Not possible to see applications per category

Bug #950730 reported by Daniel Fett on 2012-03-09
This bug affects 5 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Ayatana Design
unity (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Usability regression from 10.04: There's no beginner-proof way to see a list of applications sorted by category. The only list available is a list of all applications. It can be filtered by categories, but this step rather complicated.

Additionally, "recently used" applications are now displayed twice in unity: On the Dash Home and on the Applications tab. The latter one could be restructured to show the applications per category.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 12.04
Package: unity 5.4.0-0ubuntu2
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.2.0-18.28-generic 3.2.9
Uname: Linux 3.2.0-18-generic x86_64
NonfreeKernelModules: nvidia
ApportVersion: 1.94.1-0ubuntu1
Architecture: amd64
CompizPlugins: [core,composite,opengl,compiztoolbox,decor,vpswitch,snap,mousepoll,resize,place,move,wall,grid,regex,imgpng,session,gnomecompat,animation,fade,unitymtgrabhandles,workarounds,scale,expo,ezoom,unityshell]
Date: Fri Mar 9 12:01:32 2012
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS "Precise Pangolin" - Beta amd64 (20120301)
SourcePackage: unity
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

Daniel Fett (fett-ubuntu) wrote :
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Omer Akram (om26er) wrote :

needs feedback from Unity design team. status ==> incomplete

Changed in unity:
status: New → Incomplete
Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Incomplete
Danillo (danillo) wrote :

I filed a similar report with a proposal: bug #945970

Rik Shaw (rik-shaw) wrote :

In my opinion, re-work of the Applications lens is required... and this is certainly *not* low priority. Many new computer users that I have set up with Ubuntu (3rd world context) have greatly struggled with this. Only because of the 3rd party "stop gap" hack "classicmenu-indicator" have I been able to help people more easily browse and discover what applications are already installed.

Here are some additonal comments on design-rework help from my perspective:

1. Needs to be by category by default (I don't think that browsing a list of 129 Applications sorted alphabetically is useful to anyone).

2. Need to have quick keyboard navigation, or,

3. Just "hover" over a category name to see the apps under the category.

4. Currently have to manually "unclick" filters if want to see a different category. So, if click "Games" need to then unclick "Games" before clicking "Office" or else you get "Games + Office". This concept is just not efficient or intuitive for beginning users, and beginning users are the ones that desperately need a usable Application Menu.

5. In this case, Filters would be best located on the left side, so you hover and then the results dynamically show on the right. This is "standard main menu" style design, but obviously different than the dash "filter concept". Yet I argue that an Application menu / lens is a bit different / unique and it is essential!

Here are some examples:

AxeMenu is a good one (Gnome-Shell: but not their default of showing "favorites" but rather "Applications": also note when hovering over an App its description is showed in the bottom corner: again helpful as someone may not have a clue about what "Pidgin" does)

MintMenu (Linux Mint) is very similar to Axe Menu (maybe they share code??).

Lastly, Cardapio ( is a good one to look at.

In summary, discoverability, especially for limited skill computer users, is essential and needs significant re-working over the current paradigm.

Rik Shaw (rik-shaw) wrote :

I should note that the above comment I made is a near duplicate of one that I made on another bug listing,

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