As with every Linux operating system, navigation through multiple applications is a breeze
Though the current iteration in Ubuntu has a few back draws, some of the features remind us of Windows 7. The overview of the windows would also be nice to see if the application is not the active one. Though in this case a click will simply activate all windows of the application. Also the launcher cannot be easily changed in position or appearance. The program for customizing it isn't even installed by default. The program needed for that is called "Advanced Desktop Effects Settings". That being said even with that program I had a hard time customizing Unity.
Personally I'd like to have smaller symbols and move the launcher to the bottom of the screen. Probably because I'm used to working on Windows. But as a neutral argument, consider one of the common widescreen displays. There you have way more screen real estate in the horizontal than in the vertical dimension. On high widescreen resolutions you can even get away with big icons if they are aligned horizontally.
When you want to launch one of the less frequently used programs (i.e. you have not pinned it to the launcher), you may click on the Ubuntu symbol in the top left or at the magnifying glass with the plus in it named "Applications". This opens the dashboard where both installed and downloadable applications are listed. Navigating needs getting used to there. Generally the dashboard is categorized both in types of programs and whether its installed or not. The intent of the developers is probably to use the search box, but if you don't know what you are looking for it can be a bit of a hassle.Control Center in Ubuntu 11.04 is very functional and smoothly animated
In general for experienced Ubuntu users like I would characterize myself the new interface definitely has a learning curve. For new users it probably depends. Unity works very well if you continuously use a small number of the same applications most of the time. Some of its functionality is very intuitive, in other areas it needs some polish. If you can't stand Unity, it's possible to revert to the classic Gnome desktop (or KDE if you prefer Kubuntu) by changing the Login Screen settings. Speaking of settings, while the applets can also be found via the dashboard, this is not very intuitive. Thankfully, if you invoke the menu of the power off symbol to the top right, the last entry called "System Settings" opens up a dialog similar to the Windows control panel. All available configuration applets can be accessed from there.Conclusion
Overall I think the brave step by Canonical to change the whole desktop experience of Ubuntu might pay off in the long run. Some usability tests conducted with less experienced users showed, that basic tasks could be accomplished very easily since the buttons for the web browser or word processing are very prominent on the new launcher. Long term Ubuntu users might be initially turned off by the new interface. I'd suggest to give it a try. If you don't like it, simply revert to Gnome 2 or even install the more modern Gnome 3 interface (or whatever you prefer). That being said Unity requires some more polish in some regards. We have outlined some things we noticed in our short testing, that didn't feel natural or were a bit confusing.
© 2009 - 2013 Bright Side Of News*, All rights reserved.