Introducing the Head Up Display. Say hello to the future of the menu

The Ubuntu operating system is to replace its application menus with a  “head-up display” (HUD) box. According to Mark Shuttleworth, Lead design and product strategy person at the company behind Ubuntu:

We can search through everything we know about the menu, including descriptive help text, so pretty soon you will be able to find a menu entry using only vaguely related text (imagine finding an entry called Preferences when you search for “settings”).


One of the comments states:

I suspect that applications will need to give help documentation a more significant place in the development of the application than it currently enjoys. Help seems the logical place to embed command discovery in such a system especially in connection with a capacity for fuzzy searches.

3 Replies to “Introducing the Head Up Display. Say hello to the future of the menu”

  1. I’d want to see this in action in the real world before I really decide on this but I think this may a step too far for Ubuntu. Non-technical users are happy with the mouse and menus – I could see HUD being a source of endless frustration.
    Great for the geek perhaps but it will do nothing for the popular adoption of the Linux desktop.
    Although I would be glad to see the end of menu cascade instructions (e.g. File>Import>Format etc.).

  2. Looks very much like the search field in the Windows 7 Start menu. I think it’s a good shortcut if you know what you’re looking for. But you can’t use it for exploring which command are available.

Leave a Reply