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The object/verb modifier

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This is a broad and abstract feature request (i.e. something that would be appropriate only for a major redesign of Alfred's UI). As a former Quicksilver user, one of the things I loved was the <object><verb><modifier> design pattern, e.g. something like <john><email><file>.


While Quicksilver used a linear set of UI panels, Raycast uses an inline popup for the [object][modifier]. With Alfred, due to its amazing versatility, we can present results as a list and get some of the benefits of this [modifier] pattern, but I suppose what I'd like is a "standard" pattern design, something "built-in" and consistent across tools and workflows. I personally think the inline popup for Raycast is quite neat, but I'm sure there are other ways to build this underlying pattern into a design...



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  • Andrew changed the title to The object/verb modifier
7 hours ago, iandol said:

something that would be appropriate only for a major redesign of Alfred's UI

Therein lies the problem. Alfred does it its way by design, and switching that interaction could break the myriad of Workflows that already exist. In that vein, it’s hard to make the argument for that change, even optionally.


I’m on a phone so it’s cumbersome to do, but if you search this forum you’ll see this has already come up and been discussed at some length, though last it was discussed, Raycast wasn’t yet a thing and I’m not familiar with the popup you mention.


Still, it would be preferable to continue that discussion than having to rehash the same points all over again.

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13 hours ago, deanishe said:

And this may also be precisely why some Alfred users prefer Alfred over Quicksilver (or whatever) to begin with.


Actually, you can achieve something similar to QuickSilver with File Actions... @iandol if you make a selection in Finder and then hit the Actions Hotkey (specified here):




You'll get an action menu like this (which you can customize), which is reminiscent of QuickSilver:



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@vitor -- I did do a search (object verb / quicksilver ui etc.) but didn't turn up a deep dive on the underlying design philosophy of the Alfred UI vs Quicksilver etc. I will see what I can come up with and read through or contribute there.


@deanishe -- yes, it is possible Alfred deliberately chose to use a simpler interface and a more flexible modifier setup. I personally don't know how much of the Alfred UI is due to deliberative vs. "organically grown" -- i.e. that @Andrew had a clear idea of what he thinks is best vs. what he may wish to change as Alfred grows. My question was a probe into this type of decision space. Personally I enjoy to discuss possibilities of where a software design can be taken, there is no right or wrong, and Alfred is a wonderful tool whatever...


@Chris Messina -- yes, you are right that Alfred's action menu enables something like the [object][modifier] or [object][verb] part of the tripartite Quicksilver design pattern. Workflows in particular can also build multiple-stage patterns that could mirror QS pattern. I personally loved, and still miss, the strong opinionated design pattern that QS represented. Raycast, as a new, though thorougly overhyped piece of shiny, deliberately appears to follows a similar pattern.

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