Is there any way the application finder can be integrated into the menu? I think it would be more user friendly and would increase the navigation speed. You just hit the superkey, the menu is opened and you are ready to search for the programs you need. (Like the gnome3/windows style)
There is alternative(and more usable) menu with quick search option, named "Whisker menu". Add it to panel items through options(right-click-> panel -> add new item).