Rather than thinking about the desktop in terms of applications and file types, we instead think about it in terms of key user experiences that we care for. User experiences declare common actions that users perform, or experiences that they undergo while using their computer.

Once user experiences are identified, we develop user stories which detail how we would like the experience to work; these may be found under each experience.




New experiences should not be added to this list without first having been suggested to the mailing list, and consensus achieved.


Log In/Out/Switch Users/Shut down is getting conflated

Other ideas:

  • play a media file downloaded from the web
  • play a Flash movie on a web page
  • play a DVD (?! even if it can't work, it should be helpful about it)
  • search for file
  • adjust desktop preferences (ie. control center)
  • administer computer functions (should be broken up I think)

MatthewPaulThomas: So far these are mostly big general goals. Also important, for general efficiency and satisfaction, are micro-tasks that aren't application-specific. For example:

  • You want to scroll through a document.
  • You want to compare two documents (e.g. a Web page you're designing, and a mockup of how it's supposed to look) by displaying them side by side.

  • You're arranging a surprise date/shopping online/making a DVD for your significant other, when you hear his/her footsteps in the next room. You have one second to hide what you're doing (without then looking like you're doing nothing at all).
  • Something on the computer starts playing loud music, and you want to turn it down as quickly as possible.
  • You're multilingual, and you need to switch between multiple scripts quickly and frequently (e.g. when chatting with different people).

  • You're using a laptop, and your battery will run out in about 16 minutes.
  • You're using a desktop computer, and there's a power cut.
  • You want to insert the result of (14.3 inches converted into centimetres) into whatever it is you're typing right now.
  • A program has just hung, and you want to quit it.

PhilipGanchev: Consider how efficiently screen space is used on the desktop, and how to improve this use. For example, you can test on a small screen. Also consider what is obscured by dialog windows when they open, and whether apps whose windows "hide" later reappear in the same position - for example Rhythmbox, Tomboy, Weather applet.


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DesktopTeam/Experiences (last edited 2008-08-06 16:20:16 by localhost)