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Workspaces: Improved UX Design

  • I love the idea of workspaces but IMHO this feature really needs some improvements:

    1. Switching workspaces across all windows
      It's very counterintuitive that switching the workspace doesn't affect all windows. I pretty much always have several windows open (per workspace). So, when I want to switch to workspace2 I don't want to have to remember which windows have tabs in workspace2 and then switch the workspace in every single one of those windows. That's bad UX design IMO.
      Also, a window might only have tabs open in workspace1. In that case I don't want to see that window after switching to workspace2.
      To make my point clearer:
      Workspace1 might be holding your work-related tabs and Workspace2 might be holding your entertainment-related tabs. Let's call the workspaces "Work" and "Entertainment".
      Now, if you want to take a break from work, switching from "Work" to "Entertainment" should then result in everything in "Entertainment" being visible and everything in "Work" being invisible across all windows. A window that only has tabs in the workspace "Work" would then be closed/invisible.
    2. Behaviour when closing a window
      If I close a window I might accidentally lose tabs I have open in another workspace because there is no alert reminding me about them (again, bad UX design IMO). I think closing the window should not affect tabs in other workspaces (that aren't visible) in the first place.
    3. Displaying the number of open tabs
      The only way of telling whether there are tabs open in another workspace is by switching to that workspace (in every single window – again: bad UX design). Instead, there should be a visual indication for the number of tabs that are open in that particular workspace next to its button.
    4. Dropdown menu / cycling through workspaces
      I don't like having to use the sidebar to switch workspaces. It's nice to have the option of switching to a specific workspace with keyboard shortcuts but I would much appreciate also having a dropdown next to the Tab Menu and/or a way to cycle through workspaces with a keyboard shortcut (like we already have with tabs)!
      I would find both these options more convenient than the existing options.

    ad 1) and 2): At the moment, it seems like each window has its own instance of every single workspace. I think it would be much more logical to have the workspaces act as parent nodes for the windows instead (with each window being dedicated to a single workspace only). That would solve problems #1 and #2.
    On the other hand, this brings up one problem: How would you be able to keep certain tabs visible while changing workspaces? For example, you might want to change workspaces while continuing to watch a video. To solve this problem, maybe you could have "persistent" windows that aren't associated to one particular workspace and stay visible even when switching workspaces? Of course, there is always the option to move your video tab to the workspace you want to switch to but that would quickly become rather tedious if this was a common scenario for you.

    Again, I love the idea of this feature but it could be so much better! Keep up the good work!

  • @jimmybfmv I think of it as being very useful that workspaces are not being shared across windows. That enables me to have one work window with different ws for my different jobs, one social media window with one ws per platform, one entertainment window with one ws per streaming provider and so on.

  • @slashdot People should be able to switch the behaviour as they prefer it

  • That is definitely not how I use workspaces in other software. You can do exactly what you're doing right now with bookmark folders and clicking 'open all tabs'. Have one for Twitter, one for Facebook - have an entertainment one with all your different streaming services, etc.; bookmarks already do what you want.

    For me, I agree with all points made in the original post...

    • Workspaces should be the parent element to the Windows and Tabs that they contain.

    • Session saving should be forced on if you choose to use workspaces, so that you never accidentally lose windows. "Emptying" a workspace should be something that you can do from the right-click menu, with lots of warning messages before hand. 😛

    • There should be the option of opening/closing all windows/tabs tied to them just by clicking on them. And having two or more workspaces open at once, in case a user feels as slashdot does, as that could help fit his use style.

  • Maybe also read my suggestions here https://forums.opera.com/topic/38956/workspaces-improvements

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