DragThing [was: Mac OS X...]

31 Jan 2004 - 6:21am
10 years ago
2 replies
732 reads
vutpakdi
2003

For those of you using Mac OS X and are a little less than satisfied with
the Dock for whatever reason, you might want to check out the utility known
as "DragThing" by James Thomson.
http://www.dragthing.com/english/about.html

DragThing essentially gives your Mac multiple configurable docks (each
repesented as a tab). There are a good number of customization options
including the option to have the whole stack of docks just appear as tabs
on the side of the screen until your mouse cursor runs over a tab (at which
point the strip pops up).

I find DragThing to be very useful since I only have a 12" iBook. I only
have a few things in my Apple Dock while all of my regular use applications
go into DragThing.

DragThing costs $29. Won't help if you can't install shareware though.

Ron

PS: Oh, as a side option, DragThing will also put a Trash can on your
desktop.
--- Nick Ragouzis <nickr at radicalmode.com> wrote:
> Good points, Todd. Your mention of our ability to learn prompts me to
> mention one futher stab in the heart of the dock-locked trash:
> GOMS.
>
> This is modelable under ACT, where a quick review of the hierarchy would
> tell us that the animation of the dock requires at least
> one additional subgoal. This would incur *at least* 500ms additional cost
> for each execution.
>
> Now the ability to learn lets us collapse the more complicated process in
> both cases (near-edge of screen; end of dock) ... but any
> related new productions will do nothing to overcome the unavoidable need
> for an *extra subgoal* in the case of the dock.
>
> Best,
> --Nick
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
>
[mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com]
> On Behalf Of Todd R.Warfel
> Sent: Friday, January 30, 2004 02:18 PM
> To: Interaction Designers
> Subject: [ID Discuss] Fitt's Law and such [was: Mac OS X...]
>
>
> Nick, excellent summary and question.
>
> On Jan 30, 2004, at 4:46 PM, Nick Ragouzis wrote:
>
>
>
> "Where are my applications, my documents, my trash?"
>
>
>
> That is the primary question, which relates to a set (series) of goals
> (e.g. Make a new document, Open an existing document, Remove
> an existing document (application)).
>
>
>
> People want to put *their* things where they want them. It's not uncommon
> in my experience to see users have many more applications
> ready to go then they actually use [...]
>
>
>
> Many more applications is very, very common. Looking at my Dock right
> now, for instance, I have 27 applications in it (including the
> Finder), 18 of which are running, 5 more than normal. Typically, I have
> around 12 applications running at once (Finder, Mail,
> Safari, iChat, iTunes, iCal, Illustrator, Word, Dreamweaver,
> Quark/InDesign, Suitcase, Preview, iWork). That's a little more than
> normal from what we've observed. "Normal" is closer to 3-8 running. And
> we've observed everything from 15 applications in the Dock
> to 50. It's all over the map, but power users do tend to have more (go
> figure).
>
> Now, why is that important?
>
> Back to the "where's my stuff" statement - I have more than twice the
> applications in my Dock than I typically run at once. Or, I
> have roughly
> 15+ more than I typically use, which isn't abnormal. The Dock has 11
> (including Finder) installed by default. And then you add your
> applications...
>
> Well, it's typically more convenient to access applications and folders
> from the Dock than going out to the Finder>Macintosh
> HD>Applications, or
> Finder>Macintosh HD>Users>{username}, or similar. Especially, if you're
> already in an application.
>
> However, we've also seen the anomaly, of people putting 20 documents on
> their desktop instead of putting them in the user's
> Documents folder. This tends to be a carry-over from the Classic OS days
> when we didn't have a Documents folder. And you should see
> people try to find a document they need when this happens - it's nearly
> hysterical. Nope, not that one. Nope, not that one. It's
> around here somewhere. But then again, their office tends to look the
> same, but that's another conversation all together ;).
>
>
>
> Sure, many users can (eventually) understand why their trash flops around
> like it does [...]
>
>
>
> [...] pursue compromise ( a) just away from the corner; or b) just at the
> end of a horizontally moving target [...] then shouldn't
> it be so that users -can- gain these other benefits? That would exclude
> any solution that inhibits such a pursuit. **
>
>
>
> That's part of it. There's also the ability for mental mapping. Our brain
> has an amazing ability to remap to make new relationships
> that initially don't make sense to us. You'll find this in usability
> testing when a user might get through a task the first time
> w/significant or limited problems, but quickly make it through the task
> subsequent times w/o problems.
>
> However, as HCI and Usability practitioners, our goal is to keep this
> type of compensation to a minimum.
>
> By the way, gestural-based actions could be a solution. It would be one
> step ahead of the CMD+Delete key.
>
> Cheers!
>
> Todd R. Warfel
> User Experience Architect
> MessageFirst | making products easier to use
> --------------------------------------
> Contact Info
> voice: (607) 339-9640
> email: twarfel at messagefirst.com
> web: www.messagefirst.com
> aim: twarfel at mac.com
> --------------------------------------
> In theory, theory and practice are the same.
> In practice, they are not.
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Interaction Design Discussion List
> discuss at interactiondesigners.com
> --
> to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest):
> http://discuss.interactiondesigners.com
> --
> Questions: lists at interactiondesigners.com
> --
> Announcement Online List (discussion list members get announcements
> already)
> http://interactiondesigners.com/announceList/
> --
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=====
============================================================================
Ron Vutpakdi
vutpakdi at acm.org

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Comments

31 Jan 2004 - 10:38am
Todd Warfel
2003

I'll second that. While I don't use it, I've evaluated it and it does
have some very nice features. It's kind of like a hybrid between the
Dock and Classic's Launcher.

On Jan 31, 2004, at 6:21 AM, Ron Vutpakdi wrote:

> DragThing essentially gives your Mac multiple configurable docks (each
> repesented as a tab). There are a good number of customization options
> including the option to have the whole stack of docks just appear as
> tabs
> on the side of the screen until your mouse cursor runs over a tab (at
> which
> point the strip pops up).

Cheers!

Todd R. Warfel
User Experience Architect
MessageFirst | making products easier to use
--------------------------------------
Contact Info
voice: (607) 339-9640
email: twarfel at messagefirst.com
web: www.messagefirst.com
aim: twarfel at mac.com
--------------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.
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31 Jan 2004 - 11:04am
Nick Ragouzis
2004

> Drag Thing
Yep. It's still installed on my 8.5 powerbook. :-)

Playing with this idea a bit, and thinking about that gesture
thing (esp. when I'm on a tablet), you know what I'd like to
test? ...

A basketball-like trash can.

You know, with the backboard at the window's edge & the hoop
offsetting to the actual location of the can. (All of which
accoutrement could be made invisible.)

Now the question is:
Nice 3-pt arc, bullet-shot-with-rev-spin, drive, or dunk?

Fun, be able to use either keyboard or mouse according to
what you're doing (wouldn't have to acquire favored kybd keys
when doing mousing/tablet operations).

Best,
--Nick

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Ron Vutpakdi
Sent: Saturday, January 31, 2004 03:21 AM
To: discuss at interactiondesigners.com
Subject: [ID Discuss] DragThing [was: Mac OS X...]

For those of you using Mac OS X and are a little less than satisfied with the Dock for whatever reason, you might want to check out
the utility known as "DragThing" by James Thomson.
http://www.dragthing.com/english/about.html

DragThing essentially gives your Mac multiple configurable docks (each repesented as a tab). There are a good number of
customization options including the option to have the whole stack of docks just appear as tabs on the side of the screen until your
mouse cursor runs over a tab (at which point the strip pops up).

I find DragThing to be very useful since I only have a 12" iBook. I only have a few things in my Apple Dock while all of my regular
use applications go into DragThing.

DragThing costs $29. Won't help if you can't install shareware though.

Ron

PS: Oh, as a side option, DragThing will also put a Trash can on your desktop.
--- Nick Ragouzis <nickr at radicalmode.com> wrote:
> Good points, Todd. Your mention of our ability to learn prompts me to
> mention one futher stab in the heart of the dock-locked trash: GOMS.
>
> This is modelable under ACT, where a quick review of the hierarchy
> would tell us that the animation of the dock requires at least one
> additional subgoal. This would incur *at least* 500ms additional cost
> for each execution.
>
> Now the ability to learn lets us collapse the more complicated process
> in both cases (near-edge of screen; end of dock) ... but any related
> new productions will do nothing to overcome the unavoidable need for
> an *extra subgoal* in the case of the dock.
>
> Best,
> --Nick
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.co
> m
>
[mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com]
> On Behalf Of Todd R.Warfel
> Sent: Friday, January 30, 2004 02:18 PM
> To: Interaction Designers
> Subject: [ID Discuss] Fitt's Law and such [was: Mac OS X...]
>
>
> Nick, excellent summary and question.
>
> On Jan 30, 2004, at 4:46 PM, Nick Ragouzis wrote:
>
>
>
> "Where are my applications, my documents, my trash?"
>
>
>
> That is the primary question, which relates to a set (series) of goals
> (e.g. Make a new document, Open an existing document, Remove an
> existing document (application)).
>
>
>
> People want to put *their* things where they want them. It's not
> uncommon in my experience to see users have many more applications
> ready to go then they actually use [...]
>
>
>
> Many more applications is very, very common. Looking at my Dock right
> now, for instance, I have 27 applications in it (including the
> Finder), 18 of which are running, 5 more than normal. Typically, I
> have around 12 applications running at once (Finder, Mail, Safari,
> iChat, iTunes, iCal, Illustrator, Word, Dreamweaver, Quark/InDesign,
> Suitcase, Preview, iWork). That's a little more than normal from what
> we've observed. "Normal" is closer to 3-8 running. And we've observed
> everything from 15 applications in the Dock to 50. It's all over the
> map, but power users do tend to have more (go figure).
>
> Now, why is that important?
>
> Back to the "where's my stuff" statement - I have more than twice the
> applications in my Dock than I typically run at once. Or, I have
> roughly
> 15+ more than I typically use, which isn't abnormal. The Dock has 11
> (including Finder) installed by default. And then you add your
> applications...
>
> Well, it's typically more convenient to access applications and
> folders from the Dock than going out to the Finder>Macintosh
> HD>Applications, or
> Finder>Macintosh HD>Users>{username}, or similar. Especially, if
> Finder>you're
> already in an application.
>
> However, we've also seen the anomaly, of people putting 20 documents
> on their desktop instead of putting them in the user's Documents
> folder. This tends to be a carry-over from the Classic OS days when we
> didn't have a Documents folder. And you should see people try to find
> a document they need when this happens - it's nearly hysterical. Nope,
> not that one. Nope, not that one. It's around here somewhere. But then
> again, their office tends to look the same, but that's another
> conversation all together ;).
>
>
>
> Sure, many users can (eventually) understand why their trash flops
> around like it does [...]
>
>
>
> [...] pursue compromise ( a) just away from the corner; or b) just at
> the end of a horizontally moving target [...] then shouldn't it be so
> that users -can- gain these other benefits? That would exclude any
> solution that inhibits such a pursuit. **
>
>
>
> That's part of it. There's also the ability for mental mapping. Our
> brain has an amazing ability to remap to make new relationships that
> initially don't make sense to us. You'll find this in usability
> testing when a user might get through a task the first time
> w/significant or limited problems, but quickly make it through the
> task subsequent times w/o problems.
>
> However, as HCI and Usability practitioners, our goal is to keep this
> type of compensation to a minimum.
>
> By the way, gestural-based actions could be a solution. It would be
> one step ahead of the CMD+Delete key.
>
> Cheers!
>
> Todd R. Warfel
> User Experience Architect
> MessageFirst | making products easier to use
> --------------------------------------
> Contact Info
> voice: (607) 339-9640
> email: twarfel at messagefirst.com
> web: www.messagefirst.com
> aim: twarfel at mac.com
> --------------------------------------
> In theory, theory and practice are the same.
> In practice, they are not.
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Interaction Design Discussion List discuss at interactiondesigners.com
> --
> to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest):
> http://discuss.interactiondesigners.com
> --
> Questions: lists at interactiondesigners.com
> --
> Announcement Online List (discussion list members get announcements
> already)
> http://interactiondesigners.com/announceList/
> --
> http://interactiondesigners.com/

===== ============================================================================
Ron Vutpakdi
vutpakdi at acm.org

__________________________________
Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! SiteBuilder - Free web site building tool. Try it! http://webhosting.yahoo.com/ps/sb/
_______________________________________________
Interaction Design Discussion List discuss at interactiondesigners.com
--
to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest): http://discuss.interactiondesigners.com
--
Questions: lists at interactiondesigners.com
--
Announcement Online List (discussion list members get announcements already) http://interactiondesigners.com/announceList/
--
http://interactiondesigners.com/

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