Partially hidden launcher

Erlan Sergaziev erlan.sergaziev at
Mon Jun 13 12:58:08 UTC 2011

Hi everyone,

I would like to suggest a new way of handling launcher auto-hide.
First, some reasons:
1) When the launcher is hidden, the user is unable to quickly 
switch/launch applications (so it's a regression for many against 
old-style taskbar panel) and also misses the benefits of seeing launcher 
2) When the launcher is always on, it steals some pixels and makes the 
interface cluttered.

Therefore, I'd like to propose that the launcher is partially hidden 
(about 1/3rd of full width of app's icon) and then rolls out to full 
width if the user hovers over it with a delay.
This way the user gets the following benefits:
1) Much less horizontal space stolen, yet the icons are still 
recognizable and the user can quickly point and click to launch/switch.
2) The space potentially can fit a minimal version of a badge. E.g., the 
full badge for an email app should have two parts, the count and a small 
envelope. When the launcher is partially hidden, the count gets hidden 
but the envelope stays. Another way would be to change color/highlight 
of the icon.
3) It is consistent with the notion of new style scrollbars in Unity.
4) For some users constant hide/autohide is irritating, so they might 
choose to have the launcher always partially hidden.

Attached are mockups, please excuse their bad quality, but you'll get 
the idea.

What do you think?

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