Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 10th Oct 2010 14:17 UTC, submitted by Extend
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Yes, yes, it's that time of the year again - a new Fiona Apple album confirmed (which makes anything that happens between now and spring 2011 irrelevant and annoying), MorphOS 2.6 released (will be the next news item), and, of course, a new Ubuntu release showcasing the best of the best that the Free software world has to offer in the desktop world.
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RE[4]: Design fail
by earksiinni on Sun 10th Oct 2010 21:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Design fail"
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Thanks, I appreciate the feedback =). I was just thinking about sending my list along to Ubuntu, as well, though I wonder how much they care for outside design criticisms considering the button alignment debacle (not the end product, rather the way they handled it). I did a quick Google search and all I've found is a forum. I guess this would be a bug report on Launchpad?

The problem is that what appears to be one small issue here or one small issue there adds up to subtly distort the overall effect; in plainspeak, the damn thing just looks "off". This has nothing to do with taste, and personally I think that the menu is tasteful despite being poorly designed. (I also think that the menu is usable, with perhaps the exception of the weird arrow bullet, if indeed that's meant to be a control.)

What I'm trying to get at here is that the designers clearly didn't think about the purpose of each aspect of each element. There's empirical evidence for this. Note how the spacings between the last two subtitles and the spacers above them are equal but are unequal to the spacing between "Mute" and the top edge of the menu. It's pretty obvious that's because the spacing of the subtitles is completely determined by the default spacing on both sides of the GTK spacer widget; similarly, the space between the top edge of "Mute" and the top edge of the menu is equal to the space between the bottom edge of "Sound Preferences..." and the bottom edge of the menu. That's probably just the default window manager/GTK behavior. The point is that no active decision was made about the spacing, or (weirdly) they decided that the default widget spacings were ideal. The first possibility (which is the probable one) betrays a lack of thought; the second betrays a lack of good judgement.

Most of the flaws seem to be because they didn't think about the details. There are others, though, that were active decisions but bad ones, again not because of taste but because they didn't think carefully enough about the element's purpose. Why is a volume control named "Mute"? Why does it even have a title at all? Why is there a musical notation icon? Etc.

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