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.

onsdagen den 29:e januari 2014

The Visual Design Group - a short intro.

In which we quickly talk about the members of the current Visual Design Group, hopes for more members and what we're looking for.

Creative Commons SA, JD Hancock

The Visual Design Group is prepared. Tomorrow evening we're having our first proper meeting where we'll split up the most urgent tasks between us and assign contacts to everyone. There are six of us now (plus a few contacts) and the hope is that you will see the work and want to join in a few months.

Elena Ramirez is a talented webdesigner and sometimes illustrator who helped KDE finish the look for http://edu.kde.org/ who works out of Seville.

Fabian Bornschein who is a student from Germany and an active Kubuntu group member on Google + with a passion for theming (I suggest you all check out his Tilain Plasma Theme btw).

Malcer Quaid who is a designer who's creations include the famous Caledonia plasma theme and who's been active with Chakra Linux for a long time.

David Brandl is a professional webdesigner from Germany with an extensive background in KDE and Open Source.

Nuno Pinheiro needs no introduction as he is the "Grand Ole Man" of KDE design and one of the creators behind the Oxygen icon theme.

Me (Jens Reuterberg) I'm a freelance illustrator and Graphics Designer with experience from AD-work from Sweden who promised my soul to KDE for a year this january.

...

More detailed introductions and a short interview with every member will come shortly.

Right now there are plenty of things underway and so very little time to do it - if you feel that you should be on this list. If you think that you can contribute work to KDE. If you're passionate about Open Source in general but KDE and Design in specific - dont hesitate a second to contact me on jens [at] ohyran [dot] se.
I cannot promise gold, half the kingdom and the princess/prince hand in marriage - but I can promise that this will be something you'll write on your CV in the future in big bold letters. This is something you will brag about in the future.
Do you know a designer who needs a leg up, an artistic talent that deserves to get their hands dirty? Then keep an eye out on this blog. Fabulous ... great ... interesting prices will be announced for those that hand me a designer that will join up and do the work.

Also: coming soon - more technical and specifics of the design work being done!

22 kommentarer:

  1. Six people are a great start, welcome everyone!

    SvaraRadera
  2. So excited for your efforts! Certainly interested in more specifics of the work being done (to help me decide if I can constructively contribute).

    SvaraRadera
    Svar
    1. We're gonna post more about the work being done as soon as we have something real to show. Right now its mostly group building trying to get an environment where the designers can act with confidence.

      Radera
  3. Great to see you back! And in great shape I see... Can't wait to see what you guys are up to.

    SvaraRadera
  4. The guy behind Bespin had some nice ideas - perhaps someone to include?

    SvaraRadera
  5. Did you decide how to communicate? Will it be a (new) mailing list, the forum, or google hangout (it's a shame that we don't have any KDE hang-around). I'd like to stay at least informed...

    SvaraRadera
    Svar
    1. Right now its mostly internal stuff - so we deal with it with a combination of Google Plus (which is where I tend to live), hangouts and mail (and lately IRC since Nuno can't live without it ;) )

      Radera
  6. The one thing the frustrates me about KDE is that is almost great.

    What I like:
    * Windows 7 style gorgeous aero taskbar (proper blurred transparency, not just faked transparency)
    * Smooth animations

    What I hate:

    * Inconsistent and ugly icons, (ok these can be changed)
    window borders are NOT aero WHY???
    * general inconsistency everywhere, big icons, small icons, rounded, not rounded corners, what???, over customization??

    SvaraRadera
    Svar
    1. Icons - well the Oxygen icon theme is HUGE. It was a gigantic job that took allot of time being one of the most complete icon themes out there and I wish we had the time but right now we will mostly do system icons and small action icons - stuff like that. We simply don't have the time - but our hope is to get some new icon themes ported to KDE and I'm talking with some Icon theme creators about that.... Some kind of "half-fix" I know but better than nothing in that department.

      Radera
  7. Hi Jens, thanks for this post and congratulations for Visual Design Group!

    I translated your post to Portuguese and put it in KDE Brasil website. The post is in http://br.kde.org/node/254

    We hope for a Brazilian/Lusophone designer join in the group. ;)

    Good work!

    SvaraRadera
  8. Thank god, Finally! You need to shake things hard. I love you already! Did you consider some kind of website where users could post their ideas and mockups and vote for them? Something like kde brainstorm but something that actually is going upstream.

    SvaraRadera
    Svar
    1. Right now this is a work in progress - these things take time (something we dont have so we're trying to build a stable team from scratch hoping we'll luck out and everything will be awesom).
      Right now its mostly an issue of trying to get everything somewhat coordinated and get a good base idea of what we think it should look visually, or rather see if we're all on the same page before setting up a webpage like that - but its a brilliant idea. But give us a second or two :)

      Radera
  9. Cool! I gonna contribute as a translator to Russian and (possibly) Ukrainian, but still not sure if I'll have enough time. Anyway, can't wait for even little and insignificant pieces of your work. Just more screenshots!

    SvaraRadera
  10. Do you mean you will work on usablility issues like as it is happening in Gnome3? (Gnome team has already made awesome things)

    SvaraRadera
    Svar
    1. They have, Gnome 3 has done allot of brilliant things and the issue here is that its a kinda different setup internally in KDE which we don't want to ruin but we want to be able to set up a good workflow for designers too in KDE.
      As for usability - thats mostly the area of the HIG team (Thomas Pfeiffer above amongst others) and there is allot of thoughts into getting together to duke it out VDG vs HIG ;) (or more boringly and probable: "cooperate happily")

      Radera
  11. I keep finding settings in KDE that have no meaning in 2014 for general users yet they are not removed from KDE. For example, Desktop Effects > Animation Speed > You can't possibly see difference between Instant and very fast, there is too much complication in font settings, Launch Feedback shows feedback for 30 seconds irrespective of if application has been launched or crashed, etc.

    KDE has a lot of stuff but a lot of attention is paid to the very first screen that user has to regularly interact with. Like Clock widget gets chopped off, there is nothing like system menu that can be found in Gnome or Unity, etc.

    Hope your team is able to work on some of left out areas of KDE Design.

    SvaraRadera
    Svar
    1. Hi sorry for late reply Sudhir:
      Well the System Settings needs to be looked over thats for sure - but at the moment we are simply trying to set up a good work flow.
      It will please you that one of the things the devs are talking about right now in the Plasma Dev list is precisely Animations and Animations Settings.

      The issue is that Plasma NEXT will not be that huge of a change but instead every new version of it will add something. Make it grow more organically into something new. This is bad for marketing as "a big splash" is a more interesting read than incremental change - but it will hopefully be more rewarding to users who will be able to react to specific changes, either understand why they where added and try them out for a while OR comment about their downsides and problems giving the team time to change them and repair all issues individually.

      Soon we'll open the doors to the KDE forum section for Visual Design where members of the community can suggest fixes and ideas and devs can post issues - the idea is that we will try to get the devs in contact with the right designer and community members in contact with the right dev as well as help community members with constructive and positive criticism.

      Soon... so soon. :)

      Radera
  12. Hi…I read this blog. I hope your team is grow up and also you have most great star. A professional web designer is most important in this market. http://bit.ly/1acKauy

    SvaraRadera
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    SvaraRadera