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!