Re: [Usability] Idea: Systemwide adressbar

How about quick access to a dialog prompt that understands natural language commands - simple ones to begin with like 'spell-check' or 'e-mail' or 'open calculator'.  As people spend more and more of their time on the web, they are getting used to typing to get where they want to go.  This is more intuitive than using URL's because with the exception of a few URL's, I find that most people tend to type where they want to go into the Google search bar and then have that take them there.  They would just need to think about what they want to do or where they want to go, express that in a few words through quick access to a prompt (like quicksilver on the mac), and then get taken there or have the action performed.



On 7/22/07, Matthew Paul Thomas <mpt myrealbox com> wrote:
On Jul 21, 2007, at 8:27 PM, Christoph Mueller wrote:
> ...
> The deskbar is only a searcher and starter for different things like
> address book, applications, bookmarks or internet search.
> But the address bar would also be a starter, but the url to an
> application or dialog is present every time the application or dialog
> has focus. The url shows the state of the application. Like in a web
> application. The url represents the address to that application or
> function of that application. So users can do the same things they can
> do with urls in web applications. Send via email or bookmark it.

For that to work in any application that deals with documents, the URL
would have to contain URL-encoded copies of all the documents you had
open -- along with URL-encoded copies of their undo history (if that
wasn't stored in the documents already), their clipboard contents, and
all current preferences settings. That would make it rather long.

Even in Web applications, a URL often does not represent the current
state of the application.

> If the user often writes an email to someone, it would be a great idea
> to have a shortcut somewhere on which he can click. Probably this can
> be done with Evolution and some cryptic command line parameters. But
> the average user does not know how to use it. But if the user writes
> an email in Evolution the normal way, and the address bar represents
> the
> state of the "new mail" window, while he writes the mail, like
> system://evolution/newmail?to=chris christophm de &subject=test, the
> application signals the user, that he can copy the address, execute
> it, and have the same new mail again. Or he can bookmark it and also
> send it via email to a friend.
> ...

That's an interesting idea, but I think you are vastly overestimating
the proportion of people who pay attention to URLs at all. The
prevalence of phishing shows how often they are ignored even in Web
browsers. Having screen real estate taken up by such an obscure
function regardless of *what* program you were using would be

For the example you cite, it would make more sense for the e-mail
composition window to have a proxy icon, in its title bar, that you
could drag to a folder as a template.

Matthew Paul Thomas

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