Icons in the fast-user-switching menu: mock

Matthew Paul Thomas mpt at canonical.com
Mon Nov 17 10:49:50 GMT 2008

Hi Manu

On Nov 15, 2008, at 9:10 AM, Manu Cornet wrote:
> ...
> The new Shutdown/Suspend/etc. actions in the top-right
> fast-user-switching applet look great! However, I was wondering if
> adding icons next to the menu items (as we usually do in GNOME) would
> be a good idea? Or do you think it would add too much clutter?

One of the things that makes Gnome in general look messy and unpolished 
is that almost every menu item has an icon -- and where an item 
doesn't, it's not for any reason relevant to users, it's because nobody 
has drawn one. (Sometimes they haven't had time to, but other times 
there just is no possible understandable icon.) And as far as I know, 
there is no empirical evidence that using icons in a typical pull-down 
menu makes them faster to use.

Upstream we're currently considering how to reduce the number of icons 
in menus. <http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=557469>

Meanwhile, as Baptiste pointed out, we do use icons for the various IM 
statuses (because for those, we're fairly confident icons *do* help you 
recognize the item you want more quickly). It's a bit awkward that 
they're on the right rather than the left, but the rationale is to line 
them up exactly with the equivalent icon in the panel itself.

Matthew Paul Thomas
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