I think it’s important to have a look at the high level user experience around software updating in Ubuntu. This is all tested on the latest Ubuntu 19 (installed a few days ago).
Some background on my situation first, because I think it’s relevant:
I am an OSS developer who recently switched to Ubuntu for my main desktop/development machine. I’ve used Linux for about 20 years in various capacities, but not as a desktop machine for about 10 years. I was using a Mac for that time, switching from Linux while working in a web advertising agency around the time Mac was rising to prominence. I wanted to learn what made the user experience on that platform great so it’d soak in to how I approach things as a developer. I also read many books on UX and design. Now I’m back on Linux because I increasingly feel Open Source provides a vital alternative to the monopolies of today trying to create lock in (now companies like Google are doing what Microsoft used to do to us). However in the past I failed really to contribute anything back to Linux and I really want to engage more now, at least in terms of providing some solid UX feedback.
Back to the issue here…
Searching for “software” under “Show Applications”, produces a screen with these options:
“Software & Up…”
This is a poor experience. There’s no way for a new user to tell these 3 things apart, and for a real newbie it’s not even obvious when opening them. The problem isn’t just the truncation (which I know there’s something in the pipeline for). For example, my initial thought with “Ubuntu Software” is perhaps it is just for installing snaps, that’s the kind of unexpected confusion that can happen when there’s multiple similar-sounding options on a menu.
My suggestion would be to only have “Ubuntu Software”. Remove the .desktop files for the other options, but make them available from within “Ubuntu Software”.
(I originally posted on Launchpad and was directed here as a more appropriate place for these broader discussions https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/gnome-software/+bug/1839212)