Unity - selecting instances of a minimised application is not intuitive or simple
In Unity, if a user has multiple minimized instances of a running application for example Document Viewer or an editor, then it is not obvious how to re-open a specific instance. <super>w will show all running instances of applications however this becomes increasingly cumbersome with a larger number of windows and requires multiple operations for every minimized window that is required.
A researcher is working on a paper but needs many reference documents open and needs to refer to several of them constantly. If that person is new to Ubuntu and Unity they will have a great deal of trouble knowing how to select the exact documents they require. Even if they are familiar with the <super>w shortcut, they may have so many windows open with similar types of documents that selecting the correct one is difficult. Cross referencing to several documents requires multiple operations of an awkward procedure to bring multiple instances to the foreground.
Use a simple and intuitive mouse operation on the existing launcher that will show only windows associated with that application. An example might be a mouse hover over the launcher icon for that application, or it could be given as an option for right-click on the launcher. This would be the simplest and most intuitive solution and could be added to the existing right-click menu.
Provide an integrated addition to the launcher that works like a 'drawer' on the launcher icon. This would add extra functionality to the launcher and make it much more versatile. The document name rather than the application name would need to be used on the instances drawer, so that the user could quickly and easily select the correct window to bring to the foreground.
The same as solution2, but add the extra functionality of drag and drop to the drawer. This would return some of the sorely missed object oriented functionality to Ubuntu that was lost with the demise of the classic bottom panel.
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 11.10
Package: unity 4.24.0-0ubuntu2b1
Uname: Linux 3.0.0-13-generic i686
Date: Sun Nov 27 08:00:23 2011
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 11.10 "Oneiric Ocelot" - Release i386 (20111012)
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)