Concept: Redesigning the desktop

Posted on February 28, 2010


There have been several attempts to redesign the desktop paradigm. Here is mine. I will discuss the backgrounds and design goals later in this post.

Basic design


Grids, tiles, headers and groups

Listboxes, files and documents

The display


Moving to another panel (touch-interface)

Active/running applications

Design goals

More organized, easier access

Both the Mac and Windows Operating systems use either lists, the desktop or a hierarchic menu to let you find your applications. Grouping applications is possible, but the systems are not really inviting you to do so. The desktop kind of does it, but when you re-organize it, install applications, or — in the case of the Mac – make screenshots, it gets cluttered.

What lacks in my opinion is a simple, stable (i.e. you define if and when it changes) environment which gives you:

  1. A quick overview of all the things you have
  2. A simple way to organize your stuff
  3. Limitless space to do so

Different fields it should address

  1. Organizing applications
    1. In frequency of use (most / least used)
    2. In context of use (business, brainstorm, design)
  2. Organizing files
    1. In frequency of use (most / least used)
    2. In context of use (business, brainstorm, design)
  3. Organizing website bookmarks
    1. As icons – for web applications
    2. In frequency of use (most / least used)
    3. In context of use (business, brainstorm, design)

The way “Desktop2.0” works

Calling the panel

  1. By using a keyboars shortcut or clicking on the item icon, you call the desktop-overlay
  2. It will cover the current items on the scteen

Grids, groups and items

  1. There is a basic grid (on which you can place items) on the desktop
  2. You drag any item onto the grid
  3. An item can be:
    1. A shortcut to a file
    2. A bookmark to a web page
    3. A shortcut to an application
  4. You can group items
  5. You can place a title above each group
  6. You can “expand” the title and make it into a box, enveloping the items of that group


  1. Listboxes contain lists
  2. These lists can be
    1. Files in a specific folder
    2. Files according to a specific filter like:
      1. Files most recently opened
      2. Files most used / opened
    3. Bookmarks to web sites


  1. There are multiple (and a limitless amount of) panels.
  2. Each panel is full screen
  3. Each panel can have a name assigned and starts with having a number
  4. On each panel you can place multiple items, groups and listboxes

Navigation between panels

  1. The top bar: clicking on a button with the panel name
  2. Swiping / dragging the panel to the left or right

Active applications

  1. Active / running applications are hightlighted in the tile-view
  2. They can also be displayed in a list on the bottom side of the panel
Posted in: 4: Concepts