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KDE workspace speaks human

Sfiet_Konstantin
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KDE workspace speaks human

Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:06 pm
KDE workspace is an impressive desktop. It features a lot of helpful technologies like KIO, KParts, Plasma or Akonadi. But KDE people are too strongly focus on their technologies, and maybe not enough on users.

Sometimes, KDE workspace warns us that some "Nepomuk" or "Akonadi" services are not operationnal. Those who know KDE technologies knows that it refers to PIM or Semantic Desktop, but for new users or non-geek audience, it might seems obscure.

A good UX documentation about these messages is provided by N9 UX guide. (http://harmattan-dev.nokia.com/docs/ux/ ... guage.html).

Important points are :
* Nokia N9 KDE speaks human :
The tone and language we use is straightforward and conversational. This means we avoid engineering terms, overly technical words, obscure acronyms and industry jargon.
* Nokia N9 KDE gets to the point :
No one likes reading line after line of complicated instructions on a mobile. If copy is too long or looks dense, people may skip over it or ignore it altogether.
EDIT : add a new point (not in N9 guidelines, but important too)
* KDE don't speak too much :
Notifications are important to notify that something has changed, and requires attention. Don't use notifications too much !
An example with this is KGet informing that internet has gone offline and online and that the downloads are paused, or restarted. Since KGet has already an icon indicating if it is working or not, this notification is not useful, and is quite redundant with the one of networkmanager.

EDIT : well, On SC 4.8 I cannot find one yet, but when I found one, I will post it ...

Last edited by Sfiet_Konstantin on Fri May 11, 2012 10:06 am, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar Hans
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Re: KDE speaks human

Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:11 pm
It would be great if you had some concrete examples from KDE Software and suggestions how to improve those! :)


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Sfiet_Konstantin
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Re: KDE workspace speaks human

Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:49 pm
I just edited my previous post. I'm searching for those warning dialogs that were quite frightening. But it seems that they are hiding away from me :D

But we can start with the Nepomuk config module : In systemsettings, the icon that brings nepomuk settings is called "Desktop Search". Well, it should be called Semantic Desktop.

I have done a small mockup under designer :
Image

The idea is to inform the users using normal words like "semantic desktop" and "file indexer" instead of Nepomuk or Strigi. An explaination of the benefits is also given, but it might not be read, this is not important.


EDIT : For others points, here is an example of annoyance about crowded dialog. When a dialog pops up, the users thinks he have to react quite quickly, but minimizing dialogs that are used in apps like Amarok are annoying since they interrupt the process of minimizing the app.

Image

Moreover, this dialog is quite long, and might not be that informative. And the first time I saw this dialog I thought that something went wrong but everything was fine ...

Maybe this dialog should be removed, or maybe a small tooltip should be displayed by the minimized amarok saying "I'm still running !"
User avatar ivan
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Re: KDE workspace speaks human

Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:53 pm
I totally agree about the idea to replace cool project names that we have with humanly understandable ones.

Akonadi is IMO, by far, the worst message reporter - a lot of messages that tell nothing to the average Joe.

I don't like, on the other hand, the idea of putting a huge block of text (the nepomuk config mockup) in any window, Those things need to go into documentation (and that is another area where we are underachieving)


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Sfiet_Konstantin
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Re: KDE workspace speaks human

Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:43 am
ivan wrote:I don't like, on the other hand, the idea of putting a huge block of text (the nepomuk config mockup) in any window, Those things need to go into documentation (and that is another area where we are underachieving)


Good point. I still wanted information about what is semantic desktop in the mockup, that's why I have put this block of text. Maybe a link like "More about semantic desktop" that opens the corresponding help file is better.
drf
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Re: KDE workspace speaks human

Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:26 pm
Great points - also, as Ivan said, not only we need better explanations, but also less notifications.
User avatar XandarKablandar
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Re: KDE workspace speaks human

Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:22 am
This idea is so important, to make KDE SC less technical-sounding and therefore more friendly and inviting. This is the kind of simple change that makes a HUGE difference in how intimidating KDE SC feels.

For example, in the System Settings, in the Multimedia part, there are two sections: Audio CDs and Phonon. What does Phonon mean? I know, but then again I had to work for that knowledge. My salsa instructor friend who runs Kubuntu doesn't know, and will skip over it out of fear. "Phonon" is a technical term, and should be replaced with "Devices" or "Configuration" or something along those lines.

Or in System Settings -> Personal Information, it has two sections: Akonadi Resources Configuration and KDE Resources. Even for me, that is obtuse. Something more aligned with what it does would make it more likely to be experimented with. Like maybe, "PIM Settings (Mail)" and "PIM Settings (Other)". Actually, I'm not too clear on the reason for a separation between to the other than that they are not *technically* related.
User avatar manasij7479
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Re: KDE workspace speaks human

Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:11 am
Would it really be that much beneficial if the interface is dumbed down ?
Removing "a lot of messages that tell nothing to the average Joe" would also do away with many things that the "average KDE user, as of now" find important.
I don't think it is very wise to neglect the current user base, in which potential future contributers belong, to attract people, who..for example.. are unwilling to learn a little in the way of technical terms.
That said, I think some of it can be improved, without any compromise.


Manasij Mukherjee @ Arch Linux | gcc-4.9.2 | Plasma 5.2
User avatar XandarKablandar
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Re: KDE workspace speaks human

Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:57 am
Maybe not remove the messages, but make them less obtuse and more understandable without having to Google what it means.
Sfiet_Konstantin
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Re: KDE workspace speaks human

Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:25 pm
XandarKablandar wrote:Maybe not remove the messages, but make them less obtuse and more understandable without having to Google what it means.


And maybe add different levels of dialog outputs.
Why not a checkbox in systemsettings saying : enable advanced warning, advanced messages, or enable debug errors and so on ?
User avatar manasij7479
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Re: KDE workspace speaks human

Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:06 pm
XandarKablandar wrote:And maybe add different levels of dialog outputs.
Why not a checkbox in systemsettings saying : enable advanced warning, advanced messages, or enable debug errors and so on ?

Neat idea!
The user would then basically have to select between a 'Smart' and 'Dumb' interface at first start.


Manasij Mukherjee @ Arch Linux | gcc-4.9.2 | Plasma 5.2
Sfiet_Konstantin
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Re: KDE workspace speaks human

Fri May 11, 2012 10:07 am
I added a small point about notifications.
Do not use too much of them ! >:D
rickst29
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Re: KDE workspace speaks human

Wed May 16, 2012 6:25 pm
Each instance of a Desktop/workspace notification has a unique set of justifications versus distraction costs. PLEASE enter a BugID on each specific notification which seems useless, redundant, distracting, too wordy, or too frequent.

This is like eating an elephant: One bite at a time, and it's faster to have different "dinner guests" (Nepomuk, Akonadi) working on different BugIDs at the same time. They are also the specialists- the Devs of these individual Applications know more about possible justifications for these messages than the rest of us.

Make them defend their excessive messages- write a BugID, and read what they say in response. Communication is good!


KDE and Qt coding newby. Production system = Fedora 17, KDE 4.8.3
User avatar scummos
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Re: KDE workspace speaks human

Wed May 16, 2012 9:53 pm
While I'm all for understandable texts, don't make them trash-talk. For example, please don't remove information from error messages just because you fear the user might not understand it. After all, being beginner-friendly and being user-friendly are two totally different things, and while being beginner-friendly is important, user-friendlyness is much more important. In my opinion, you shouldn't sacrifice accuracy for simplicity; only simplify things where the situation actually permits it. In other words, "make things as simple as possible, but not any simpler." :)

Greetings,
Sven


I'm working on the KDevelop IDE.
User avatar Malsasa
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Re: KDE workspace speaks human

Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:12 pm
Wow, if this is become reality, KDE will be the real futuristic desktop!



 
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