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SwitchBlade: Quick Window Switching for Keyboard Ninjas


#1

Hey All,

Looking for some feedback on a small desktop application I just soft-launched. The tool is named SwitchBlade, and it provides a quick way to access all your open windows on Windows. Basically, you press a configurable global hotkey, and a blade appears at the top of the screen, allowing you to quickly search the titles of open windows, select them, and switch to them. Think of it as a fast alternative to Alt-Tab. I view this as an additional tool to use alongside Alt-Tab, not a replacement.

This was a scratch-my-own-itch idea, so I’m interested to see if anyone else finds it useful. I don’t have a strong marketing plan, and I’m not sure one exists for this class of tool. Any ideas there would be helpful.

I’m hoping for feedback on:

  1. The website: I built this myself using Bulma as I am not a designer and didn’t want to invest in a contractor on such a small project.
  2. The product itself and any ideas you might have for it.
  3. Pricing/trial model. I struggled with this a lot but settled on 30-day trial/$19 one-time license fee. The tool is so very simple I have a hard time pricing it higher than this.
  4. Anything else you think I should hear.

Particularly interested in feedback from those who have launched successful desktop products, as this is my first attempt at monetizing an app like this.

The website is at https://www.switchbladeapp.com

Thanks in advance,
John


#2

Gave it a try.

A few things right away:

  1. The height of the list is half-screen. Why? I want to see more of my window names at once. My screen is also wide, so may prefer to show them in multiple columns.
  2. I press Alt-F2. I press down and then TAB again - the focus goes somewhere I cannot readily identify, but if I now press and hold down the list scrolls in loop forever. Weird.
  3. I understand that the most recently opened windows are at top, but it is not clear where the most-recent list ends, and because of this the order of items is totally unpredictable.
  4. Some applications have their own Alt-F2 (or any other) quick keys. I suggest that when I press Alt-F2 (or other invoking combination) and then immediately Esc, send Alt-F2 to the current active window because I probably wanted that.

The price is OK, IMHO. However, I do not yet feel like it improves my performance noticeably. That may be because my work patterns are usually focused on switching between two windows, i.e. Windows Alt-Tab is enough for me. Maybe I’m not the target market.


#3

Excellent feedback, thank you.

  1. The half-height screen was to avoid obstructing your work area too much. Maybe an option for that is warranted.
  2. Yuck, that’s a bug. Will fix.
  3. The ordering is basically the Z-order and should be similar or identical to Alt-Tab’s sequence. It will feel pretty random, I suspect.
  4. Interesting idea. I hadn’t thought about that approach.

As for being useful to you – that’s valuable feedback, as well. I’m like you – I tend to focus on a couple of foreground windows. Occasionally I need to hop over to slack, outlook, or something along those lines, and its faster for me to Alt-f2,type,enter, than it is to search my Alt-Tab history and hope I notice it, or grab the mouse and use that. Admittedly it’s limited in its scope.

Thanks again!


#4

Hey. The app doesn’t automatically start after machine restart.

I do not remember there was a checkbox “start with Windows”, so I feel I did not uncheck it.


#5

Good point. That’s an obvious thing it should do that it does not! Thanks for catching that.