Unity alt+tab unclear, improvemet suggestions.

Reported by davepc on 2012-05-25
12
This bug affects 2 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Ayatana Design
Undecided
Unassigned
Unity
Wishlist
Unassigned
unity (Ubuntu)
Wishlist
Unassigned

Bug Description

When using alt+tab to switch between many tabs, at a glance, it is unclear which icon is currently highlighted. When using Alt+tab shortcut to do a rapid switch - as most people do - I often end up bringing the wrong programme to focus.

To put it another way, when I hold Alt and hit tab, tab, tab, tab, tab - it is unclear what programme will jump to the front when I release Alt.

There is two reasons for this.

1. The current item is marked by a white glow, and the title of the application is written in small white letters below.

    - my eye is looking at the icons, not the writing below, so in the split second before I release Alt I am blind to it.
    - the white glow stands out less then brown background around firefox, the red around settings, the yellow around display, the grey around others and so on. So in a split second I have to decide if its a glow or a background colour.

2. The item after the one currently selected is animated. I want you to try this for yourself so you can see.
    - Open lots of programmes.
    - Now use Alt+tab to bring the second last item to focus.
    - As you select the 3rd last item, the 2nd last item is animated from a narrow side on view to full size icon, when this happens it is intuitive to think you have got the right one, so you release Alt on the wrong one, and have to go through the whole process again.

I think this is a major look and feel issue with Unity that needs to be fixed. I find the side listing of programmes quite cumbersome and since the task bar has been done away with I find myself relying on alt+tab even more then on gnome.

This could be fixed by an animated enlargement of the currently selected icon, removing the multi-coloured boxes around unselected icons, and reducing the visual impact of the animation of the end icons rotating to full size icons.

Ubuntu 12.04
Unity 5.12-0ubuntu1

Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :

The default upstream compiz switcher plugin solves this kind of problem by raising and lowering windows as you tab between them. The visual feedback is much better. But I'm not sure if you can change switchers while unity is active.

Omer Akram (om26er) wrote :

needs design discussion, status ==> incomplete.

Changed in unity:
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete
Changed in unity:
status: New → Incomplete
Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
Stephen M. Webb (bregma) on 2013-09-15
Changed in unity:
status: Incomplete → Triaged
Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Triaged
Rolf Leggewie (r0lf) wrote :

I absolutely agree with the problem report. My suggested solution was to roll the icons and keep the focus smack in the middle instead of moving focus from left to right -> bug 1291790 . Currently, window selection is pretty horrendous and inefficient.

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