Searchable Help Menu

Search your application’s Mallard-based help directly within your application’s help menu:

This is not a mockup. Enjoy.

17 thoughts on “Searchable Help Menu”

  1. Interesting.

    However, this makes me wonder why this is a menu at all. Couldn’t the help menu become an help button?

    Click on “Help”, and Yelp is opened at the program documentation, with the search input already focused, so you can start typing right away.

    I mean, a text input in a menu feels a bit awkward (most of the times you’re using the mouse to open a menu, so you’d expect a mouse navigation?), and since Yelp is getting so good lately, I wonder if the help menu is not becoming completely useless, outside of providing a visual clue of how to launch the help browser (for those who don’t know about the F1 keyboard shortcut).

    Also, that could make it easier to move it to the application menu in Gnome-Shell (every GtkApplication could provide a “Help” action by default? is the application menu able to handle such a search input?), and eventually remove the menu bars altogether?

    Of course, I’m not a GNOME designer or developer, just an avid user, so I might be completely off. 🙂

    1. +1 to putting it in the application menu, so that even menu-less applications could have this feature.
      Would also be nice if it searched through commands, like the equivalent in Mac OS X.

    2. Most users don’t trust the help. They don’t think there’s anything valuable there, and we don’t help the cause by giving them this mysterious “Help->Contents” item. Should I click it? What’s on the other side? I don’t know. The idea here is to show the user what help there is, what he will actually get helped with, before he clicks a button.

      The menu is pre-populated with relevant items, by the way. The same backend code that powers this screenshots also gives you help menus and buttons whose targets are automatically set based on tags in the help.

      As for the application menu in the shell, I’ve got ideas for that as well. Not every application is going to switch away from full menubars, though.

  2. @+1 bochecha
    search box in a menu is odd (HIG?)
    much better to use the dedicated app for help stuff (1app=1function)
    menu bars will slowly disappear (Application menu/Toolbar)

    1. right.. never seen a search box into a menu in all my life. what about HIG?

      and what about menu bars being slowly replaced by App Menu and toolbars?

      what about a super complete and efficient app called Yelp?

  3. If theres some way this could search the menu structure itself and show ways to options (not sure it would highlight them or what), it would be pretty cool.

    1. Agree… in OS X, I use this feature to find menu items a lot more often than I’ve ever used it to search documentation topics.

  4. Oh man, hinting really screws up metrics at this tiny size 🙁 Daaaaaaaave!?!?

  5. Cool..

    Gnome becomes more and more like Mac OS. 🙂
    Not that I complain. I use Mac OS every day and I like it.

    1. Hopefully for 3.4. But it depends on the decisions of a lot of people, including the release team and the GLib and GTK+ maintainers.

  6. Come on, the Help is just a click away! This looks awkward.

Comments are closed.

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States
This work by Shaun McCance is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States.