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.

torsdag 28 augusti 2014

Visual Design Stuff at Akademy 2014

For planet readers, this post is written by Andrew Lake.

I'm so excited to participate in my first Akademy this year! I'll finally get to meet other KDE folks I've only interacted with online from all the way in Seattle, my home. I'm especially looking forward to meeting some of our other VDGers like Thomas Pfeiffer and Jens Reuterberg.

I'll also be doing a session on Community Design and the KDE Visual Design Group where I'll share some insights on how the concept of community design works in the VDG, how we hope it will help to sustain visual design as a core competency in the KDE community, how to ensure the quality of the design output, and the lessons we are learning along the way. If you've ever interacted with the VDG, good or bad, or if you're just wondering how the VDG is working today or will in the future, you're certainly encouraged to stop by.

I'll also be hosting a workshop on Visual Design and QML where we'll cover using QML as a visual design tool by working through an example design. No previous QML experience is required - just a willingness to learn something new.

If you need any help or feedback with a design, you can find VDG folks in the User Interface Design Room identified on the BoF schedule.

I'm truly looking forward to this. My Czech is non-existent but I'm trying to learn a few phrases. My German is barely-existent but I'm trying to learn as well. So if you see this guy

or these guys

in the middle of a heated argument with Brno taxi driver, know two things:
  1. I probably insulted his dear mother without realizing it, and
  2. For goodness sake, help a brother out!
Looking forward to Akademy 2014!

tisdag 12 augusti 2014

Monday Report: Old Style In New Form

For the PlanetKDE readers, this posts is written by Philipp Stefan

Breeze C++

Something wonderful happened, Hugo Pereira has volunteered to implemented the Breeze UI controls style in C++ and has shown off some screenshots of his work in the forum.
The basis of this theme is the old oxygen style, so he was able to reuse most of the code. Below are some screenshots of his work (without the Breeze window decoration).

Plasma Addons

The plasma developers are currently porting plasma addons from the 4.X series to Plasma 5. This is of course a great opportunity for us to look at the design of these addons and, as the developers have suggested, now would be the best time to suggest bigger UI revisions, if we have something in mind.
Naturally this has become our main focus this week. We plan to do it this way, open threads in the forums for each add on and wait a few days to see if someone has some ideas regarding the addon. When nothing happens we'll go forwards and finalize our design and make it accessible to the developer who ports the addon in question. This seems to work fine for a couple of addons so far.

Plasma Media Center

After a short delay *cough* Andrew Lake has taken the task upon him to help out with the PMC redesign :) 
The usual process of discussion layout, navigation, usability and presentation of features has now begun. If you have some ideas then, as always, don't hesitate to share them. Nothing is set in stone and as of now we can expect to see changes and adjustments coming up.
Have a look for yourself:

Andrew has also shown off some more mockups of his music player idea. Looking good, Andrew!

This blog entry is proudly presented to you after a two day long struggle with blogger. I thank my friends and family for supporting me in this difficult time.

måndag 4 augusti 2014

Monday Report: Application Design

For the planet readers: This post is written by Philipp Stefan

Last week we saw the release of our design pattern guidelines, this week we focused on using them to prototype application designs. Some of our work has already been made public, like Andrew’s calendar prototype which saw some amazingly detailed feedback. We really love top notch input like that, keep it coming, people!
Andrew has also been working on a design for a music player. We already have a developer interested in helping us to make it a reality. As always, if you have ideas bring them on!
In another thread, EraX has released a few more excellent mockups of how he imagines a future muon discoverer to look like. If you have some time consider to give him feedback. The more feedback he gets the better the design proposal will eventually turn out, so don’t shy away from involving yourself :).

A few users also have kickstarted the work on a better tags GUI for Dolphin. Unfortunately we, besides Thomas, didn't have much time to respond to this proposal. We hope to reach out more throughout this week.
Additionally the work on redesigning the desktop configuration dialogue has started off. Some rough ideas have been sketched out, but nothing is final yet. We’re still arguing about what has to be included where. Currently it seems that there is no winning proposal in sight. Though, I’m sure this will change in the course of this week.

One project I’m personally very excited about is the work of designing an API that makes *PIM's mail functionality available via QML. This will enable us to be able to write e-mail clients in QML or use KMail functionality in e.g. plasmoids. The developer behind this task wants to make a prototype client to see what’s needed in the API to work best for developers. 
We come into play by designing the prototype client. However, the VDG hasn't quite finished the mockups yet, so it’s your time to shine. A few users have already responded with feedback and mockups of their own. Currently the discussion is focused on interaction patterns and the general layout of such an e-mail client, so in its very early stages.

Besides these application the VDG is also working with developers (or without) on an image viewer and a video player. Besides that we want to make slight improvements to key areas of Plasma 5 e.g. the system tray. As you can see there’s still much to do, but we’re pleased with the progress made so far.

*I falsely wrote that the API would expose KMail functionality, when it in fact makes KDE PIM's mail functionality accessible via QML, my apologies.