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.
Thread beginning with comment 444738
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[6]: Design fail
by earksiinni on Mon 11th Oct 2010 01:15 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Design fail"
Member since:

I brought up spacing and the music note icon again specifically because you did accept those points, and I was trying to address a different point that you made about compromises. You wrote that I was only looking at the "bad side" of compromises. I'm asking you 1) what those compromises were, and 2) what is the "good side" of those compromises? As far as I can tell, there aren't any compromises in the volume control's design, just oversights.

As to the "S" and "T" alignment thing, I still don't think you understand what I was originally trying to say, or you understand but you somehow think that I'm disagreeing with you. You were the one who originally brought up the "S" and "T" alignment issue, and I agree completely that it would be extremely difficult to fix. Rather, what I was criticizing was that the three lines together taken as a block are not aligned properly. I'm looking at the block of text as a whole that starts from the top edge of the line "Speak Slow" and ends with the bottom edge of the line "So Jealous". That block of text should come down a little to be center justified relative to the album art. Or perhaps I've misunderstood your point.

I'm not trying to defend Apple and I haven't drawn any comparisons to their products at all; you're the one who drew their design into this. As I said before, I don't own any Apple products, and furthermore I don't really have an opinion on Apple's design other than that it's slick. Maybe people are being thrown off because I wrote that their design is "pixel-perfect". I urge you to actually read the article in the link, I'm using "pixel-perfect" to refer to their design process. It refers to the way that they agree on final mockups down to the pixel and don't deviate from that final mockup once approved, not even by one pixel. I admire that method, and I think that it generally leads to results that look better than Ubuntu 10.10's volume control menu. Not that Apple's perfect in any way, shape, or form. So you raise good points about how Apple's design is a cop out, but I'm not trying to say anything to the contrary.

What I am saying is that, cop out or not, Ubuntu's volume control menu has a lot of issues with it. What iOS looks like has got no bearing on that.

That is also why linux distribution design will never be as polished as Apple's, the present poster boy of design (valid till the trend fades off, like it did with Ikea). The applet is an afterthough; wouldn't it look fine all by itself, as a desktop widget? Sure it is not albsolutely properly aligned, but it has a logical layout, with big buttons popping out (even if this is at the cost of using a different, stronger gradient).

But the applet shouldn't be an afterthought! I'm not saying that the applet is illogical, non-functional, or tasteless. I'm saying that it looks off, that it's poorly designed, and I'm pointing out specific reasons why. One can apologize for why the Linux desktop doesn't look polished, but at the end of the day it simply isn't up to snuff. Why should we settle for less? Why should Linux's appearance "never be as polished as Apple's"?

Allow me to preempt a possible reply, that "it's a matter of limited resources". People who do layout have a very specific skill set that doesn't necessarily overlap with the people who do artwork/other design work for the desktop, and certainly we're not talking about taking kernel developers or other coders away from more pressing tasks. Does Ubuntu actually have anyone who does professional layout working on any part of the distribution at all? Given the rather modest list of changes they made for 10.10, the least they could have done is find one person for a day or two to make sure that one of those changes, the volume control menu, didn't look like crap.

The real problem is that Ubuntu's design process lacks any transparency whatsoever. Consider the window control debacle earlier this year and how Shuttleworth came out and outright said that they were ignoring the community on the decision. After I wrote up my list, on Morgan's advice, I tried to find a place to send my observations. Are people aware that they don't have a mailing list for design issues? I wasn't. They do have one for artwork, but a cursory look over the archives didn't bring up anything significant about UI. Fedora has one that covers UI design and artwork (not to be interpreted as a defense of Fedora's design). Am I supposed to file it as a bug? Who actually coded that applet and did they follow a UI spec?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[7]: Design fail
by earksiinni on Mon 11th Oct 2010 15:40 in reply to "RE[6]: Design fail"
earksiinni Member since:

In case posterity is reading this thread, the Ubuntu art mailing list pointed me to the Ayatana project, which is apparently in charge of design and does have their own mailing list. Not obvious at all.

Reply Parent Score: 2