just a few of thoughts .. how about this:
- on the desktop or in another nautilus window:
- clicking on the background creates a new file
- dragging a box (only) on the background creates a new folder
- default object names contain the date/time
- alternatively, dragging a box on the desktop background starts a new application with a window with that geometry. when you let go of the drag you get a window frame and a gnome-do.
- opening/closing folder windows zoom in and out of the relevant icon in their parent folder if that’s open.
- a transparent (animated, glowing slightly?) connection of some sort between the window and the place it came from (and will go to) might be helpful.
- the dock only shows applications which are minimised.
- apps auto-minimise when they’re more than 90% obscured.
- modal dialogs grey out (and possibly zoom out slightly) the desktop … erm, a bit like vista. urk. should only be done if it doesn’t make everything freeze for a moment!