<b>Before anyone goes mental-- Chris (Centimetre) *asked* me to do this. So no one freak out, please</b>
You asked my to make my proposals in an email. Well, here it is!
Instead of using only words, I decided to make a small, very ugly,
mockup. Don't let the looks fool you-- this is about behaviour and not
Anyway, I'll try to explain the mockup from top to bottom. Let's start
off with the window title bar. As I have said many times, it would be
great if they could be symmetrical. This has to do with the fact that
people prefer symmetry; in objects, faces, and even, no kidding,
As you can see, the "close" button is on the left, and the maximize
button on the right. Apple has put a lot of r&d into whether people
prefer buttons to be on the left, or on the right. They concluded that
all buttons should be on the left (probably because us westerners read
from left to right). Therefore, I placed the most important button,
close, on the left, and the less important one on the right. You might
be missing the "minimize to taskbar"-button here. Well, it is no secret
that I'm extremely fond of the "double-clicking-titlebar = minimizing"
thing. In BeOS it's standard, in OSX it's an option. I strongly suggest
you to try it out-- it's the best GUI behavioral idea I've ever seen.
Obviously, the window title is centered (well, it should be, I used only
my eyes to center the text
Next up: the menu bar. As you can see, I see no need for cluttering up
the top section by separating the menubar from the actual titlebar.
I think it is important that it is crystal clear to which menubutton the
actual menu belongs. As you can see, I used the same idea that
Microsoft's .Net theme (used in Office) uses: the menu kind of "hovers"
over the button. In the .Net theme (too bad Windows doesn't use it
throughout) it is very clear as to which menubutton a menu belongs.
However, there is one more extremely important thing in the menu, taken
from BeOS and OSX: list the keyboard shortcuts after the option!! This
is probably one of the most important things in this whole design: keyb.
shortcuts are barely used because they are not known; by listing them
behind every option, people will learn them, and start to use them. And
keyb. shortcuts are extremely handy. You can see my idea behind the
"quit" option (another important behavioral idea is that I prefer "alt"
instead of "control"-- coming from a BeOS/OSX world and all. Maybe it's
a good idea to have the user select whether he wants alt or control,
BeOS let's the user decide too).
Leaves me with a few more notes:
- you should be able to move the window using either side of the
- resizing is done via the little triangle at the bottom right;
- you can use the wider border at the bottom for displaying ie. how many
files selected, Cribbage score, etc-- a statusbar, so to speak.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask!