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 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. 

20 kommentarer:

  1. Still terrible. Space wasting design what doesn't fit to mouse+keyboard use or just for keyboard and has terrible usability considering bad sighted users or users who have low motorskills.

    The design doesn't follow logic what people have custom in centuries, read from left to right, up to down.

    Don't know what has happened as all usability research studies from decades are being forgotten?

    SvaraRadera
    Svar
    1. ... much like "common decency", "kindness" and "a sense of humility" it seems

      Radera
    2. "read from left to right, up to down"

      Really?
      You must be a westener (like me) to say that. Technologies should be not culture-centric at all. Just think to cultures which doesn't have a LTR (left to right) writing system, as the arabic cultures.

      Radera
    3. I am western and that design is for western. I know there is need for different layouts (right to left, up to down etc) and that isn't shown here. That is the technical thing where you need to turn things around (have you tried it? WTF allows you to start applications with right to left mode) but there are need for color blinds, near sighted, weak sighted, kids, seniors and even blind people or deaf.

      If they want to design a style, then compromise isn't good at all. We can't have a "culture neutral" design as it is worse than one. Like make a style where is mixed left to right and right to left styles.... Just terrible. Just like drawers and painters should look their work trough mirror or upside down, style designers should be forced to use mirror, heavy duty gloves, drill glasses (or strong sunglasses) to know how different people needs to operate their computers.

      And finally, if designer goes after fashion, it is already lost as it isn't anymore a neutral in anyway or good for usability. That's why designers should never do decisions about usability, basically for anything.

      Radera
  2. Keep up the good work. It looks amazing!

    SvaraRadera
  3. Interesting: "...designing an API that makes PIM functionality available via QML..." That's something i tried years (just over 2) ago. I went as far as getting the Calendar data exposed in QML. Otehr then that there where just too many technical limitations in QtQuick to design a full featured QML based calendar. I tried to do that twice and failed at both attempts. Right now things are looking much better then a year ago but you would still need to make a very complicated C++ QML component for drawing the events. That was my no.1 issue. The overall goal was to re-create all of KOrganizer in QML, but that seems to be a bit too difficult when i tried it. Another big issue that i've had from the start is Qt 4 vs Qt 5. When i started it was all Qt 4, but the fancy stuff right now is in Qt 5 bit kdepim isn't so that really complicates making anything in Qt 5 + QML + kdepim. Hence the reason why Plasma 5 doesn't have calendar integration.

    I will probably try again once pim is fully working on Qt 5 :)

    Next, the dolphin tags mockup looks interesting. I wish you had posted the screenshot of that one here :)

    Then for the music player. Ehh... It looks heavily iOS 7 inspired and i hate that style. I really hope that you folks don't head in that direction.

    SvaraRadera
    Svar
    1. Well, I hope it works. I'm not sure how it'll work as I'm not a programer, but maybe you could talk to the developer who currently makes this attempt for more information :)

      Radera
    2. I'm not sure how to edit my other post (everything's in Swedish!), but in a comment below Michael Bohlender (the developer) said that it's only about the mail functionality and not the whole of kdepim. Sorry for causing this confusion.

      Radera
  4. Little correction from the API developer: My project is only about mail functionality so far. No calendar or other stuff.

    SvaraRadera
    Svar
    1. Thank you for spotting that. I hope it's fixed now :)

      Radera
  5. Hello ! Good prototypes !
    I'm a QT/QML developer and it will be a pleasure to contribute to these new projects (particulary the music player ;-) )
    How can I help the developpement of these apps ?

    SvaraRadera
    Svar
    1. You're more than welcome to help! Just pop on over to the forums (https://forum.kde.org/viewforum.php?f=285) and chime in on the design thread you're interested in.

      Radera
  6. Den här kommentaren har tagits bort av skribenten.

    SvaraRadera
  7. That looks SOOO good. Just can't wait. Hopefully the designs will be a reality

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

    SvaraRadera
    Svar
    1. Just have a look at this Amarok guys ;p
      Not perfect but damn sleek and sexy UI there !

      Radera