taskbar to reduce distractions, I      
also mention a feature which is not available in Windows but which can   
be added using a third party tool (customize the delay after which the   
hidden taskbar shows up).  I've applied this method myself and have      
been using such a desktop for several months.  I don't have all the      
statistics that can quantify the benefit and prove that it exists,       
but this change did make my life easier.                                 
Although the example above is based on Windows, it is the same in        
Gnome, especially in the distros that use a panel on top and one at      
the bottom - this results in 2x "passive distractions" (simply because   
the panels and icons are there) and additional "active distractions"     
(flashing icons, scrolling text, etc).                                   
I think that in the case of Gnome shell a user could create a "real
work desktop" where they can keep their current primary task             
application (ex: email client, word processor, or painting program).     
On this desktop:                                                         
- panels can be hidden completely                                        
- audio and visual notifications from other desktops are suppressed      
As a result the user is more likely be enter a "flow state", since       
there are no distracting external stimuli                                
Further evidence to support this approach:                               
Information overload is becoming a more common phenomenon, making        
distractions more frequent and more intrusive.                           
To summarize:                                                            
- Gnome Shell could provide a special desktop, let's call it "Flow       
- For that desktop the user can choose to hide the panels (but they      
 can still be seen on the other desktops)                                
- The panels should have a "show delay" feature, so that they can        
 still be shown if the mouse is moved to the right position and kept     
 there for a while (to prevent the panel from appearing if the mouse     
 was moved there by accident)                                            
- On that desktop notifications are suppressed, to reduce the level of   
 Perhaps it is of reason to allow critical notifications to be shown     
 (ex: "your battery is almost empty", "the world is on fire", etc)       
I hope my feedback will be helpful, I will be glad to get involved in    
this project if you think I can be of use.                               

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