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dmitriy
August 22nd, 2008, 05:49 AM
It's me again...(crazy high school student) and I got few ideas that might improve linux (particularly Ubuntu) in long term (or even short). So here are my proposals:

1. "UI quality assurance team" (or something like that)
Create a dedicated team so it can check programs that to make sure they follow consistent UI design and most importantly look good!!!!! Thats the most important thing! Team will make sure for example that labels in preference window are aligned (pixel by pixel) or padding between buttons is consistent. Of course this is really hard to do but in reality there are maximum of 50 applications that you use on daily basis (GIMP, Pidgin, Firefox, ...). After team makes sure interface looks amazing it will be put on "Great programs" list (maintained by team; only team can add/remove programs from the list). This list will assure users that programs that are on it have exceptional UI. Also it publicaly recognizes creators for their great work! (kinda like Apple Design Award). I would most certainly want to be on the team if its created and i m quilified. =)

2. "Add new UI components"
Based on the first proposal we need to add new gtk UI widgets such as what Apple calls "Scope buttons", etc. This will make sure that we have more consistency through out programs. A lot of work, but it is completely possible to do in quite short time. For example in Rhytmbox you can sort by Title, ... so this should be definitely scope toolbar or something and it should look differently from other elements of interface. Or another example GtkNotebook (tabs that is) should look differently in preferences windows compared to regular windows such as text editor. By making all these small details we can hugely impact how interface looks and btw it will give themers more control! So instead of creating new window managers we can improve gtk to make it cooler than anything else!!!

3. "Default Theme" and Stick to it
I am quite new to linux but I noticed linux users take pride in how their desktop looks (most of them are very unique) however, this doesnt substitute for not creating a universal theme that actually looks good. Dont get me wrong Clearlooks is pretty good but I am 100% positive we can do better. And most importantly JUST STICK TO IT. If theme is good it doesnt have to change. It can surely improve but we dont have to create new look every Ubuntu release. Take Mac for example: its interface didnt change for at least 5 releases. and it still looks fresh.

So what do you think about these proposals? Possible, for sure =) Good ideas? You decide...

So lets be pixel-obsessed!

thanks for reading (and hopefully commenting)
-dmitriy

loell
August 22nd, 2008, 05:59 AM
1. "UI quality assurance team" : impossible, each project have thier own Authors/bosses and their own people too, a UI QA will not be the boss of them. ;)

2. "Add new UI components" : its a work in progress, taking baby steps. :)


3"Default Theme" and Stick to it: Boring!! :tongue:

dmitriy
August 22nd, 2008, 06:17 AM
@loell: first of all thanks for replying but

1. UI QA shouldnt be the boss. it should just make suggestions which could be or not followed by app teams. (If followed put it on the "great app ui" list) I m not proposing to making other teams to change major aspect of layout and other big stuff like that BUT just to make sure app looks pretty. Take for example default Sound Recorded from gnome. Record from input and other secondary options are not aligned therefore making application not quite as attractive as it could be. These small changes make a big difference. I am new to open source but isnt it possible or people to write small snippets of code that would be applied to app to make it better. Its open source and everyone can contribute right?

2. Hmm I am excited about this! can you provide the link because i couldnt find anything related.

3. It might be boring when the theme isnt attractive but when it rocks then we ll see if its boring and if average users like my mom want to use ubuntu there is a 1% chance that she will go and change the theme! Ubuntu is for humans right?

thx again,
dmitriy

oedipuss
August 23rd, 2008, 02:28 PM
1. "UI quality assurance team" : impossible, each project have thier own Authors/bosses and their own people too, a UI QA will not be the boss of them. ;)




The team's focus could be consistency checking under Ubuntu's default theme (or themes, in case there's more than one preinstalled/sanctioned). I imagine this will amount to minor changes more often than not, that can be applied to the ubuntu package only, leaving each individual project's author/maintainer the option to integrate them.
By minor I mean tabbing, alignment, etc, up to trivial rearrangements of the menu items/toolbars (so 'Preferences' is always under 'Edit' , 'About' always under 'Help' etc)
I think it's certainly possible, if a bit bossy at times.

A problem with the idea is what happens to bigger apps, that cannot be altered consistently by an ubuntu team, such as firefox and openoffice..

dmitriy
August 24th, 2008, 10:05 AM
It always starts with something small! Attention to detail is crucial...

--dmitriy

hessiess
August 24th, 2008, 10:29 AM
3. "Default Theme" and Stick to it
I am quite new to linux but I noticed linux users take pride in how their desktop looks (most of them are very unique) however, this doesnt substitute for not creating a universal theme that actually looks good. Dont get me wrong Clearlooks is pretty good but I am 100% positive we can do better. And most importantly JUST STICK TO IT. If theme is good it doesnt have to change. It can surely improve but we dont have to create new look every Ubuntu release. Take Mac for example: its interface didnt change for at least 5 releases. and it still looks fresh.

I cannot stand high contrast interfaces, so i use a dark theme to vastly improve usability. this is also one of my biggest complaints with OSX and Windows.

dmitriy
August 25th, 2008, 08:20 AM
Unlike you I cant look at dark themes for too long, but we still can have 2 versions dark and light and during install it will ask you something like: "Which one looks more pleasing? [Light preview] [Dark preview]"

Crafty Kisses
August 25th, 2008, 08:25 AM
Nice read, but I think developers should be focusing on stability and what not, not that Linux isn't already stable enough, the user interface is important too, to a certain extent of course.