How would you redesign the dock?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by SimonMW, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. SimonMW macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #1
    I think the dock is really cool, but I can't help but feel that it is a screen space hog. Sometimes I hide it, and sometimes I have it automatically appear. But I find these solutions are never totally ideal.

    The dock seems confusing to some people. My elderly father for example gets confused with it because the running apps 'light' isn't very clear, and some programs create a second icon in the dock when they are running.

    So, if you could redesign the dock to make it usability friendly how would you do it?
     
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #2
    Which programs?
     
  3. Chris Rogers macrumors 6502a

    Chris Rogers

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Location:
    my house
    #3
    I would place the dock on a glass touchpad of a new MBP
     
  4. drewsof07 macrumors 68000

    drewsof07

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Ohio
    #4
    LOL :D

    I think I would prefer to have the ability to turn the dock off entirely and simply use Finder to navigate folders & apps. (Not just hide on one of the edges, but completely turn it off)
     
  5. Osarkon macrumors 68020

    Osarkon

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wales
    #5
    I'd hazard a guess on OpenOffice and Gimp. Both use X11, and that has its own icon on the dock when it's running.
     
  6. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #6
    I would completely get rid of it and have a HUD window pop up with all your 'dock apps' with the touch of a hot corner or key command.
     
  7. iMacmatician macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    #7
    Make Stacks how it originally was (able to group applications on the Dock).

    An option to have thumbnail previews of windows when you hold the mouse down on an application.

    I think one of the ideals about the dock is that you shouldn't need to know when an application is open or not. If you click the icon, it should pop up immediately. Now that's not an ideal achievable now though.
     
  8. SailorTom macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    #8
    As a solution perhaps change to the 2D dock. the darker background should make the blue spots stand out more
     
  9. mysterytramp macrumors 65816

    mysterytramp

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    #9
    I think our wayward Windows brethren might be able to teach us a few things. The task bar is an improvement over the Mac application dock, in my estimation. It represents the bottom of the screen and only open files/software make buttons. Right now, I've got 20+ icons at the bottom of my screen. Only two are active (not counting Dashboard).

    I'd love to be able to turn the dumb thing off. The "Recent Items" menu is far more useful.

    mt
     
  10. DaveF macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Location:
    NoVA
    #10
    Miniaturized windows would go into automatically created Stacks under their root application icon.

    Desktop icons positioning would be improved to allow useful placement of the Dock on the right side too (I can only get things to behave with it on the left).

    Dock would be customized for each Space.

    Dock and Menu Bar would appear on every physical monitor (or per user preference).

    These are all tweaks on the current design. But it might be better to scrap the whole thing and come up with a new design.
     
  11. pinktank macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2005
    #11
    Since quicksilver, I've not been using the dock, but maybe a two decker?
     
  12. AppleNewton macrumors 68000

    AppleNewton

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    #12
    i like the idea of a hot corner or command. something that might resemble the CMB+TAB program switching style, something that isnt in the way and easily accessible
     
  13. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a

    QuantumLo0p

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    Apr 28, 2006
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #13
    Coming from a HP-UX (CDE, Common Desktop Environment) back ground I like the dock very much but I agree it can take a lot of space, depending on the user and their prefereces on accessability.

    I would like to see stacks in the application section of the dock. I could then have small stacks for each area of interest such as: a stack for my photo processing/editing apps, a stack for my CAD/CAM/CAM apps, an iLife stack, etc-

    I suppose i could do this now if I made folders with aliases of apps and put the folders on the right side of the dock. Yuck.

    Is there a way to do this right now?
     
  14. HLdan macrumors 603

    HLdan

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #14
    I agree, something major needs to be done to the dock but not necessarily for home use, but more for the business world. I think in a corporate environment the dock would be a fiasco because it's too easy to drag stuff off the dock. I do really wish Apple would put a lock on applications in the dock. It can be done but only through 3rd party apps. So many people think they've deleted the application when they accidentally drag something off to a poof.

    Funny, some Mac users want the dock gone and Windows users are installing fake docks on their desktops. Bite your tongue Dave about scrapping the whole dock as it would royally piss off a lot of Mac users, some people love it the way it is. Remember the translucent menu mod that Apple did? Many people want the translucency back.
     
  15. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Langley, Washington
    #15
    I would like the ability to have multiple docks, and be able to switch between them with either a key stroke or a simple arrow button. That way I can put more things in my dock and it doesn't end up expanding across the screen. Plus you could put certain application is certain levels of the dock, so game is in one place, productivity in another, utilities in another, etc.

    TEG
     
  16. decksnap macrumors 68040

    decksnap

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    #16
    And what, add a 'start' menu? The dock is so much more than the task bar.
     
  17. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #17
    Dock is perfect, for those who multi-task and KNOW how to use drag and drop.

    For example, to open an image in photoshop, drag it onto photoshop. To email the same image, drag it into mail.

    Article on why Dock is the way it is.
    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/07/10/10/road_to_mac_os_x_leopard_dock_1_6.html


    Put app alias in a folder. Drag folder into dock.
     
  18. eddieiseddie macrumors member

    eddieiseddie

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    #18
    I like TEG's idea of having multiple docks, but instead of flipping through them like Spaces i'd like to have one on the bottom, one on the right side of the screen, and one on the left(and of course having them all hidden). Since i prefer my current dock on the bottom i'd put frequently used apps on the bottom, and secondary apps on either side, you know, just to get organized.
     
  19. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #19
    The dock is far from perfect. It's too big on small screens like Macbooks, it doesn't convey a lot of information, other than what's open. Your drag and drop example could work on basically anything with icons, why does that make the dock perfect? You could do the exact same thing with quicksilver and not even have to use the dock. Just type: command+Space>> Pic[tures]* (drill down to the picture you want, with just the keyboard--much faster than the mouse) >> tab >> E[-mail to...] >> Ta[ra Silverman] >> enter.

    *quicksilver fills in the rest

    Once you have quicksilver down you won't need the dock. However I can see that it would be useful for nonpower users and mom and pop. So I think the dock should be optional.
     
  20. iMacmatician macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    #20
    That feature's already there, under Accounts in System Preferences.
     
  21. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #21
    You obviously don't work with photography or a large number of files. Do you remember every single file name on something on your HD? You do know cameras save pictures as DCS1234, DCS 1235, etc?

    So you call yourself a "poweruser" but you use a MacBook? All professionals I know of use MBP. How much do you get paid per hour? More than a few hundred per hour? I doubt it.
     
  22. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #22
    There's a pretty big difference between power user and professional. Sure I'd call myself a hobbyist when it comes to photography, I have an XTi, nothing special, but I love playing with it (my aperture library is only 130GB). I can't think of the last time that I went through my hard disk to find a photo. Everything is stored in Aperture and is heavily tagged so I always just use aperture to find my photos and Photoshop to edit.

    PS: since when is a power user a term meaning professional?
     
  23. ViViDboarder macrumors 68040

    ViViDboarder

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #23
    I just keep minimal items on my dock. Just things like, Mail, Internet Browser of Choice, iTunes, and then make it pretty small with magnification. It really doesn't get in the way and takes up no more space than windows taskbars. The idea of having too much in the dock and it taking up more space is their own problem. Clean your dock up and either put similar items in stacks (I have an office suite stack with iWork, MSOffice08, NeoOffice, and Bean). You can get any app really quick with Spotlight.

    Apple+Space > iMov[ie] > Enter

    Done.
     
  24. DaveF macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Location:
    NoVA
    #24
    Indeed. I'm mostly OK with the Dock. But I don't like its inconsistency: launch a new app or miniaturize a window and every shrinks and moves. It's an impediment to Apple usability.

    My suggestions are about improving this: miniaturized windows should not be disconnected from their parent app, nor should they move the Dock and its icons around. Stackify them: it just makes sense.


    There's also a big gap in ease-of-launching between frequently used apps and less frequently used apps. Frequently used apps are on the Dock and trivially run. But anything off the Dock is requires going to the Finder, going to Applications, scrolling to find it (and I can never figure out the sorting of Applications), and then launching it. (unless you're a "power user" and use Spotlight for launching.)

    In contrast, Windows makes frequently used apps less accessible, but makes it easier to find less frequently used apps with the Start Menu. (But Power Users know to put links in the Quick Launch Bar.)
     
  25. pinktank macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2005
    #25
    you obviously dont know quicksilver, you can make quicksilver do anything with a group of files that are composed of either the current selection or even multiple selections from multiple locations
     

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