Something interesting is going on with Gnome Shell and Unity: it is becoming very normal to search for applications. But search is more than just typing something’s name in a box: With the web, search has become synonymous with asking questions and getting answers. With really good searching, people can find what they need by saying what they want to do. So, I think searching for applications is something that should be addressed strongly to provide a great experience.
I have a hunch that one part of this puzzle is already mostly here. It just needs some glue. Almost every application is associated with at least one category, like BlocksGame and VectorGraphics. I’m hoping we can leverage that data to make searching more excellent.
Now, just in case I’ve lost anyone: there is cake involved!
I made the Category Keyword Collector to explore my theory.
If enough people enter enough data, I’m hoping we’ll see some interesting trends in how people describe applications. Ideally it will all line up and we can create a wonderful thing that expands each standard category into a bunch of searchable keywords. More likely we’ll see where the problems lie in my theory, and of course I’m hoping good things will emerge from that.
So, this is where the true heroes among us venture forth to the website.
Please play with it! It really enjoys the company, and it will only take a few seconds. I promise!
(Sorry about the bumped post. Blogger spat out uglier HTML than usual and I had to pick at it)