Canonical have been busy at work, it seems. Not only did they develop, prototype and implement the new Search-based menu UI system HUD, soon for release in the upcoming Ubuntu Precise Pangolin, but they’ve just unveiled another interesting UI development: “The Spread”.
It’s a very interesting solution to task-switching in Ubuntu. It starts with the already-in-use Scale functionality at the base, but as you can see with the above designs, this has been more intuitive. Windows previews are much bigger and labelled well for easier identification, the familiar Unity searching paradigm—a common theme throughout Ubuntu’s Unity UX—makes its way into the Spread and creating additional windows for an app just got easier.
It’s interesting, indeed.
A concern that comes to mind, though, is whether a new “average” user will be able to distinguish between the Spread, used to switch between windows, and Expo, used to switch between workspaces. Because, as it currently stands, they’re very similar looking.
I’ll be following this development closely.