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The new ShellOn interface in v3 is quite a departure from the version two interface. I think that it is easy to use once you have taken your first steps. However, judging by the emails that I’ve recieved in response to the beta and release candiate versions, the main problem people have is that they are presented with a blank application to start with and are not sure where to begin. 37signals have written up a post about this so-called blank slate problem.

Reading the post and the comments that follow, I think there are several good ideas that I can use to simplify the initial steps when using the ShellOn. Adding Explorer as a default first shell would be a start, meaning that the user would not be confronted with a completely empty slate to begin with. Also making more use of toolbars rather than right click menus. This would make it more instantly obvious how to go about adding shells.

I also think it would be useful to do some research on how people tend to use the program, and then set some default appropriately. If you’ve any views on this, please get in contact.

I think the issues like this are the only blockers on the final release of v3. The are a couple of minor bugs, however they are more “wouldn’t it be nice if…” bugs than show-stoppers. Time to do some work on it then I guess…

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