Dash: Lenses should always show some type of content or instructions by default instead of nothing. No more empty lenses.

Reported by manny on 2012-02-18
This bug affects 4 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Ayatana Design
John Lea
unity (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Ok, we now have 2 great lenses: music and video/film lens.

However they show Nothing by default.

They need to showcase some content to get the user interested. They have a lot of potential for getting the user to discover new contents (music, videos, etc.), like a sort of itunes.

Content is king. Just imagine a News lens with no News... please lets try to avoid having empty lenses.


- Showcase some new and recommended / high rated contents from some online sources and/or U1 music store. Works best if shown both free and paid material, not just paid as the user gets used to using the lens.

- Add a message / instruction so the user can add his/her library (if they have one), else make it easy (point them to the right direction) for them to start looking at building their own.

Desired solution:

1. For each of the Lenses implement the "Content showcase (default view)" as defined in the original Dash specification (extracts from this spec are cut and pasted below).

2. Once development of this basic 'default view' has begun, design will start working on a more advanced 'magazine showcase' style default view.

Extracts from the original Dash specification:


2.2 Category Headers


2.2.2 Latency

<snip> Default view latency

The default view latency is the time between the user selecting a Lens and the Lens being displayed. This latency should as close to non-existent as possible, ideally under 50ms. When a user opens a Lens for the first time, all Category Headers for which content is available should be displayed. Therefor to achieve the desired default view latency a small number of results for each Category Header should always remain cached. Two default view caches will need to be maintained, one showing all items including items which require a internet connection, and a second only showing items that are available locally. The Internet connection status will determine which of these cached default views are displayed to the user when they open a Lens.

Note that although it is desirable to always display all Category Headers, there may be Category Headers which only display online content. These Category Headers will not be displayed if the user does not have access to an Internet connection.


2.2.3 Behaviours Category Header default view

When a user opens a Lens for the first time, content should be displayed underneath all Category Headers for which content is currently available. As the user has not yet entered any search term, the default view is a valuable opportunity to showcase content. The content showcased in the default view should also be periodically rotated. Each Lens can choose the most appropriate method of determining what content is surfaced in the default view and the frequency with which this content is rotated.

To display the default view with no latency each Lens must cache content views. Two default view content results must be cached for each Lens to cover the internet connection available/unavailable use cases. One cached content result will include both local and online content, and the other will include only local content. No content available for a Category Header

If a Category Header has no content, the Category Header should not be displayed. This will frequently be the case when internet connectivity is not available, as some Category Headers will contain only online content. Another example is immediately after a fresh install when a user has no ‘Most frequently used’ applications.


3. Default Lenses


App Lens

3.1.2 Content showcase (default view) rules

The apps shown underneath the ‘Apps Available for Download’ category header in the default view should be rotated to showcase a selection of the most popular apps. One method of doing this could be to order the apps in terms of number of number of downloads from the Software Center in the past 7 days. This list could be updated weekly from the Software Center servers.


File Lens

3.2.2 Content showcase (default view) rules

The default view should always display the most recently modified files. Bookmarked folders should always displayed first, followed by folders displayed in order of the most recent change in content.


Music Lens

3.3.2 Content showcase (default view) rules

The 'Available for Purchase' default view should showcase the newest songs and albums from the predominant genres the user has listened to in the last three months. The 'Songs' and 'Albums' category headers should display the songs and albums most recently listened to.


Video Lens

3.5.2 Content showcase (default view) rules

The ‘My videos’ category header should display a random selection of videos from the users’s computer, rotated on a daily basis. The ‘Online’ category header should display the latest popular videos from streaming video providers. The ‘Rent or purchase’ category header should display the latest film releases.


Tags: udp Edit Tag help

Yes, this is a great idea. John, would you explore this as a design
idea, and brief unity-design:

  * the default home lens should have just search and recent files.
  * other lenses should feel free to promote items of interest until a
search is presented.

Let's wireframe / test some journeys around that for 12.10.


John Lea (johnlea) on 2012-04-16
description: updated
tags: added: udp
Changed in ayatana-design:
assignee: nobody → John Lea (johnlea)
importance: Undecided → High
status: New → Triaged
Changed in unity:
status: New → Confirmed
Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
description: updated
Changed in unity:
milestone: none → backlog
Tim Penhey (thumper) on 2012-04-22
Changed in ayatana-design:
status: Triaged → Fix Committed
Changed in unity:
status: Confirmed → Triaged
importance: Undecided → Medium
Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Triaged
importance: Undecided → Medium
To post a comment you must log in.
This report contains Public information  Edit
Everyone can see this information.

Duplicates of this bug

Other bug subscribers