[Oneiric] The BFB needs to be restored

Bug #825146 reported by David Raid on 2011-08-12
This bug affects 26 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Ayatana Design
unity (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

The removal of the Ubuntu Dash button in the panel (newer builds) is a regression in both looks and functionality for several reasons.

Beginning with aesthetics, the Circle of Friends is the Ubuntu logo, it's the visual identity of the Operating system and only having it on view when the Launcher is visible is foolish.

We also have the advantage of most new users already being used to clicking on a logo to get to a 'menu'.

In terms of functionality, having to make the Launcher appear in order to open Dash with a mouse is less efficient than being able to move straight to an already visible logo and click on it. Additionally, having the Dash button in the Launcher clutters the application list and could cause new users to confuse it with another application.

Please, restore the BFB.

Edit-- After the release of Oneiric and daily use, I've determined that usability has regressed significantly with the removal of the BFB Launcher invoke!

Vladimir Scherbaev (zemik) wrote :

I agree with you. Maybe with first load Ubuntu send somе notify, like "click to ... for start work with Ubuntu".

Karl Inglis (mail-wz6bky) wrote :

I am inclined to agree with David on all points.

In my humble opinion, while it is obviously true that "Ubuntu start" is itself an application, I've always seen it more as a means of launching all the other applications - with the dash panel a logical equivalent to "start" or "applications" menus on other systems - and it should be treated differently.

Thanks for you time.

David Raid (davidraid) on 2011-08-12
tags: added: bfb big bug button dash funny launcher logo oneiric regression start ubuntu ui unity
Omer Akram (om26er) wrote :

none of those tags is needed or have any meanings.

tags: removed: bfb big bug button dash funny launcher logo start ui
David Raid (davidraid) wrote :

Ah, sorry. Thought they made it more searchable. <.<;;

Adolfo Jayme (fitojb) wrote :

This is a regression, because the removal of BFB also removed the ability of show the Launcher by hovering it.

tags: added: needs-design
Changed in unity:
status: New → Confirmed
David Raid (davidraid) wrote :

Indeed. It also makes more aesthetic sense for it to be above the Launcher as opposed to inside of it as it is not a pinned app, but a menu. These should be kept separate but close to prevent confusion, as a user will look for a separate distinct button to find new applications with as opposed to looking on the launcher at the apps already pinned.

The Natty design for the BFB was perfect in this regard and should absolutely be restored.

Muhammad Nabil (ghogaru) wrote :

"We also have the advantage of most new users already being used to clicking on a logo to get to a 'menu'.

In terms of functionality, having to make the Launcher appear in order to open Dash with a mouse is less efficient than being able to move straight to an already visible logo and click on it. Additionally, having the Dash button in the Launcher clutters the application list and could cause new users to confuse it with another application."

100% agreed.

Please, restore the BFB.

restoring BFB would mean two ubuntu logo very near to each other, that
sounds weird from the thought of it (TM)

David Raid (davidraid) wrote :

@ Omer Akram
Perhaps I should have been more specific, I meant to revert the change, thereby removing the 'new Dash icon' from the Launcher.
That's why I mentioned that having it in the launcher could confuse new users into mistaking it as another application.

Hello there,
does anyone know a way to restore the natty-behavior?

Would be great to have a simple option...

Danillo (danillo) wrote :

The whole Unity look is now the visual identity of Ubuntu, not just a small button on the top left corner, and new users will still click on a logo, the only difference is that this logo will be in the launcher instead of the panel. Aesthetically (which is very subjective) it's not that much of a big deal.

The transfer of the BFB to the launcher is very important because it allows the possibility (in the near future?) of moving the launcher to the bottom, to the right or to wherever the user wants, giving more autonomy to the launcher. The main reason why moving the launcher isn't currently possible is exactly because of the BFB in the top panel. At this moment this is still a huge source of criticism for Unity, and that possibility could help people from RTL cultures to adapt better to the new Ubuntu and bring back lots of users who were used to a dock in the bottom.

In addition, with the removal of applications and folder lenses icons there is no cluttering of the application list, it's the absolute opposite: they're trading 2 icons for 1, actually opening more room in the launcher.

What makes me most excited about moving the BFB to the launcher is that this also makes room for the wonderful quicklists, and badges and other functionalities!

The icon in the launcher really could be overlooked (probably less than the Natty BFB is), but this is just a matter of making the new Dash icon in the launcher stand out more than the other icons. The icon should be very different from the rest or the area in the launcher around the dash button should be themed.

Omer Akram (om26er) wrote :

That icon will MOST probably have better shaping so that it could be
distinguished from other launchers clearly.

Hello Danillo, you are absolutely right about moving the launcher, but for the ones using it on the left, the new BFB is just a Button that is never clicked (super-key), but uses up the space of the first icon on the launcher, so I actually end up with more space, but it is space on the end of the launcher which will get moved together if there is no space left.
I actually don't care about application and folder lens getting moved together because I have too many icons in the launcher or not, but I care about my top applications, the ones I often use.
Sincerely Benni

Daryl Sweat (curnel-d) wrote :

At the very least, put it as a non-default option. When the alpha updates took the UI in this specific direction, I immediately reinstalled natty back over. Regression, regression, regression. Fix it please!!!!!

Changed in ubuntu:
status: New → Opinion
David Raid (davidraid) wrote :

Even if it is changed to be more distinctive on the Launcher, that still puts the logo of Ubuntu, that visual identity that immediately proudly draws attention to itself, in a place where it'll only be seen when the user is bringing up the Launcher.

Aesthetically, that is horrific.

Andrea Azzarone (azzar1) on 2011-08-22
Changed in unity:
status: Confirmed → Incomplete
affects: ubuntu → unity (Ubuntu)
Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: Opinion → Incomplete
Guillaume (gufide-g) wrote :

Totally aggree! It don't make sense... The button in the panel is intuitive and easy to understand, and look much better

pelle.k (pele2) wrote :

This change also makes the bfb go away when the dock hides. That means one more action to get to it. Also, moving it from the top left, you take away the ability to just flick the pointer up in the corner and click (takes very little effort since you can't hit anything else like that).
And about the usability studies done on this, did i just not make a few arguments that contradict the usability of moving the button from the panel? Sure, a few first time test subjects managed to find it on the sidebar much quicker, but that has more to do with *first time* discoverability, rather than usability IMHO. It's a bad deal if you ask me. You only have to find something once. You're going to repeat that maneuver quite a few times after that.

Till Sachau (till-sachau) wrote :

I fully agree with comment #17 (pelle.k). It must be added that breaking your own design-principle - the reason to move menus to the panel - is terribly (!) inconsistent.

If you put as much design-effort into the BFB as you are putting into the new launcher-icon, it would be no problem for new users. Make it red! Or blue or give it some other distinctive design!

I made my own user-test this afternoon with the daily build and the new Dash-icon icon in the launcher, trying to do some serious work. It is really difficult to concentrate on your task, if you permanently have to search for the dash-icon with your mouse pointer. I ended up summoning the Dash with the keyboard only..

At least a hot corner to open the launcher would be required.

Stephan Lanfermann (stelanf) wrote :

I fully agree with everything in the OP.

In terms of aesthetics especially this is an absolute mess and I can't imagine how any designer would possibly give this a go.

Suggested fix: A better idea would be to attempt a proper redesign of the 11.04 style button to stand out from it's background
like the window controls do. See attached .png file for a rough reference.

I fully agree with comment #17, with panel autohide option enabled the BFB (and the ubuntu brand) it's lost and you have to do one more step to do for open the dash
Can you make an option of this?

PD: saludos from chile!

David Raid (davidraid) wrote :

If it cannot be returned to the default, at least make it an option. A checkbox or drop down menu in CCSM that gives us back the Natty BFB for those who like it. This change doesn't need to be forced.

In terms of visual consistency , I must agree and even add to the fact that BFB IS NOT THEMABLE!!!, Big, Big nono...

The point of having OPEN standards and enabling platform interaction is to permit normalization and "easy" modification of a given preference by the user if the default set of looks or preferences are not satisfying.

I personally had to hack certain links to change the BFB visual on oneiric beta to adhere to Tiheum's Faenza icon theme.

I would suggest then to:

- move or link the graphical components of the BFB (currently in /usr/share/unity/4) to /usr/share/themes/...
-redesign the BFB to not have the ugly curve it has and have a cleaner/less clumbersome background.

Please take a moment to view the result of my hack as proof of proper visual consistency in relation to a given theme.

Jason Smith (jassmith) wrote :

The BFB will use a standard located icon next release. The icon change
happened too late this cycle to get it in the icon set.

Danillo (danillo) wrote :

Again ignoring the subjectivity of aesthetics and focusing on speed and functionality, what do you think about being able to move the dash icon position in the launcher to where the bin currently is, or inverting the icons order?

An icon and a hot corner in the lower left side would be a fast way to reach the dash button, in agreement with Fitt's Law, and it wouldn't involve the risk of mistakenly clicking window controls.

The lower left corner is where the "start button" in KDE, LXFCE and Windows is found, so some people are already used to it.

I like the way things are right now, but maybe having this option could please some users who miss the dash button in the top left.

Jason Smith (jassmith) on 2011-09-30
Changed in unity:
status: Incomplete → Opinion
Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Opinion
Florentin (elmophp) wrote :

#21 makes a lot of sense. Just allow the users to make the dash home a button or an icon.
I also liked the fact that at mouse over the BFB, the launcher would appear gradually. The TopLeft "Reveal Mode" in "ubuntu unity plugin" is now very hard to use.

David Raid (davidraid) on 2011-10-14
description: updated
Mark Tyrrell (marktuk) wrote :

When I first used Unity in Natty I instantly noticed the launcher autohide when I maximised an app. I thought to myself "oh god, not another dock that I'm going to constantly 'edge reveal' by accident". To my surprise when I when to invoke the dash using the button in the top left I realised the launcher began to appear. I thought to myself "wow, that's an incredible idea". Very quickly I get used to 'slamming' the mouse in to the top left corner to reveal the launcher, it was so intuitive!

It was probably one of the best usability features of Unity, and now you've scrapped it. Now to reveal the launcher I have to hold my mouse at the left hand side of the screen. It takes longer, it's only a fraction longer, but it feels a lot longer. It's also now a 2-step process to invoke the dash using the mouse.

Just to quote a description of the change and reason from Mark Shuttleworth's blog:-
"In the panel, you’ll see that the top left corner is now consistently used to close whatever has the focus. Maximising a window keeps the window controls in the same position relative to the window – the top left corner. We have time to refine the behaviour of this based on user testing of the betas; for example, in one view, one should be able to close successive windows from that top left corner even if they are not maximised."

So essentially, the reason the change has been made is to make it easier for people to close apps, and as a consequence more difficult to open them, i.e. more steps involved to invoke the dash.

I won't be upgrading to 11.10, I'll stick with 11.04 for now, and if there is no sign of change for 12.04 I'll most likely consider a switch to Gnome Shell, or maybe Elementary OS if Luna delivers on it's promises.

David Raid (davidraid) wrote :

I completely agree. Not only was it intuitive and VERY quick to use when you got used to it, it was also VERY flashy and good looking. So many people commented on they liked making the launcher move by moving back and forth over the BFB.

It's a huge regression.

The newer versions of Slingshot in Luna look amazing. I'm looking forward to them since Unity is taking jumps backwards.

Adolfo Jayme (fitojb) wrote :

Maybe the BFB isn’t returning to the panel, but Unity top panel needs at least the “hover-top-left-to-show-launcher” functionality.

Pedro Saraiva (pedro-a34195) wrote :

Can somenone tell me how to remove the dash button from the panel? Thanks.

ike (ikeahloe) wrote :

Great now i have to wait forever for the launcher to unhide so i can click the dash button. also, in compiz settings, i can't set the top left for instant reveal, it's broken or something. The new look is bad as well. Functionality-wise, the dash button needs to be visible all the time and the launcher needs to appear immediately with popping the cursor to the top left. With the new way, you can't even slam the cursor to the top left o close programs. the top left corner is not quite on the close button. This alone ruins everything for me. I wish there was just an option for the old button, it was a friend before, always there to help, and now it's a total hassle. what a drag.

PEIGNOT Kévin (kpeignot) wrote :

I must admit than after almost two month of use, this new design is an ergonomic catastrophe. I loose a lot of time two unhide the launcher every time. And if I reduce the amount of time for the launcher to appear, it appear too fast when mouse is on the left to, for example, click the left buttons of a full screen application. Really I think Unity has been really improved for 11.10, but the change on the BFB is an enormous regression making using the dash a lot too slow.

David Raid (davidraid) wrote :

Indeed. My efficiency has been reduced dramatically, each time I want or need the Launcher. One of the goals of Unity is let the environment serve you, so that you can get right to work. This regression has absolutely reduced that, to painful levels.

Danillo (danillo) wrote :

It looks like the the BFB won't go back to the top left of the panel. The best option we have now is to be able to move it to the bottom left. I have filed a wishlist bug with this suggestion. See bug #887142.

Alienhunter2010 (acecchin) wrote :

A good idea for a Xmas gift? :)

Give us back the BFB on the panel.

Or make it tweakable! Please.

Omer Akram (om26er) on 2011-12-08
Changed in ayatana-design:
status: New → Opinion
F4r1D-B (dredkinz) on 2012-06-04
Changed in unity:
status: Opinion → Invalid
status: Invalid → Confirmed
Omer Akram (om26er) on 2012-06-06
Changed in unity:
status: Confirmed → Opinion
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