Reply to topic

[Design Project] System Settings

User avatar jensreuterberg
Registered Member
Posts
598
Karma
3
OS

[Design Project] System Settings

Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:16 pm
Right so the issue with system settings is a massive one that I really want everyone to talk about and look at.

First off - lets remember that changing the entire setup is not possible just right now (it's a project coming in the future) but what really really needs to be done is working over the the specific settings on two levels:

1) Making sure that all settings use the same sort of thing to set similar things - right now there are sliders, buttons, radio buttons and drop-down menus all mixed up - which creates a messy and complex feel for the individual settings.
2) Working on new layouts for the settings - making them simpler, easier and more human without removing flexibility.

So right now - ignore the entire layup of the system settings - look at the specifics and lets take them one by one which would make the entire system settings easier for everyone and when the time comes (after the summer) to change the entire layout of the system settings it will all have a rocksolid foundation to stand on.


KDE Visual Design Group - "Sexy by default - Powerful through cooperation"
User avatar colomar
Registered Member
Posts
944
Karma
2
OS
For the consistency part: I know you - like most designers - are not a huge fan of guidelines, but achieving this is precisely the thing they're good at.
So for that, I'd suggest that either
a) Programmers go over all the KCMs, check them for HIG violations and fix them. These would be ideal for junior jobs!
b) Non-programmers do the checking part and file bugs for developers to fix. This creates more communication overhead, but has the bonus that everyone can help, regardless of programming skills.

I assume that >90% of the inconsistencies can be found and fixed with the help of the HIGs. If something is not clear from the HIGs, we'd appreciate if people told us so the HIGs could be improved.

As for the layout: We have some layout guidelines in the HIGs as well, but they may not cover all the cases.
User avatar jensreuterberg
Registered Member
Posts
598
Karma
3
OS
Well the HIG guidelines are well and fine and I would of course not want to hinder anyone who want to read through them and compare them to the current layout of the system setting subgroups, file bugs or post it here. But it has nothing to do with the thread.

The system settings needs a revamp and badly! There are two ways of going about this - either add a massive project where we go from the top-down trying to create system settings from scratch that conform better to design OR we go from the bottom-up and rework them talking about new ideas and concepts on how to do that. See if we can't simplify them for all in the process. Be a tad sterner than we perhaps have been before and invite everyone to get in on the ground floor of this and just go nuts.

What is needed is less of an academic debate on the issue and more creativity and community participation (which bugtrackers and guidelines isn't very well designed for). Less talky-talky and more showy-showy essentially.


KDE Visual Design Group - "Sexy by default - Powerful through cooperation"
User avatar colomar
Registered Member
Posts
944
Karma
2
OS
Yes. I think 1) can be solved by the HIG, 2) cannot. Inconsistency is one thing, overall bad interaction design is another. the HIG can fix the inconsistencies, but for the general interaction design, we definitely need to start from scratch
davidwright
Registered Member
Posts
153
Karma
0
OS
Ok, well I've gone through system settings and have typed up all the main menus and sub menus so we know what we are looking at. Is re-arranging the menus allowed? If so then I think we should look at that first, and then have a deeper look into everything else. If not then perhaps we could leave this here and I will update it with peoples comments etc. (see mouse module for example) on each particular module so it can be a master list of sorts?

If it's too long, or I'm on the wrong track let me know and I will delete it.

:-)

Common Appearance and Behaviour

- Account Details
+ Password and User Account
+ Paths
+ KDE Wallet
+ Social Desktop
+ Web Shortcuts

- Application Appearance
+ Style
+ Colours
+ Icons
+ Fonts
+ GTK
+ Emoticons

- Application and Sytem Notifications
+ Manage Notifications
+ Other Notifications
+ System Bell
+ Launch Feedback

- File Associations

- Locale
+ Country / Region & Language
+ Spell Checker

- Personal Information (Akonadi Resourse)

- Shortcuts and Gestures
+ Custom Shortcuts
+ Standard Keyboard Shortcuts
+ Global Keyboard Shortcuts

Workspace Appearance and Behaviour

- Desktop Effects

- Workspace Appearance
+ Window Decorations
+ Cursor Theme
+Desktop Theme
+ Splash Theme

- Accessibility
+ Accessibility
+ Text-to-Speech

- Default Applications

-Desktop Search

- Window Behaviour
+ Task Switcher
+ Window Behaviour
+ Kwin Scripts
+ Window Rules

- Workspace Behaviour
+Activities
+ Virtual Desktops
+ Screen Edges
+ Workspace

Network and Connectivity

- Bluetooth
+ Devices
+ File Transfers
+ Adapters

- Network Settings
+ Proxy
+ Connection Preferences
+ Service Discovery

- SSL Preferences

- Sharing
+ Windows Shares

- IM and VOIP
+ Accounts
+ General

Hardware

- Colour

- Device Actions

- Devices (KDE connect)

- Digital Camera

- Display and Monitor
+ Display Configuration
+ Screen Locker
+ Gamma

- Input Devices

+ Keyboard
+ Mouse
1) Mouse navigation tab could be combined with 'Advanced' as refers to moving mouse with keyboard
2) Button order controls should be in grouping box like 'icons' directly below it?
+ Touchpad
+ Joystick
+ Graphic Tablet
+ Remote Controls

- Power Management
+ Energy Saving
+ Activity Settings
+ Advanced Settings

- Printers

- Removable Devices

- Multimedia

+ Audio CDS
+ audio and Video
+ CDDB Retrieval

System Administration

- About System

- Date & Time

- Font Management


- Login Screen (lightdm)

- Startup and Shutdown
+ autostart
+ Service manager
+ session management

- Task Scheduler


- User Manager
User avatar lazyit
Registered Member
Posts
125
Karma
0
OS
I'm not a designer and there are dev, just my opinion from old user kde 4. We should first clarify one thing. In System Settings, there are 2 entries for the artwork. 1) Appearance workspace 2) Application Appearance These are separate because, according to the vision of developers, these are 2 different things, and maybe technically, that's right. But in my view, the user may instead be all combined into a single module KCM, however, because it is always about changing the artwork on the desktop. Once, if I remember correctly, it was so, then was separated. Maybe it is more technically correct, but not for the user, which seems more confused.
Sorry for english i use gtranslate :D
User avatar colomar
Registered Member
Posts
944
Karma
2
OS
Great start!
Developers will start whining like babies when we tell them we want to rearrange menus because it's all grown historically, deeply entangled and thus hard to change, bla bla... But we should stay strong and make them change it. The whole structure is currently completely messed up and unintuitive. We won't get good Systemsettings without changing it.
kdeuserk
Registered Member
Posts
207
Karma
0
I would choose a top to bottom process, that means this time an exception should be made: Rearranging and rewriting all the modules (maybe time for qml. to include proper transitions) from the end users perspective and how it seems most sensible in general without knowing about the code and all it's modules/components.
Maybe the successor of current system settings could act like an abstraction layer for different modules, that allows rearranging, settings of different modules in one new "virtual" module, so that all the different module developers would not have to fight over refactoring their code.
For example it was suggested by davidwright to make kwin settings a part of the workspace settings. Code wise plasma and Kwin are two different projects and therefore different areas of code with different modules, but for the end user this should not matter in areas where it does not make sense anymore (virtual desktops, activities etc.).
So programmers of the different projects would provide all the configuration options in their backends and make them easily accessible for qml modules through qml apis. That way people coordinating the usability and design of System settings would take the part of integrating the configuration options.
Sound like a sensible approach to me.
User avatar lazyit
Registered Member
Posts
125
Karma
0
OS
Mageia Control Center is maybe different exemple
http://www.tuxmachines.org/images/magei ... 1_mcc2.jpg

Last edited by lazyit on Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar jensreuterberg
Registered Member
Posts
598
Karma
3
OS
Well the reason why top-to-bottom is impossible right now is because it simply is too big of a rearrangement and it would be better to have a solid "background" to stand on when we start working on the bigger changes. :)


KDE Visual Design Group - "Sexy by default - Powerful through cooperation"
kdeuserk
Registered Member
Posts
207
Karma
0
Jens: I see your point, but I fear that, in the end it will even be more work. Are we talking about a design concept now, or something that should materialize quickly?
I think we should over think the design of kcm modules and find a more flexible way for the future code wise without breaking everything.
The code should then be ported, step by step and the VDG could help designing the modules one by one.
Problem is: At least one person will be needed with experience that will get his/her handy dirty with a rough demonstration how that could be achieved code wise.
I have not looked in the new modules written in qml yet (for plasma 2).
Apart from that I have not the necessary experience and knowledge code wise yet and I cannot help before summer, as I am pretty busy now :-(.
But let me say, that I am pretty interested to work on stuff that would be at the boarder between code and visual design, so if not everything goes wrong in my life in the next months I will try to join as soon as my abilities let me after summer.
User avatar scummos
Global Moderator
Posts
1175
Karma
7
OS
jensreuterberg wrote:The system settings needs a revamp and badly! There are two ways of going about this - either add a massive project where we go from the top-down trying to create system settings from scratch that conform better to design OR we go from the bottom-up and rework them talking about new ideas and concepts on how to do that. See if we can't simplify them for all in the process. Be a tad sterner than we perhaps have been before and invite everyone to get in on the ground floor of this and just go nuts.


Certainly the latter is the better solution. Rewriting KCMs is a huge pain, while rearranging the UI elements is a simple job anyone can do in minutes.


I'm working on the KDevelop IDE.
User avatar jensreuterberg
Registered Member
Posts
598
Karma
3
OS

Re: [Design Project] System Settings

Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:40 pm
Well Kdeuserk the issue is, as Scummos points out, a practical one as well. There simply isn't enough man power to change everything at once. This is one of those thousand-drops-to-hollow-out-a-stone things.

If we can edit the sections layout and method to better suit a human being we can move slowly from section to section and ravamp them making them usable - then we can use that to show the reasoning behind this improvement. The design idea for now might be summed up in:

Consistency
Essentially not use sliders if the same sort of action in another section called for buttons to be used. Make certain the layout follows the same form in all sections.

Layout
Use simple layout with plenty of open space to avoid a cramped feel. Use common layout methods when doing posters for example or articles: the important bit first, then the less important more indepth stuff and finally the gritty details. Add more space than you think (its like making tabbuleh with couscous, "more parsley than you thought would ever be needed")

Clarity
In text, don't try to be correct. Try to be precise. Saying that the mouse pointer moves in so and so many milliseconds doesn't make sense to anyone without a really good timer and an insane level of eye meassure - you just need to say "faster", "fast", "medium", "slow" and "very slow".

Think of it more as a scifi space ship than a REAL space ship if that makes sense? You know: I wouldn't know what to do in a real space ship but in my mind I assume I could fly the USS Enterprise :)


KDE Visual Design Group - "Sexy by default - Powerful through cooperation"
User avatar scummos
Global Moderator
Posts
1175
Karma
7
OS

Re: [Design Project] System Settings

Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:45 pm
Maybe it is worth mentioning that most KCMs UI is stored in ui files, which can be edited with QtDesigner without any programming knowledge -- so if you want to change the layout or text, you can just do it yourself.


I'm working on the KDevelop IDE.
User avatar jensreuterberg
Registered Member
Posts
598
Karma
3
OS

Re: [Design Project] System Settings

Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:50 pm
Yes I know Scummos. The idea isn't to help people edit their own System Settings but work on the System Settings default to make it more accessible to everyone.


KDE Visual Design Group - "Sexy by default - Powerful through cooperation"

 
Reply to topic

Bookmarks



Who is online

Registered users: ahmadmt, Baidu [Spider], Bing [Bot], claydoh, egerlach, Google [Bot], jmacleod, koffeinfriedhof, PhobosK, Sogou [Bot], Yahoo [Bot]