I'm Aza Raskin @aza. I make shiny things. I simplify.

I'm VP at Jawbone, focusing on health.

 

TaskFox Mouse: Iteration 0

Two of TaskFox’s goals are to: Work with existing workflows, not against them, and to help people complete tasks rather than be forced to laboriously jump through hoops.

We’ve been looking at what TaskFox looks like in the URL bar. It’s an interface that excels when you want to start a new navigation task or do something somewhat unrelated to what you are currently looking at. If you see an street address on a page, an artist you are interested in, or text in a undecipherable language, you should be able to start using TaskFox right there.

That’s where the mouse-based version of TaskFox comes in. Previously, we’ve looked at a mouse-based version of Ubiquity. For the 0th iteration for TaskFox we wanted to take a different tack to play with are just starting the exploration — we want to to explore numerous directions before choosing one.

We call this the 0th iteration because we’re not happy with it. Process in design is important.

TaskFox Mouse: Iteration 0 Movie


Taskfox Mouse: Iteration 0

Here’s another quick sketch of a different type of interface.

Ubiquity Mouse: Iteration 0 Movie

Here’s a movie of what we were playing with for Ubiquity mouse:


Mouse-Based Ubiquity

RT @aza TaskFox Mouse: Iteration 0 | Follow @aza on Twitter | All blog posts

View all 76 comments



Matt

So far, the basic ideas look solid, but I’m still not sure that a transparent badge is the right idea. I’d lean towards putting it in the right click menu as an option, at least. The badge is unobtrusive compared to others (thankfully), but I could still see it being annoying. Overall though, I like the idea.



Matthew Raymond

I’d like to see a “More…” option at the bottom of the badge menu that takes you to the pop-out side panel in the “Mouse-Based Ubiquity” video. That way, you could have the most commonly used commands in the badge menu, but allow the user to see a greater number of commands and filter through them using the panel.

As for the badge, you might try having the badge not initially visible at all, but it appears if you hover a selection for a certain amount of time, like a tool tip. Once you take your mouse off the selected text or element, the badge could remain for a few seconds, then fade away. For keyboard users and people with less patience, you could call up the badge menu from the context menu.

Otherwise, kinda liking the feel of it. Just needs a little work.



David

Doesn’t IE8 already offer a lesser version this feature?



Matthew Raymond

IE8 (OpenService) Accelerators are actually just new a way of integrating existing web applications into a browser. They allow you to take things like the page URL or the current text selection and plug them into an HTTP request for a particular URL. It’s all site-centric; if there isn’t a website that can perform a certain function, there’s no Accelerator for it.

By contrast, Ubiquity commands are small programs that can perform actions in the browser, so it can do pretty much anything you can do with Javascript, including sophisticated manipulation of the DOM. This means that instead of just bringing up a preview of a translation, or taking you to a site with a translation, a Ubiquity “translate” command can actually replace the text with the translation. Similarly, you may want to perform a “highlight” command on some text to change the background to a particular color. I’m not really sure how you could do the same with an accelerator.

Nutshell: Accelerators repackage web sites. Ubiquity commands provide scripted functionality. They may look the same when performing the same specific tasks, but they’re different under-the-hood.



cove

The app needs to recognize you have an equation and simply solve it first off, no questions asked, while being very subtle about it of course. Why? Because when you saw the equation you thought that first too. So what we’re really doing is saying that these dumb words on our computer screens are actually little programs, for us humans they’re concepts that have a lot of meaning behind them, and as long as we don’t get fixated on natural language parsers, but simply focus on the concepts below any language, it should be simple to teach a computer. The example being, anyone can use google, so everyone can think in pure concepts just fine. So for example, in the equation, you should be able to tell the first number it’s display is in hex, and the rest of the numbers should realize since they’re in an equation, they need to change their display to hex too. If a number 10 has the word “apples” after it, the number 10 should realize it’s actually “10 apples”, and “apples” should be an expert on apples. If you then visualize “10 apples”, the concept 10 knows how many apples to display on the screen and apples knows what it looks like. Another example would be, say you have the word “database”. You then simply drag out columns, give them names, like an Excel sheet — all in-line. You call the this database “mytodos”. Then where ever you are on your computer, you simply type “mytodos” and you have your data at hand. Again, the app comes to you. Pictures, files and other data could be simply accessible in this way as well, why navigate file systems all day long? Anyway, my 2c… you’re defiantly on the right track IMO.. I think there’s more application to a TaskFox like app however, how would this apply to say 3d modeling in Maya? a unix shell? iTunes?



Iain Dalton

How about this:

Keep the context-menu–looking thing (I’ll call it the actions menu) when you bring up the results window. When you click on the badge, the actions menu and the results window appear. You can rearrange actions by dragging them, and whatever is at the top is what the results window shows results of. That or the order of actions is based on frecency.



Philip Ganchev

It would be cool if the Taskfox result window was resizable, and also could be expanded to a full-fledged FF window.


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So far, the basic ideas look solid, but I’m still not sure that a transparent badge is the right idea. I’d lean towards putting it in the right click menu as an option, at least. The badge is unobtrusive compared to others (thankfully), but I could still see it being annoying. Overall though, I like the idea.


So far, the basic ideas look solid, but I’m still not sure that a transparent badge is the right idea. I’d lean towards putting it in the right click menu as an option, at least. The badge is unobtrusive compared to others (thankfully), but I could still see it being annoying. Overall though, I like the idea.



Sex

So far, the basic ideas look solid, but I’m still not sure that a transparent badge is the right idea. I’d lean towards putting it in the right click menu as an option, at least. The badge is unobtrusive compared to others (thankfully), but I could still see it being annoying. Overall though, I like the idea.


The app needs to recognize you have an equation and simply solve it first off, no questions asked, while being very subtle about it of course. Why? Because when you saw the equation you thought that first too.


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