Labeled workspaces help improve the experience of “Finding & Reminding,” in multiple parts of GNOME Shell, as I mentioned in my earlier post. Let’s take a look at two parts of GNOME Shell that could be improved with this concept.
Keyboard-Based Workspace Switching
When switching workspaces via the keyboard, the user is faced with the task of finding what activity is on each workspace, before they reach their target destination. An improvement to this situation will not decrease the amount of workspace traversals the user must make, but it will get rid of the time the user spends examining each workspace traversed, behind the dialog.
With the configuration on the right, the user simply sees their target label and moves until they reach it. No need to examine each workspace in between each move.
Alt + Tabbing Among Multiple Workspaces
The current alt+tab dialog’s organization with respect to workspaces is simple once you grasp it. It puts your current apps on the left of a line, and all other apps on other workspaces on the right side. If there are apps w/ instances across different workspaces, this line-based separation is found under a nested list. This application-centric view effective as it is now, but I believe that the use of labeling, like in the figure on the right, would make it easier to find “which” instance of a certain app a user wants.
Due to the nature of workspaces being activity-focused, I believe it would be a great improvement to include labels while switching among them via keyboard. For alt+tabbing however, because the purpose is mainly for the user to switch among apps (not activities-specifically), the current interface is probably suitable. With multiple instances, and when spread across different workspaces, however, labels should make application switching easier.