A recent chat with Robb Beal got me thinking about ways in which Spotlight could be both global and specific using a consistent interface.
Nothing really different other than the Spotlight icon being in the opposite corner of the screen.
OmniWeb is my default browser. The Firefox 1.5 preview is a big improvement, but it still doesn’t feel right to me.
- Headlines (assuming syndication feed integration; not pictured)
- Downloaded files
- Local HTML files
Rory Prior’s NewsMac Pro is rapidly evolving. The extensive built-in library provides many feeds to explore.
- Downloaded files
- Attached files
- Attached files (not pictured)
Folder (or drive)
All individual files within the folder or volume.
- Conversation logs
- Received files
Image viewers & editors
- Bitmap images
- PDF documents
- PostScript documents
General document-based applications
- Documents openable by the app
- Different keyboard shortcuts would be provided for global Spotlight searching (sticking to the existing default would be least disruptive) and “Search within this application’s domain”. Perhaps Shift-Command-Space for app-specific.
- The Search field could also be accessed by selecting a Search command from the application’s Dock menu. The search field would replace the Dock menu using a visual crossfade effect.
- Application Dock menus could include a “Search” command that would present an in-focus text input field immediately above them.
- That the lens could be dragged would be indicated by displaying handles of some sort. The splitters used in my mockups should be considered placeholders. The handles (at 50% opacity in the mockups) would fully saturate when the cursor entered their boundaries.
- In order to accommodate the lens handle(s), the space between icons would probably have to be increased a bit.
- It should be possible to query and launch applications that were not running based on the UTIs the application is registered to handle and/or the data for which the developers provide a Spotlight importer.
- Items would open in the focused application, regardless of the default handler.
- The Spotlight icon in the lower left corner would be given infinite depth to leverage Fitts’ Law.
- This design makes use of several of the particulars of my Dock configuration; pinned in the lower left corner with magnification turned off. I don’t think it would work nearly as well with the default Dock configuration.
- The “Spotlight preferences�” at the top of the results menu would allow users to modify what kind of content would be displayed for that particular application. If the user preferred not to open a given type in an app, they could remove it to cut down on visual clutter.
Joe Henderson was a great saxophonist and composer. His advice for saxophonists: work on your long tones!