Originally Posted by Ken Case
I'm thinking we should move this shortcut to a contextual menu item (where it's more obvious and discoverable), and get rid of the double-click shortcut that causes so many accidents. (Perhaps leaving Option-Double-Click around as a shortcut for OmniFocus experts.)
I think this would be the wrong thing to do - you would simply be adding friction to the process of zooming in
to narrowed focus, without making it any easier at all to zoom out
to a broader view ...
The core function of Omnifocus is to eliminate friction from the pumping systole and diastole of the productive mind - zooming in to focus on a particular task, and then zooming out to the broadest overview of one's work, before zooming in somewhere else again ...
At the moment - I agree with you - most of the friction in working with OmniFocus impedes the phase of zooming out and finding everything again. That is not, however, a good reason for actually adding
friction to the phase of zooming in to narrowed focus.
I'm afraid that the "double-click" interpretation of that frequent cry of "where's my data" doesn't entirely convince me.
The curious burial of Perspectives > All Items
half way down a menu is already enough to explain a lot of what puzzles people, and the similar burial of View > Show All Projects
explains a lot more. By the time we have got to the counter-intuitive complexity of running a global search, there is not much need for further explanation ...
(All of these quirks suggest to me that most of the early design thinking about OF was preoccupied with zooming in, and gave much less thought to zooming out. This early imbalance of attention has bequeathed an oddly irregular heartbeat to the default experience of using OF. (An irregular alternation between broad and narrow perspectives is likely to be an unproductive or distorted one).
The solution, it seems to me, is not to make zooming in harder but to make zooming out easier - to liberate it from complex keystrokes and the friction of the menu.
phase of the mental heartbeat should be hidden behind menus and more complex key-strokes.
Instead, the default toolbar should have a single button which zooms us right out, and shows us everything, with a single click.
In short, the presentation and the visual design of OmniFocus should emphasise and augment the simplicity of zooming out - and also emphasize the centrality of that alternating focus - narrow and broad and back again.
It is that basic rhythm of the mind that the software is trying to facilitate, and make friction-free.
Menus and complex key-strokes seem to me to be the problem, not the solution.