Enhancements to the Software Center UI and Experience

Registered by Gary Lasker

Targeted enhancements to the UI and experience for Software Center version 4.0.

== Improved Unity integration ==
 - Startup performance.
 - Showing how to launch newly-installed applications.
 - Disable "Find it in the menu" feature when running under Unity as it is not applicable there.
 - Improve user feedback during software installation/removal.

 == Improvements to the software purchase experience ==
 - Better integration of the purchase experience into the application.
 - Improve user feedback during each phase of the purchase experience.
 - Deauthorizing your computer.
- Make new for-purchase items show up in "What's New".

== General Usability Improvements ==
 - More helpful search screen for no results
 - Re-enable the default selected item when showing a listview.
 - Show category/subcategory when navigating to an item via search or "What's New".
 - Convert to use gsettings (blocked pending gnome-control-center support for gsettings, new target 11.10).


Planned for Software Center 4.0 but covered (and work items tracked) in a separate blueprint:

 - Ratings and Reviews.

Blueprint information

Martin Pitt
Gary Lasker
Needs approval
Gary Lasker
Series goal:
Accepted for natty
Milestone target:
milestone icon ubuntu-11.04
Started by
Gary Lasker
Completed by
Gary Lasker


== GOAL ==
To make targeted enhancements to the Software Center user interface and experience. Focus areas are improved integration with Unity, enhancements to the software purchase experience, reduced startup time and general UI performance improvements, enhancements to the lobby presentation, and cleanup of outstanding high priority usability bugs.

Work items (natty-alpha-1):
Talk to Canonical's usability team to gather a detailed list of problems identified during their usability testing of Software Center under Unity: DONE
Document the current list of usability problems in detail and target fixes: DONE
Make a plan for insuring frequent testing on lower-powered netbooks throughout the development cycle: DONE
[mvo] add automatic startup time measure (in tests/): DONE
[mvo] record startuptime per branch with revno: DONE
[mvo] visualize results from startup time automatic test (http://people.canonical.com/~mvo/software-center/mini10-startup/startup-times.png): DONE
Enhance both spinner widget variants to display a label: DONE
Create a generic mechanism for deferred loading of BasePane subclasses: DONE
Defer history loading until pane is viewed, provide suitable user feedback while history loads: DONE

Work items (natty-alpha-2):
[mvo] automatically run startup time test on reference hardware (Dell Mini 10 does not support wake-on-lan so one manual "press-power-button" step is still required, everything else is automatic) : DONE
Embed the purchase screen into the main USC pane: DONE
Include embedded purchase screen in the navigation history, wire up navigation bar controls: DONE
Create actions corresponding to server responses and wire them up to implement the specified purchase experience flow: DONE
Remove implementation of "Previous Purchases" node in the left panel: DONE
Display "Previous Purchases" list as a subview of "Get Software" instead of its own navigation pane item: DONE
Implement new mechanism to enable progress bar feedback in listviews (needed after rendering speedup changes): DONE
Modify aptdaemon to fire initial progress events much earlier in the transaction: DONE
[mpt] Design interaction for locating/launching newly-installed apps (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/SoftwareCenter#launching): DONE
Disable "Find it in the menu" feature when running under Unity: DONE
Re-enable the default selected item when showing a listview during a search, upload to PPA for usability testing: DONE
[mvo] Display a "search help" screen with clickable suggestion link when no packages are returned for a search: DONE

Work items (natty-alpha-3):
Implement the USC side of the USC-launcher interaction: DONE
Create dialogs for "Deauthorize your computer" feature: DONE
Remove purchased items on a deauthorization: DONE
Clear Ubuntu SSO credentials on a deauthorization: DONE
Make new for-purchase items show up in What's New: DONE

Work items (ubuntu-11.04-beta-1):
[didrocks] Implement the Unity launcher side of the USC-launcher interaction: DONE

Work items:
Reimplement navigation history mechanism to support category/subcategory navigation paths during search and "What's New": POSTPONED
Convert to use gsettings (blocked pending gnome-control-center support for gsettings --> new target 11.10): POSTPONED

Session notes can be found at <https://wiki.ubuntu.com/SoftwareCenter/UDSNattySessionNotes>

pitti, 2011-01-28: I linked to bug 677088, which replaces the manual work item above.


Work Items