Design of the workspace-pill (former "Activities") in the upper-left corner

The new workspace-pill (former “Activities”) in the upper-left corner always shows at least 2 used workspaces and always one more than is used. That is because of the “add new workspace” right of the actually used workspaces. For a better overview, this empty workspace should be displayed a but darker (or anything else that indicates its use) in the workplace-overview.

And it should not be displayed in the workspace-pill (former “Activities”) in the upper-left corner, so that this only shows the really used workspaces and not this empty workspace that is only a “formal”, “technical” workspace for adding one.

That would not only provide a clearer overview, but also allow to recognize, how many open work-tasks are in your work.

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I fully agree:
The (always empty) “placeholder”-workplace for adding a workplace should not be represented in the workplace-indicator in the upper right corner.

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Initially, during testing, I wasn’t sure about the new dynamic workspace indicator but I’ve come to like it a lot.

It clicked for me after some period of use that:

  • Which workspace am I on? It’s the number of dots to the left of the pill + the pill itself. No dots on the left? 1st workspace. 1 dot on the left? 2nd workspace. And so on.
  • How many workspaces am I using? It’s the total number of dots, not counting the pill.

It takes me just a glance, and no counting effort, to know both. I usually have between 2 to 5 workspaces in use. If you’re using a lot more this may not work as well.

During testing the dots faded from light to dark gray the farther away from the pill they were. The current version has all the dots the same light gray, which I think works much better with the above.

Yes, the dynamic workspace-indicator is great, but not perfect:
that the “placeholder”-workspace is indicated there, is unlogic, unuseful and too confusing.

Just because the use is like you said: I don’t count them too, but only use it as a visual representation. Therefore it’s too confusing to show a workspace there, that is not used, but only a placeholder. This placeholder-workspace should not be shown in this indicator in the upper right corner. That would make the workspace-indicator perfect.

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As I have sketched above, for me the workspace-indicator is also an indicator of open work. When there is only one workspace and I have done all tasks on this workspace, I know, that all open tasks are done and there is nothing more to do.

But with the current workspace-indicator I always have the cognitive workload to remember, that there is always one more workspace-indicator shown than really used.

There is always an empty workspace in the final position, whether you look at the thumbnails in the overview, or scroll with Super+Mouse, or navigate there with Super+End, or look at the workspace indicator. If it was removed from any but not all of these views, the whole would become inconsistent. If it was removed from all of the views, the empty workspace would become unavailable.

I’m not troubled by the cognitive workload of remembering that there is a spare workspace on the right.

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I totally agree, that the workspace-indicator should show all open workspaces.

But:
Why does the empty workspace for adding another workspace has to be a workspace? It is not used as a workspace, but only a “placeholder”. It could be done e.g. similar to macOS with a plus for adding another workspace in the workspace-overview. That plus could be the same size as the used workspaces (e.g. a rectangular as bug as the workspaces but greyed out with a big “+” on it. That would work as today: you can click it for another workspace or drag windows on it to open them in this new workspace.

That would solve both problems. You could remove this “plus” from the workspace-indicator without any logical flaws but also still have the same usability of today.

The spare workspace is a workspace, not a placeholder. The workspace navigation system appears to have been designed to encourage us to think it is what it actually is.

If you want a path towards getting something changed, I suggest you focus on the description of “Dynamic workspaces” in the settings app. It currently states “Automatically removes empty workspaces,” which doesn’t properly describe the way dynamic workspaces is implemented: it doesn’t allow for the spare workspace existing.

It is a workspace, because it is made as one. But it could also be a “plus-button” that offers the same possibilities, but without the logical and cognitive problems.