This is the work blog for the KDE Visual Design Group a group of dedicated designers striving to improve community participation in design for KDE as well as design work in general for KDE applications and Plasma.

måndag 17 mars 2014

Monday Report #7 - beach edition

In which I am bragging about being in the sun, talk about community design, post some Plasma Next design and then rush out to the beach so as to not be divorced by my husband who really wish I would sit less at the computer.

Andrew Lakes Beautiful new clock desing! Check the slogan!

I would firstly want to say that I am on vacation in the sun so everything written will be written while looking forlornly at the ever present sandy beach. So do not expect a massive amount of information :)


First of all Community News: there is simply too much going on. Me and Thomas Pfeiffer from the HIG group recently mentioned this in discussion that the success of the VDG public forum means that it's almost impossible to keep up with all the threads. Ideas are being posted, talked about and mock-up'ed at such speed that trying to keep a presence in all threads is tricky at best. 
Which is as should be! The boys and girls in the forums is for me such a massive inspiration that I tend to just lurk and read and you guys will be referred to whenever someone says that Community Design is impossible!

Now the issue is getting the ideas to the right dev group in the best way possible which is something to think about, what is the preferred way of making certain the right dev see the right ideas?

In the VDG group Uri Herrera (the Nitrux guy) is posting more and more icons for the next Icon theme and among them symbolic icons for the folder-tree - a personal dream for me (the current "same folder icon as always but tiny" has been a pet peeve of mine).

Uri's icon work


David Brandl has started work on the logos of projects - trying to combine the logos of Plasma Next and Frameworks 5 and I can only say that the sketches and the work done there are awesome.

Andrew "The Design Machine" Lake has kept trundling onwards like the creative rocket that he is - he has also posted mockup kits and edits to the Plasma Current theme - the Next theme almost completely done! (the clock at the top is just one example).

Fabian Bornschein has almost finished the system tray icons, meaning that beyond a dark theme (which is a matter of reversing colors from the color theme) the work for Plasma Next theme is as good as done!


Finally it's that glorious bit - where the borders of VDG and KDE community blur - the work being done on the new cursor theme in the forums as well as the Awesome Community Icon Theme is marching on at the speed of light. I will hopefully get an interview this week with all the people involved in those things and will give that specific subject the time it deserves then!

Now I gotta go, my husband is standing looking at me with the "oh are you done soon?" look and we're heading for an early swim. 
Gotta run!

44 kommentarer:

  1. really a breath of fresh air for the Kde community

    SvaraRadera
  2. To me, the large icons look good, the small icons are OK, and the taskbar icons are also OK (good thing they were improved to not be that curvy and the sound icon no longer looks like a flying saucer :) ). The top icons for icon/details/tree view, though, I don't like as much, because they feel needlessly cluttered due to alternating black/white squares, which are inconsistent just for the sake of it...

    SvaraRadera
  3. finally a real sense of taste, the whole work published her seems to have that, awesome

    SvaraRadera
  4. Yes Yes! that's awesome

    SvaraRadera
  5. Svar
    1. I make accretion and I know nothing about it. Nor is accretion near usable so I guess it's dolphin.

      But when I saw the image I also thought: "hey, that looks like accretion" :-)

      Radera
    2. Heh! I didn't even KNOW of Accretion before you mentioned it :)
      But yeah, it's Dolphin - I should try to contact Mark and see how Accretion is coming along though. See if we can help out and work together.

      Radera
  6. This is really wonderful ! Thanks so much for making KDE shine.
    I'd really like to know if there's a repository or updated tarballs for testing the KDE Next plasma and Qt themes. Thanks again.

    SvaraRadera
  7. Really nice ! Thanks to all the team

    SvaraRadera
  8. This is really starting to look good! Keep it up.

    Dolphin is looking f***king sharp! That's what I was thinking for years. But tray icons and dolphin icons are not the same design. Very similar but not the same. Please focus on consistency. I would like final design to be something in-between of those two sets of icons. It looks really promising!

    As it goes for cursor theme. Something sharp and clean as DMZ would fit.

    Good work! Thank you guys. This is the best monday report so far!

    SvaraRadera
  9. Guys, thanks for publishing this. Can you give me some ideas about a sound theme to go along with this concept? Because I'm working on it, but I'll need the community input before I can make a formal proposal to the VDG.

    SvaraRadera
  10. Den här kommentaren har tagits bort av skribenten.

    SvaraRadera
  11. I think for KDE to look even more better, the development should be design focused. Every decision a developer makes should be after consulting the designer.
    The designs aren't bad, but could be better. Also they look too metroish to me. The flat design may be a good or a bad thing.
    Good luck!

    SvaraRadera
    Svar
    1. I don't think that's the way to go - work should be based around the idea of cooperation and a sense of freedom. With that comes the issue that things tend to be weirdly different. But it can be solved easier - the idea we have is to create a simple blueprint for QML so any dev can create a nice design, make the HIG easier to follow but also provide a toolkit for Visuals.

      Also make us all close to the devs - so that they feel that they can quickly and without fuss ask for design help and know that there is a designer ready to step up to do it.

      That way it's not forced on anyone.

      Radera
  12. I think the window corners need to be just ever so slightly rounded; by about 1.5px. Not enough to say the corners are rounded, but just enough to say they're 'sanded' and soften them a little. See attached:

    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B2ZTq0OEC9rvOVEwV09QMWV6R3M/view

    SvaraRadera
    Svar
    1. ... Thanks Google for not making the link work right... -_-*

      http://kver.ca/2pxrounding.png

      Radera
  13. "The top icons for icon/details/tree view, though, I don't like as much, because they feel needlessly cluttered due to alternating black/white squares, which are inconsistent just for the sake of it..."

    I just created a new post with some mockups I made for those 3 icons.
    http://forum.kde.org/viewtopic.php?f=285&t=120160&p=304977#p304977

    SvaraRadera
  14. I hope the design group can also take a look at:
    - the design of the KDE settings pages that you have in about every KDE app. I don't mean system settings, but when you open - for example Kate our dolphin - and go to the settings of that application. That design looks like it could use a refresh.
    - another thing is how to display a range of images. Just today (yesterday) Sebas posted a screenshot of the window for changing your desktop background and while he certainly is working in the right direction, I do think it might be good for that window to have the design group take a look at it.

    + tons more :) basically everything in KDE could use some design attention.

    SvaraRadera
  15. What if i don't like it? Can i change theme(i don't like sharp conrners) and change icons' size in the tree? Small icons are ok when you have small screen resolution, if you have a big one you wouldn't like to aim exactly in a tiny icon.

    SvaraRadera
    Svar
    1. Yes of course! Thats one of our main goals - not to force anything on the users. One of the best things with Plasma is it's flexibility and that will always remain.
      Like I've said so many times (but it bears repeating) it doesn't matter if most of us have a design background and CV as long as my arm - it is still and always will be YOUR computer. Not mine. So what ever YOU like is the best design there is. :)

      Radera
  16. Also, could you bring back automatic icon resize in the tree for Dolphin as an option?
    I don't understand why you cut down such functionality. It looked so proffesional when the program automises simple action for you, also animation looked slick.

    SvaraRadera
  17. Very good. Somehow reminds me the Reinhardt icon set:
    http://kde-look.org/content/show.php?content=6153

    SvaraRadera
  18. no, no, no
    please not windows 8 like design

    SvaraRadera
    Svar
    1. Does it help that we didn't look at Windows 8 as a design goal and again, whatever you like - you can always change it into. See the goal is to change the layout - this will be done through a Plasma Theme, a widget theme, a color theme and a window theme. All these things are things you can change.
      If you look at it and think "no no no" then you can easily change it into something you like better. Thats the glory of Plasma. Oxygen widget theme, the Air plasma theme and the Oxygen icon theme will still be there for you, they wont be removed.

      Radera
  19. Looks good. I would prefer darker tray icons though to aid in readability. That's one problem with the current Air theme: unless you desktop image cooperates, the white text on a white translucent background makes it hard to read. The grey is better, but it should be darker, in my opinion.

    SvaraRadera
    Svar
    1. Well we still have a dark theme to finish and hopefully that will help with readability. I talked shortly with a guy on reddit who is legally blind and I also talked with an acquaintance who has to have visual aids on how to help out with that.
      Now some of those things will of course not get into the default Plasma theme (Dark Grey background and bright yellow text isn't relevant for most people) but it will get squeezed in.

      Radera
    2. Good to hear. But having a dark theme included shouldn't make the light theme any less readable, as you seem to suggest. In any case, I'm certainly looking forward to the new design.

      Radera
    3. Well the point being that as for readability I found the darker tray icons where too sharp and jarring hence the dark grey instead of black. So I'm not saying you can't see them, just that they are easier to see for me.
      BUT and this should make you happy - the icons pick up the color of the text color in the color theme - meaning if you like them darker you can easily switch to a darker color (just as the dark theme will have light grey instead of white which you can also change if you'd wish)

      Radera
  20. Wow! keep up the good work people!

    SvaraRadera
  21. Black and white icons everywhere? Yuck. It needs a splash of colour for easy icon identification and is making the same mistake as MS Visual Studio. Also far too MacOS and iOS7 like for my taste. What is this obsession with copying crApple at all costs? The one thing I loved about existing Kde icons was just how colourful they were. I would rather you reduced the complexity as you are doing but kept the colour.

    PS: blogspot refuses to display any other language than Swedish here.

    SvaraRadera
    Svar
    1. Well again you can always reverse the change if you prefer something different so no harm done.

      Radera
    2. I personally like it. I hate the current Cotillion - Child's party look of KDE.

      Radera
  22. The new design is stunning.

    For all of those that are complaining, I don't get it guys, it will still be KDE, able to customise it till you drop. All the people of vdg do is produce a new look and feel for plasma with design as its primary purpose. Let's cheek them up.

    SvaraRadera
  23. Hey! I'm waiting with impatient the next report! :)

    SvaraRadera
  24. As long as I can still use the current Oxygen icons instead of the symbolic icons you can change the default theme however you want.

    SvaraRadera
  25. I am a loyal user kde for 11 years, but ... his style is very similar to visual studio 2013 windows 8

    http://blogs.msdn.com/cfs-filesystemfile.ashx/__key/communityserver-blogs-components-weblogfiles/00-00-01-29-92/3678.VS2013Preview_2D00_UX5_5F00_Lg_5F00_Icons.png

    SvaraRadera