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Ubuntu 12.04 intros HUD, replaces menus, simplifies UI

updated 04:35 am EST, Wed January 25, 2012

Ubuntu 12.04 redefines the desktop UI

Mark Shuttlework, the Ubuntu Project Founder, has given users a run through a new feature dubbed HUD (Head-Up Display) that will make its debut in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. The new UI element is designed to replace menus marking a significant change to the way users will interact with the latest release of the popular Linux-based distro. According to Shuttleworth, the goal is for HUD to ultimately replace menus altogether in Unity applications, as the video embedded below illustrates.

"This work grows out of observations of new and established/sophisticated users making extensive use of the broader set of capabilities in their applications," says Shuttleworth.

"We noticed that both groups of users spent a lot of time, relatively speaking, navigating the menus of their applications, either to learn about the capabilities of the app, or to take a specific action," he added.

The HUD system is in many respects similar to what a system-wide implementation of Apple's Spotlight search works like, except that users can also type application actions into the HUD interface. Users will initiate actions by typing them directly into a box, rather than sift through menus looking for the functions to initiate.

Unsurprisingly with the way the UI element functions, voice control, gestures and touch would be a natural fit. To this end, Shuttleworth says that the plan is to eventually integrate these as HUD evolves. [via Daring Fireball]

by MacNN Staff



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