OK. So I’m airing some rather grungy laundry here but, for good reasons I’m sure, our internal implementation of XenApp serves up some 80 + apps to every user. It’s a pretty tough list to manage but, believe it or not, I’ve heard horror stories that some folks out there are dealing with hundreds and sometimes thousands (yes thousands) of published apps. You can just imagine how painful it must be for users to sort through such a cumbersome list every time they want to launch an app. XenApp provides tools to publish apps to only the subset of users who need them. This, of course, implies that the folks who set up XenApp had the time, resource and the information available to make these decisions. It’s difficult to know how many user actually struggle with this problem but it still seems like an obvious place to uplift the users experience. The question is how we go about it.
Option 1 – Fine Tune Citrix Applications
Citrix Applications allows users to move shortcuts to their desktop, quick launch bar, Vista gadget, etc … Users can take advantage of all the methods that the OS provides to allow for quick access to his/her most commonly launched applications. There are some areas that still call for refinement like full support for the recently used apps list in the Start Menu (right now we only show the last app launched ).
Option 2 – Favorites
We could provide a method that allows users to create a list of favorite apps. Once the list exists it would act as a filter and the users would only see their list of favorites. We would provide an interface to configure the list and to show the entire list again if the user needs to access an infrequently used app.
Option 3 – Most Recently Used
A Most Recently Used or MRU list would build as users launched applications. When a user accessed the list their MRU entries would be their primary view with an easy way to expand the entire list if the user needs to access an infrequently used app. The size of the MRU list would be restricted to a small set of apps but could be made configurable by the user and/or the administrator.