The principal problem I see is that many people doesn't have a clear idea of what suspend is and what they usually want to do is just to shutting down its computer.
If the user wants to "shutdown" its computer, she has two options:
- as mentioned in the design whiteboard, holding down a modifier key will give access to other power down options. This option has the problem that isn't intuitive, it uses an UI pattern that isn't used in the rest of the shell. When you know it, it is very convenient, but I personally think this isn't at the same level of self-explanatory UI of the rest of the shell.
- the other alternative, which is stated as the recommended way to shut down GNOME 3 in bug #647441 , is to log out, and then shut down from the login screen. The main problem I see with this alternative is it seems a little bit awkward for most users. Many users, maybe "contaminated" with their previous experience with computers, take it for granted they have an easy to access "button" in the UI for shutting down its computer. Waiting for the login screen takes a lot of time for something you expect to find in first place.
I suggest, for example, switching "Suspend" with "Power down" and showing a dialog with "Restart", "Shut down" and "Suspend". Yes, this is what Windows XP does:
But, this is where we can make the difference with a good designed dialog for making clear to the user that suspend is our recommended way to stop using the system.
Surely, this isn't the best idea for improving the power down options in GNOME, but I just wanted to start a debate for improving what we've got right now with something.
EDIT: I added a formatted version of this post as a comment to bug #643457