The KBFX Spinx Menu does not try to copy the WinXP Start menu. It is based on a different approach and concept. Following, the concepts of the traditional hierarchical structure and the new, flat indexed menu are described and compared, although the new menu structure is quite intuitive.
The KDE K-Menu is a good example of a flat hierarchical menu. It organizes application shortcuts in a tree link structure, where it can expand and open a submenu, with entries displayed based on some logical order. This order may be task oriented, type oriented or just ordered alphabetically. To find and launch an application, the user needs to navigate through the submenus, until he reaches the leaf (leaf node). This approach is a direct adoption of the Microsoft Windows Start Menu. They introduced it with Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000. This was certainly a huge usability advantage compared to the Windows 3.1 System with the program manager, but a lot has changed since these days. The Windows XP Start Menu is still based on this concept, although it is enhanced by the functionalities to pin applications to the left column and the automatically pinned most used applications. But still, a user must move the mouse over the half screen, if his menu has many submenus with other submenus, and the application is not one of his most used or pinned applications.
The KBFX Spinx Menu uses a different approach – the flat indexed menu. With this type of menu it's very easy to navigate. On the left hand side, you are given the application categories. They can be task oriented or type oriented. On the right (middle) side of the menu, there are all the available applications listed that belong to the activated category. The advantage is evident - the menu reduces the mouse paths, so you can locate your applications very fast. The user sees all the categories at a glance and he can pick it without having to travel along a long list until he finds the end leaf. The speed of use is further enhanced by moving the most used and recently used applications on the top index, so that the most used applications are just one click away.