After the initial Bongos Social Desktop GUI Design Mockup, me and the Core Development team sat down to discuss the feedback and critique we had received, as well as our goals. One of the strongest criticisms was that, as a truly Social Desktop, we should be looking to make all social network activity the focus of this platform. And we felt that a small sidebar wasn’t presenting as much social network activity for the user to interact with as we perhaps should.
So, a redesign was in order and the inspiration for the next step in the Bongos evolution came from Larva Labs’ Slide Screen mobile phone interface. Taking this as a starting point, we expanded on the slide screen and Content Filtering idea to make it fully functional for a netbook interface.
The basic idea of this redesign is very simple: the user is presented with configurable Content Columns with which to interact with. Presented above is just three such Columns: News & RSS, Social and Applications. The user can choose to remove or add more Content Columns to the screen as they wish. Each Content Column can be easily configured to the user’s particular networking tastes – as an example, in the News & RSS Column, we can see that our main news feeds are being brought to us by BBC, CNN, Sky and Reuters, with some more personal, local news as well. The user, however, ultimately has the choice as to where to bring in their news from; whatever site they want, the Bongos Social Desktop can bring it right to their desktop.
The Filter Bars
Not only that, the content in any Content Column can be filtered quickly and easily to the user’s tastes using the Content Column Bars at the top of the screen. Currently, the bars reside at the top of the screen, showing the default layout of that particular Content Column, with the News & RSS Column running from International to Local news, from the Top to Bottom. But if, in the News & RSS Column, the user wanted to see more international news, they simply have to click and drag the Column Bar down a little , “blocking” out the more localised news, revealing more international news. Likewise, if more local news is required, dragging the News & RSS Column Bar down further “blocks” out the international news and filters more local news into the Column Display.
You’ll also note two little icons in each Column Bar:
Currently, the News icon is highlighted, indicating that our News site are being displayed in the column. Clicking on the RSS icon will change the Content of the Column from News to our personal RSS feeds. And, like above, if we want to start filtering our RSS Content, dragging the Content Column Bar up or down reveals more RSS feeds of a particular, depending on our RSS feed choices.
The Filter Bars also work with the Social Column as well. Residing as default at the top of the Column, we are presented with more of our tweets than our Facebook statuses and news. Dragging the Social Column Bar down blocks more of the tweets and reveals more Facebook news and updates. Our Social Column Bar also has icons representing the available social network accounts that we currently have activated on the Bongos Social Desktop. Clicking on any social network icon presents only feeds for that particular social network account.
We also reintroduced the more traditional taskbar at the bottom, showing any current applications open, date & time, a system notification area and a more standard menu icon.
Ian Cylkowski aka Izo
Logo and Brand Identity Design, GUI/UX Design
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