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Open Source UI Design or lack there of

Looks nice, but for sakes, get rid of the word mangle in the options.  Like any normal user will ever check a box that says mangle.  The UI's are designed by people that are too technical, they really need a UI interface design team to figure stuff like this out.


http://www.csh.rit.edu/~benjamin/about/pictures/KDE/kontact.png

Mike
Wednesday, March 24, 2004

The text is badly aligned on the tab headers.

Frederik Slijkerman
Wednesday, March 24, 2004

The beauty of open source is that *you* can report the bugs, suggestions and enhancements, and have a chance of someone listening to you.

Matthew Lock
Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Got to get me a Mac, I love the look of the UI widgets.

Matthew Lock
Wednesday, March 24, 2004

It says "Setting that don't fit elsew here"!

John Topley (www.johntopley.com)
Wednesday, March 24, 2004

"The beauty of open source is that *you* can report the bugs, suggestions and enhancements, and have a chance of someone listening to you."

And that doesn't happen with closed source because...?

John Topley (www.johntopley.com)
Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Plus the great grammer.

"Setting that don't fit elsewhere"

And yes you can report these things, but the people designing the thing don't have a clue they are wrong and probably don't like being told they are wrong.  So I think you'd get nowhere fast.

Mike
Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Who is forcing you to use this? How much did you pay? How easy would it be for you to fix anything you like and submit a patch?

Jesus, allot of people on this board need to grow up. If it isn't OSS vs Microsoft it's US vs EU.

fw
Wednesday, March 24, 2004

> that doesn't happen with closed source because...?

You have to pay (or have MS stopped that little scam)?

Nobody listens to you anyway?

...


Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Who is forcing you to use this? Nobody

How much did you pay? Nothing, it isn't worth more.

How easy would it be for you to fix anything you like and submit a patch?  Not too easy, I don't know C++.

My point was that if the OSS wants to have a real presence on the desktop other than a 2% share they have to get stuff like this right.  Currently they can preach a good game, but when the rubber meets the road you see the glaring poor design and decide, well maybe I'll just use Windows which was preinstalled "free" with my pc.

Mike
Wednesday, March 24, 2004

"You have to pay (or have MS stopped that little scam)?"

Since when?  The MS Wish List has always been free (As far back as I can remember anyway).

"Nobody listens to you anyway?"

I've put in feature requests that showed up in actual products.

Myron A. Semack
Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Mike - You could not be more wrong.

From your comments: (Joel violation in progress ;)
the people designing the thing don't have a clue they are wrong
- It must be nice to code everything 100% each time.  Unfortunately, some of we mere mortals make mistakes and miss them...even in production GASP!!!

and probably don't like being told they are wrong.  So I think you'd get nowhere fast.
- I have reported issues in the past to OpenOffice.  I received a response within 24 hours and the person worked with me to figure out what might be creating the issue.  I had three transparent layers for my company logo with text under the second layer. (- shame on them for not testing my combinations).  A fix was available to me within two weeks. 

While I make a living off MS, you see the same issues in Windows products.  Even with what it costs me for their  service I have yet to get a fix for a problem where the solution was not "remove product 'X' and it will not happen" 

I am not bashing MS, merely pointing out that many people look for 100% as soon as they see OSS forgetting they don't get 100% from ANYONE.  Hell, even NASA managed to miss Mars.

MSHack
Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Why do we want open source UI design ?

Widgets are free anyway. If you want your own widgets, go write them but they will be non-standard. That means your users have to learn new behaviour which is counter-intuitive.

Open source helps solve the same problem only once. Solving a problem is not the same as designing the solution.

Woodentongue
Wednesday, March 24, 2004

My OSS experience agrees with that of MSHack. Recently I submitted four bugs to Mozilla in one evening. None serious, one or two just cosmetic things. Within 24 hours I had had responses for all of them. The largest one was, I was told, in that night's build if I wanted to try it out, but I could otherwise wait for the next official release. You couldn't get that kind of response from most commercial entities.

Myron - I thought that to report a bug to MS then if you were the first you got it for free, but otherwise had to pay for the support call (/email/fax/whatever)? The things Mike pointed out are certainly bugs in my opinion, not Wishes.

/aside: it always seems to me that if a company receives a bug report from you then they should pay you for having helped them improve their software...


Wednesday, March 24, 2004

"aside: it always seems to me that if a company receives a bug report from you then they should pay you for having helped them improve their software... "

Which is why  some places don't listen to their customers, or make it look like it's a black box: if they acknowledge that you helped them, you (well, probably not you, but certainly some people out there) will sue them claiming that whatever they found was worth money, sometimes lots of money.

this is another advantage of free ($) software: an idea contributor knows up front that there is no money in it for them.

mb
Wednesday, March 24, 2004

"Mangle" or other scary text is a perfectly valid in the UI for an option you don't really want the user to click on unless they really know wtf they're doing.

Richard P
Wednesday, March 24, 2004

""Mangle" or other scary text is a perfectly valid in the UI for an option you don't really want the user to click on unless they really know wtf they're doing."

Apparently in OSS it is.  Not in any viable aunt Tillie software.

Mike
Wednesday, March 24, 2004

> Recently I submitted four bugs to Mozilla in one evening. Within 24 hours I had had responses for all of them. The largest one was, I was told, in that night's build if I wanted to try it out, but I could otherwise wait for the next official release. You couldn't get that kind of response from most commercial entities.

Exactly. I've found the same with my plantation workers. When we had slaves, they would turn out any time of the day or night, work 16 hours, 20 even if we whipped them, and never complain.

Compare that with this here commercial business. Now it's impossible to get things done after 6 pm or before 8 am.

And the slaves were greatful for it too. It was a much better system.

.
Wednesday, March 24, 2004

> Apparently in OSS it is.  Not in any viable aunt Tillie software.

Why does everyone assume that the least common denominator UI is the correct solution?  I think that's what all the so called UI experts are missing.  The UI that is correct for aunt Tillie is NOT correct for someone like me who spends 10 hours a day in front of a computer writing software, configuring firewalls, and occasionally writing about the really good snow we have in Tahoe. 

Just like a race car driver that requires a different interface for taking his F1 car through its paces at 200MPH, I need a different interface to configure the 40 servers in my farm than Aunt Tillie needs to write me an email about how her cat is "so spoiled she do anything but sleep all day."

At very least I would go crazy looking at a wait icon that had been replaced with someone knitting a scarf --  the longer the file transfer takes, the more times I need to wrap it around my neck.

christopher baus (www.baus.net)
Thursday, March 25, 2004

"Why does everyone assume that the least common denominator UI is the correct solution?"

Because the OP gave the example of an OSS e-mail application that predominantly runs on Linux and Linux is trying to make in-roads into the desktop. And that means your Aunt Tillie.

John Topley (www.johntopley.com)
Thursday, March 25, 2004

[Why does everyone assume that the least common denominator UI is the correct solution?  I think that's what all the so called UI experts are missing.]

If they really are experts, that is not what they are assuming. Then they will be assuming that you need to take into account who your adience is and what the goals are they are trying to attain.
I am quite sure that getting a good scare is not one of anyones goals, neither of Aunt Tillie, nor of you the expert.
Instead, if something might cause serious harm if used inapproriately, make sure the user is properly aware of it. Either by warning signs, placement, confirmation dialogs (but not the  "are you sure" kind), or any combination that you deem appropriate.

Jet designers know this when they do no put the seat ejection lever immediately next to the throttle control.

Erik
Thursday, March 25, 2004

Dear dot,
              If Open Source software developers are gettng strokes of the lash like ppantation workers ifts because they earn enough in their dayjob to pay Miss Whiplash to do it to them.

              Congratulations though. Finding the most imappropriate analogy to discuss OSS is a crowded field, and you've triumphed.

Dear Christopher,
                          The interface you require has been developed. It's called the Command Line. Whether you can use it to turn off idiotic Windows themes is another matter.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, March 25, 2004

> Because the OP gave the example of an OSS e-mail application that predominantly runs on Linux and Linux is trying to make in-roads into the desktop. And that means your Aunt Tillie.

I use desktop software all the time.  And no I'm not Aunt Tillie.

christopher baus (www.baus.net)
Thursday, March 25, 2004

So that means the application needs to accomodate both you and Aunt Tillie, not just you instead.

Erik
Thursday, March 25, 2004

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