Is this the most awesome or WHAT?

Just want to share that I think this an awesome app :wink:

I occasionally forget to enable apps, even Calendar or Contacts - but I’ll NEVER forget enabling direct_menu.

@juliushaertl You’re THE BEST :crown: :revolving_hearts: :sparkles: :ribbon: :tada:

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@jospoortvliet Thank you very much for the kind words. :wink:

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Btw @juliushaertl there’s only two things which keep me from considering this as a change for the server:

  • The app titles are not shown directly. Only having icons can be confusing, and it’s a »mystery meat« navigation :wink: – and on the other hand always displaying the titles below there would incredibly crowd the header
  • A possible redesign where we kinda get rid of the header bar and move it more to the sidebar – to have more space for the content. This is far out but I experimented with that in the design-experiment branch

cc @eppfel @MorrisJobke @raghunayyar for further design thoughts.

It’s an essential to me, too.

But first, I heard different user thoughts on this, so I am in favor, but not 100% decided on this. I heard…

  • “Having two clicks is uncomfortable”
  • But also “Icon Navigation in the top bar is too crammed”
  • But I shockingly I also heard this: “I didn’t know about other apps besides files, because I did not realize there is a menu” :open_mouth:

This actually could be tested easily. Maybe we should consider proper UX testing at some point.

About your points @jan

  1. The icons are easily rememberable and for learning them you have the mouseover text, which also avoids the mystery meat (at least, if you’re not on mobile). Basically it is not a website menu, but an app drawer. And these work just fine without text. (Which does not mean text won’t help.)
  2. I didn’t have a look, yet, but I would strongly advise against removing the header. This strong separation of the between-apps-navigation and the inside-app-navigation is a plus of the web UI. And with a sidebar on the right in some apps, we can not afford to loose horizontal space. Furthermore the header is kind of a trademark of Nextcloud that pervades all Nextcloud apps / platforms.

I tested this app on a test setup and I tend to use it in my productive system as well. I really like it to switch between a certain number of apps but if you have many of them installed, it looks a bit messed up.

Or you just put your favorite apps in the bar on top, like in your operating system.

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This is key. The apps are too hidden and that’s the main reason We should probably consider differently.

Yep, so what about showing only the first 5 apps directly in the bar, and putting the rest behind a 3-dot icon? (Of course if there are only 6, the sixth will be shown in place of the 3-dot icon to not only have a single app in there …)
This also keeps the displayed apps to a low number so they are actually easily rememberable, as you say.
(If we want to really go the extra mile, we could count the launch number of each app and sort them accordingly.)

On mobile it’s an issue mainly on tablets. Smartphones are narrow enough that probably only 2–3 apps will be shown directly.

Yes … I was more thinking about integrating it to the left navigation without losing horizontal space (compare iCloud.com) but there are just too many drawbacks. Mainly the issue of the responsiveness and how to handle it on mobile where the navigation just hides.

Sooo what do you think about the above proposal @juliushaertl @eppfel? Julius, do you want to open a work-in-progress pull request with that?

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I’m not sure if that is really an issue. There are many icons inside Nextcloud which rely on tooltips for description. (eg. the share button/gallery button in files) Most of the app icons are pretty clear and the current hover tooltip in direct_menu is giving the proper information. Due to the hover effect it is more obvious than having to click the small trinagle first for the current apps menu.

I’ll try to have a look at this branch later. :wink:

GitLab also had some bigger redesign of their menu structure recently, so maybe this might be also interesting to read: https://gitlab.com/gitlab-org/gitlab-ce/issues/14838

In the aspect of hierarchy, I think the current Nextcloud and especially the direct_menu navigation concept is quite good, as the separation between app, app navigation and content is pretty clear.

I would give it a try, but I’m still not sure how we should handle which apps are displayed and which not.

I’m against that kind of automation. This means changing positions for apps, so users might get confused when the apps change their order without any obvious reason.