Why design matters

Mohammad Ghasemi ghasemicompany at gmail.com
Sat Jul 25 13:36:55 CEST 2015

I agree with Patrik Bubák.
I have an Idea. If we make buttons and minimized windows on the panel look
flat instead of curved, it looks more lightweight and more beautiful. What
do you say?

On Sat, Jul 25, 2015 at 3:18 PM, Patrik Bubák <bubapa at privacyrequired.com>

>  Hello,
> I joined the mailing list to propose ways to improve the visual experience
> of Xfce by default and to help create standardized guidelines for themers
> to abide to.
> There is always a need for a good looking desktop (just look at Mac OSX
> and you'll get the point of why it sells despite its weaknesses), which is
> why many (visually) prefer some other options like Pantheon, Gnome, MATE,
> Cinnamon, even Unity for that matter, or KDE. Now I'm not going to give you
> charts, but it's a fact that visually Xfce is one of the least popular
> desktops, although I am aware it was created for speed and functionality.
> All except KDE have one thing in common - Gnome, due to its extensibility,
> making it a perfect base for forks. The Gnome team puts a great deal of
> effort into designing their own applications and it works. Not just for
> functionality, but great focus lies in design, which Gnome is perfectly
> aware of, and just like sex sells in commercials with women, design is the
> next thing that sells most. You see it everywhere. Everything around you is
> design in some form.
> While we know, that Gnome is not the most practical of desktops and from
> my own experience I dare to say it has been oversimplified in many ways
> when it goes against its philosophy of "getting things out of the way", for
> me it often gets in the way of doing things.
> There are some elements that it has that the simple mind seeks -
> aesthetics - hidden in simple details, which Xfce does not, and for a
> designer that's like a needle in the eye.
> The most common reason why many shun Xfce I met with in my 5 years of
> Linux is because it:
>  - lacks standardized Human Interface Guidelines (HIG)
> - is generally visually unappealing (base themes are a nay)
>  Now, you may think what I talked about here is very subjective. Believe
> me it's not, and those perceptive enough would know the difference, hearing
> it from everyone, everywhere. There's always something about Xfce that
> drives people away in favour of clunkier desktops like Gnome.
> For a start I would propose to focus on the following few things:
>  - the notification area/tray/whatever you call it, make the space between
> icons breathable, even, make icons uniform in size (currently it's pretty
> much chaos, one icon looks bigger, other one smaller, one takes more space,
> the other one less and so on. Just look at the Gnome panel or Pantheon
> desktop and you'll know what I'm talking about.) While some (in particular
> those who don't even need a GUI and terminal suffices) would argue that
> these are meaningless changes, the general audience, even though not
> designers, pays attention to details and somewhere deep down feel
> something's not right. Call it gut instinct, a bad feeling, or an awakening
> aesthetic "touch", regardless, it's there.
> - allow for fixed positions in centres of panels and windows. (Ever felt
> like you want to centre some things on your desktop but can't get them
> quite in the position you want? Again, a minor detail that counts.)
> - the window buttons plug-in of the panel displays icons a lot smaller
> than that of the start menu e.g. I would propose making all icons of a
> fixed size, regardless are those shortcuts, or plug-ins.
>  As you can see I'm not suggesting to add Compiz or anything like that,
> that would take away the speed or functionality of the desktop. *I am
> merely proposing cosmetic adjustments*.
> While I recognize the effort of some communities like Xubuntu and Shimmer
> Project to whom I am thankful for the effort they have put in in
> beautifying the Xfce desktop and making it more appealing for general
> audiences, I don't know the standing at its base. I've used some vanilla
> Xfce flavours offered by many distributions and the base (default Xfce4)
> artwork was... well...
> So my question is whether there is interest in making the DE more visually
> appealing, or you just want to continue with your current paradigm.
> I am already a part of the Ubuntu GNOME project where I already made some
> contributions, but the working pace is slow, as usual, we all are busy with
> real lives.
> While I cannot code Gtk+ themes (need to find the time to learn that), I
> could still be of help by coordinating the visualization of the desktop.
> Bear in mind, that the devil's in the details.
> Cheers!
>   --
> *Patrik Bubák*
> Ubuntu GNOME Artwork team <https://launchpad.net/~ubuntugnome-artwork>
> |  Behance.net <http://behance.net/inoki>
> Sent using Evolution <https://wiki.gnome.org/Apps/Evolution/>
> Nothing ruins creativity like too many voices weighing in. We call it the *Ice
> Cream Principle*. Tell 10 people to go get ice cream with one condition:
> they all have to agree on one flavour. That flavour is going to be
> chocolate or vanilla every time. Groups of people don't agree on what's
> cool or interesting, they agree on what's easy to agree on.
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