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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > GUI Customization > Spotlight screen corner - ui design motivation?

Spotlight screen corner - ui design motivation?
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cla
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Sep 8, 2005, 12:42 PM
 
Can anyone shed some light here?

Out of the box, clicking OS X's top-right corner invokes Spotlight.
Surely I see the motivation in assigning one of the four screen corners for performing powerful, system-wide meta data searches. But in breaking this search process up, we see that:

1) A user clicks this screen corner.
2) Moves the hand from the mouse to the keyboard in order to type the search query.

As the user anyway must move the hand to the keyboard, why not let users to use the shortcut (mod key + space) instead of wasting a screen corner?

A new user doesn't know the Spotlight short cuts, but then again, the same user doesn't know Spotlight's in the screen corner.

So what's the story?
     
Tesseract
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Sep 9, 2005, 05:26 PM
 
It's harder to sell Spotlight as a major new OS feature if it doesn't have a presence on the screen. (Plus it's harder for new users to find if it's buried in a menu or behind a keyboard shortcut.)

What else would you use the screen corner for? (Expose doesn't require a click.)
     
cla  (op)
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Sep 12, 2005, 06:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by Tesseract
It's harder to sell Spotlight as a major new OS feature if it doesn't have a presence on the screen. (Plus it's harder for new users to find if it's buried in a menu or behind a keyboard shortcut.)
It's not its presence I'm questioning. It's quite ok where it is, almost in the corner. I'm questioning that's its taking up the actual corner pixel.

What else would you use the screen corner for? (Expose doesn't require a click.)
I think it's a pity Exposé doesn't require a click. It would save a lot of users a lot of frustration. I also think an application invoked by simply touching a corner (no click) should be in semi-mode, i e only visible as long as the mouse stays in the corner. A screen saver or an info window for instance.
     
Anubis IV
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Sep 12, 2005, 12:58 PM
 
Personally, I like the fact that I can immediately move the mouse out of the corner after I invoke Expose, since it allows me to start moving towards the window I want to select.

As for Spotlight, I get the impression that it's up there solely for purposes of presence and not for utility. I'd bet that in 10.5 and beyond you can rearrange it just like you can rearrange the clock or anything else. You'll probably be able to take it out as well (which I am looking forward to doing since I maintain a good organization of my files and rarely have a need for Spotlight).
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cla  (op)
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Sep 12, 2005, 02:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by Anubis IV
Personally, I like the fact that I can immediately move the mouse out of the corner after I invoke Expose, since it allows me to start moving towards the window I want to select.
Interesting. The reason I'm not using Exposé is that it won't allow me to predict where the miniaturized windows will be. It doesn't even sort windows by application.
Am I missing something?

In searching for a window, I always start by bringing its application to front. Cumbersome, but at least I won't have to worry about hidden apps and minimized windows.
     
Anubis IV
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Sep 12, 2005, 03:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by cla
Interesting. The reason I'm not using Exposé is that it won't allow me to predict where the miniaturized windows will be. It doesn't even sort windows by application.
Am I missing something?
Actually, I've noticed that there is some order to it. For instance, if I have 10 documents in TextEdit open, it will sort them based on the order that they were opened. So, in my example, the first file opened would be sorted closest to the top. They tend to get sorted in standard "bag" layout from left to right and top to bottom. This leads me to suspect that Expose sorts all windows based on when they were opened in relation to each other, as opposed to application, current "layer" that they are on, or some other factor. If that's not the case though, there is another possibility for why I find it more useful than you do.

I use DragThing, and one of its features is that it gives the user the choice of bringing all windows for an application to the front whenever you select that application (a feature that I absolutely feel as if I NEED). So, if I had a Safari window and 10 TextEdit windows, if I was in Safari and clicked one TextEdit window that one TextEdit window would come to the very front, and all of the other TextEdit windows would fall in right behind it but over the Safari window. The fact that all of my windows are effectively "grouped" by application might make them easier for me to find in Expose if that is one of the factors.
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cla  (op)
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Sep 12, 2005, 04:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by Anubis IV
Actually, I've noticed that there is some order to it. For instance, if I have 10 documents in TextEdit open, it will sort them based on the order that they were opened.
I just did some testing and to me, it seems quite arbitrary as to which position the windows take. If I create 10 documents, Exposé will align them in a nice, logical order. This is however not the case after I've moved the windows around.

Try for instance moving a window that Exposé places in the bottom-right corner, up to the top-left one, and invoke Exposé again. Will it snap back to its "original", bottom-right position?
     
Anubis IV
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Sep 12, 2005, 04:49 PM
 
Hmm...I suppose that could also go towards the fact that I tend to edit those 10 files in order...

Perhaps it sorts them based on their location on the screen itself? That notion seems the most intuitive in that it would minimize them towards the nearest corner or side while allowing the windows that are nearer to the corners or sides to get closer to those corners or sides when they are minimized.

Anyway, I'm away from my PowerBook at the moment and am on a Windows box, but I'll check that out and see if I can come up with anything once I get back to my computer later tonight. But now that you mentioned that, I have to think that they probably do order themselves based on their location before Expose is invoked. If that's the case, I suppose the only way for someone to handle it would be for them to manually group similar windows in bunches on the same part of the display. Not sure.

EDIT: Looks like that theory is correct. So yeah, not really sure if there's any way to make it more manageable for you.
( Last edited by Anubis IV; Sep 12, 2005 at 09:10 PM. Reason: Additional info)
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TheSpaz
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Sep 17, 2005, 11:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by Anubis IV
Personally, I like the fact that I can immediately move the mouse out of the corner after I invoke Expose, since it allows me to start moving towards the window I want to select.

As for Spotlight, I get the impression that it's up there solely for purposes of presence and not for utility. I'd bet that in 10.5 and beyond you can rearrange it just like you can rearrange the clock or anything else. You'll probably be able to take it out as well (which I am looking forward to doing since I maintain a good organization of my files and rarely have a need for Spotlight).
If you don't want the Spotlight menu while still keeping Spotlight, here's what you do.

1. Navigate to System>Library>CoreServices
2. Rename the file "Search.bundle" to "SearchBackup.bundle" or something else
3. Log out and log back in for changes to take effect.
4. The Spotlight menu should be freed from your menu bar.

If you want it back, just rename "SearchBackup.bundle" back to "Search.bundle" and log out.

NOTE: You may need your administrator password to rename the file. Get Info on Search.bundle and set the permissions to your user and rename it.

This worked for me and there is no reason it shouldn't work for you but, I accept no responsibilty if you screw up your System while modifying your System folder.
     
davdav
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Sep 18, 2005, 02:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by TheSpaz
If you don't want the Spotlight menu while still keeping Spotlight, here's what you do.

1. Navigate to System>Library>CoreServices
2. Rename the file "Search.bundle" to "SearchBackup.bundle" or something else
3. Log out and log back in for changes to take effect.
4. The Spotlight menu should be freed from your menu bar.

If you want it back, just rename "SearchBackup.bundle" back to "Search.bundle" and log out.

NOTE: You may need your administrator password to rename the file. Get Info on Search.bundle and set the permissions to your user and rename it.

This worked for me and there is no reason it shouldn't work for you but, I accept no responsibilty if you screw up your System while modifying your System folder.
Then you lose hotkey functionality too.. Or am I way off?
     
TheSpaz
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Sep 18, 2005, 07:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by davdav
Then you lose hotkey functionality too.. Or am I way off?
I assume using the menu hotkey will not work after this hack but, I'm pretty sure you can still pop up the big Spotlight window.

Also, Spotlight still works normally in the Finder and everything about Spotlight will still work. This hack only gets rid of the icon in the menu bar.
     
   
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