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Thread: Hold a design competition for Ubuntu's interface

  1. #1
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    Hold a design competition for Ubuntu's interface

    http://brainstorm.ubuntu.com/idea/30368/

    This is my idea, and I want it to be considered seriously.

    The best thing that open source software offers is the possibility to adapt and change as users and developers see fit. In the past, the glory of this was that most users were developers and practically all developers were users, but thanks to their progress, linux now appeals to a wider audience of users who are not developers. Some attempts have been made to adapt to this situation with mixed results.

    I propose a sane and rational solution to the problem: use the community as a design factory to produce the best possible interface, a balanced compromise of usability, flexibility, simplicity, and functionality based on what everyone wants.

    This is an achievable goal. We can do this. We can do it a number of ways:
    The slow way, where projects like Ayatana or Gnome release version after version with changes based on the whims of their leadership and/or bug reports and feature requests.
    The hard way, wherein a lot more people study programming and either fork existing projects or start their own and further fracture the linux desktop into myriad versions.
    Somewhere in-between: People (users and developers alike) propose their designs with as much detail as they can (graphics, videos, code, pseudo-code, hand drawn sketches, etc.) and the best (most popular, most complete) of those designs are selected to become the goal of a project (Ayatana being what I have in mind specifically).

    Take a look at my brainstorm idea. Vote on it.
    Last edited by quequotion; February 16th, 2013 at 12:10 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Hold a design competition for Ubuntu's interface

    Just to make sure this thread doesn't end up in "Recurring Discussions"

    If you choose to reply, refrain from complaining about or making feature requests for Unity/Ayatana/Ubuntu/etc. The purpose of the thread is to get attention for the brainstorm idea and find out of there's enough support for this idea to make design competitions actually happen, eventually.

  3. #3
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    Re: Hold a design competition for Ubuntu's interface

    Great idea, I like it. Maybe with it there will be less "various good interfaces" and more "few awesome ones". And it will for sure attract more talented people who could get more involved and get their ideas out there.

  4. #4
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    Re: Hold a design competition for Ubuntu's interface

    Are you referring to just improving the Unity shell here ?

    Cause all DE are community developed, you can contribute to any of them.
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    Re: Hold a design competition for Ubuntu's interface

    didn't they do that when they introduced Unity ? think to remember there were even some "experts" hired for the job ...

    the good thing is there are so many alternatives: KDE (Kubuntu), XFCE (Xubuntu), LXDE (Lubuntu), Enlightenment (Bodhi), Cinnamon (Mint), ... just try some of them, chances are that the desktop environment of your dreams is already out there somewhere

  6. #6
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    Re: Hold a design competition for Ubuntu's interface

    I think that your intentions are good, but are you sure that this won't be a waste of your energy?

    Mark Shuttleworth made some statements when the buttons were moved to the left, that might be relevant here too:
    http://www.webupd8.org/2010/03/ubunt...emocratic.html

    Far from my desire to kill creativity and motivation, but it would be a shame if a lot of effort was invested for nothing.
    Last edited by tartalo; February 16th, 2013 at 01:16 PM.

  7. #7
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    Re: Hold a design competition for Ubuntu's interface

    Quote Originally Posted by haqking View Post
    Are you referring to just improving the Unity shell here ?
    No. I hope for improvements across the board.

    Cause all DE are community developed, you can contribute to any of them.
    Yes and no. Recently I've noticed some DE development (GNOME, Ayatana) becoming less and less responsive to the community for the reason I stated above: the community now includes a larger number of people who are unable to contribute code. Unfortunately, the typical response to their ideas is to put them in bug trackers as wish-list feature requests that will never be fulfilled, or ignore them completely.

    There are DEs going the other way (Cinnamon, Pantheon, etc) but they're facing a daunting task with a limited development community and a limited user community.

    I hope to open a new channel for people to contribute ideas to the best of their capacity, so that being able to code it yourself is not the only measure of a concept's worth.

  8. #8
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    Re: Hold a design competition for Ubuntu's interface

    Quote Originally Posted by tartalo View Post
    Far from my desire to kill creativity and motivation, but it would be a shame if a lot of effort was invested for nothing.
    *EDIT: Rephrased*

    I am familiar with Mark Shuttleworth's point of view, with which I feel an obligation to disagree.

    I hope that the concept of democratic development will garner some respect, but it will be a challenge indeed.

    If there is enough interest to get design competitions started, it's possible to proceed without the support of Shuttleworth or Canonical. I hope to tie in the Ubuntu community for a lot of reasons. Ideally the forum moderation would grant a subforum of this one to organize and hold events in, where designers and developers could work together to nominate candidates for inclusion in future versions of Ayatana design. It will be tragic if Canonical doesn't accept these contributions, but only slightly more tragic than having to (yet again) fork Ubuntu in order to improve it.
    Last edited by quequotion; February 18th, 2013 at 11:28 AM. Reason: reminder to self: do not complain in this thread

  9. #9
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    Re: Hold a design competition for Ubuntu's interface

    Quote Originally Posted by axel668 View Post
    didn't they do that when they introduced Unity ? think to remember there were even some "experts" hired for the job ...
    No they didn't, and no there were not.

    the good thing is there are so many alternatives: KDE (Kubuntu), XFCE (Xubuntu), LXDE (Lubuntu), Enlightenment (Bodhi), Cinnamon (Mint), ... just try some of them, chances are that the desktop environment of your dreams is already out there somewhere
    I have tried most of them. I currently have Pantheon and Openbox installed alongside Unity. I don't see it as a good thing that users have to go so far as researching another project, installing a new desktop, seeing if they find it useful or not, and possibly having to do it all over again--especially considering that new users will have no idea how deep they're getting into something they're unfamiliar with.

    The purpose is not to make a better desktop for me, but for everyone. I hope to undo some of the fracturing that has happened lately, and bring out one great desktop with the best ideas from users and developers of everything.

  10. #10
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    Re: Hold a design competition for Ubuntu's interface

    I still have hope that the Ayatana Design team will one day listen to users and reason, but now that brainstorm has been killed I don't see any future for my idea.

    The design choices Canonical's pushing out seem to get worse and worse; eventually I think it will undermine Ubuntu and even linux on the desktop as this will fracture the community.

    I wish there was something I could personally do about it, or we could do about it as a community--other than give up on Ubuntu.

    We'll see what the future holds.

    **EDIT** Yeah, broke the rules of my own thread. Due to recent developments I have a hard time holding back.
    Last edited by quequotion; August 21st, 2013 at 06:07 AM. Reason: reminder to self: take reminders to self seriously next time.

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