MATE Menu Descriptions

In addition to not having a Run option directly in the menu, MATE does not include app descriptions in the menu. Geeks do not give a hoot, but for non technical users, the lack of descriptions is a serious usability issue.

Especially with the many weird and geeky names given to software.

Users do not search for esoteric app names. They search for apps based on task needs. Menu descriptions provide users information about an app’s purpose.

Non technical users do not spend hours on the web. They are unfamiliar with the geek free/libre tradition of using oddball names for their apps. What is Galculator? Artha? Quadrapassel? GIMP? Atril? Geany? Clementine? Caja? LSHW?

Some folks might argue that tool tip popups provide descriptions. Tool tips are annoying to many people and often disabled. Relying on tooltips to discover an app’s purpose is a slow process, requiring users to hover the mouse pointer over each menu item. Seeing descriptions directly in the menu is faster and more obvious. Being able to organize the menu based on descriptions is better.

Also peculiar is the absense of a search box. A search box should be sensitive to both app names and descriptions.

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: General, MATE

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