Re: [Usability] How do you organize your desktop environment?

Interesting. I didn't quite mean with icons on the desktop, but with windows over the desktop.

What I've discovered is:
1. Most users place IM utility on the far right of the screen.
   -This is usually accompanied by maximum vertical expansion.
   -Expansion meaning, not interfering with other windows.
-Similarly constructed windows are usually under the one on the right, or on the far left. -Some IM utilities I've seen have a built-in docking capability. As do some media utilities.
This requires:
   -moving the window to the far right of the screen
   -(resizing the top of the window)
   -resizing the bottom of the window.
2. Most users generally have a larger application (browser/email/media player) that covers the center of the screen -this window usually takes the most space and when resized, is usually expanded -users get irritated when the window overlaps the window on the right when it covers information they might be interested in.
3. Most users also have smaller windows in the center of the screen.
-examples: IM windows(most times), email (sometimes larger), preference windows
   -these are sometimes organized, sometimes disorganized.

Derived ideas:
   1. Alternative manner of treating available space.
- Available space is currently defined as pretty much anything that isn't docked. - However, there could be an alternative definition that is meet the edge of the next non-overlying window. - This would address maximizing space without interfering with what a user might place on the left or right side of their screens. - This would differ in the current definition of available space as it can be dynamic for each window. 2. Alternative manner of moving a window within available space (move to edge).
      - Currently you can only move a window via click and drag.
- Another method might employ a static location that the mouse is moved around, and the resulting direction (N,NE,E,SE,S,SW,W,NW) relative from the mouse to the static location is where the window moves to in regards to available space.
   3. Alternative manner of expanding a window (by direction).
- Currently you can expand or contract the edge of a window. The most drastic of resizing is usually expansion. - An alternative method of expansion would be expand within available space. - An implementation of this might include double-clicking when the the resize cursor is on. In fact, the cursors in my installation of Ubuntu makes me feel like this would already make sense.
   4. Alternative manner of expanding a window (horizontal/vertical).
- Currently you can only expand a window by specific direction or by maximization.
      - An addition could be full expansion vertically/horizontally.
   5. Manner of pushing all windows out of a particular space.
- Just imagine a vertical bar running down the right of your screen that pushes the left-edges of all encountered windows right (matching along the bar).

The one suggestion here that has the least consequence would be the alternative manner of spanning a window (by direction). The rest of these ideas would probably need to be added to different parts of the user interface.

Diego Moya wrote:
First things first, you should start by reading previous research on
the subject, to stand on the shoulders of giants and avoid reinventing
the wheel (so to speak). You can gain on the insight of the

If you have access to academic sources, check the full paper:

There are also some open sourced research:


On 03/01/07, Jason Brower <encompass gmail com> wrote:
To follow your lead...
This email is part of a brain storm... To make send... please find the
original messege from jake13jake
Ways to make it easier to organize as we often do.
Let's study the way we organize in a common desktop environment to spawn
ideas on how to improve the usability of a desktop environment.
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