Nov 16, 2008

The road to GNOME 3.0 (first draft)

This is the first draft of the road to GNOME 3.0 artwork and UI-wise. v0.0.1

GNOME 3.0 should have visual refresh. Such a major release without any or little changes could dissapoint users. No radical UI concept change, but incremental refinements around the desktop of things that have proved to work and dropping or improving/dropping things that don't, making the GNOME desktop look prettier and make it more usable. Overall it should look new but still be recognized as the GNOME desktop, but improved.
GNOME 3.0 should also be easier to design for. GNOME is highly themeable, but methods used aren't always as easy and documentation is poor. Right now designers can only adjust certain options of an existing widget theme, or depend on GTK+ hackers to make their theme work.

Events and Deadlines

These are components of GNOME that the Art Team will be working on. Note that there are no seperate "art packages". The team will be working closely together with all kinds of different projects, especially on the UI work.

- Login screen
- Splash sceen
- Wallpapers
- UI design
- Widget themes
- Icons
- Fonts
- Animations
- Website

Ideas and Points of Discussion
Login screen
New GDM version? Seamless transition from the login screen to the desktop: prevent color flickering. Fading in of the wallpaper and panels. Making the login process a smooth transition will make it look shorter. New theme.

Splash screen (more like getting rid of it)
The splash screen is totally useless, the icons are often misaligned and it's causes two more "flashes" in the login process. A lot of distributions are already turning it off by default.

GNOME 3.0 should have some new wallpapers. A contest could be held, it turned out very well for GNOME 2.24. Does anyone really use patterns? We haven't added any new ones in the latest 2.24 wallpaper update.

UI design (Note: think of "layout" instead of "looks")
Window list applet update, include an optional "dock mode" with basically bigger icons? Notification area applet update, better spacing. [1] Clock update applet, The date can be less eyecatching, and the time more. [2]

Widget themes
GTK engine(s) that let's the designers have control, instead of tweaking certain options. Make spacing themeable? New theme.

Follow the naming specification, ignore everything else. [3] Applications should have a hires icon. More use of hires icons where they are appropriate. Tango Next Generation (Mango) icon theme as the default theme now that the licensing is going to be LGPL? [4] Yellow colored Foxtrot folders? [5]

Bitsream and Dejavu are quite spacious, a condensed type kan show more text in the same space without losing readability. Nicer smoother fonts that look great bold as well, a good bold font is important for dialogs etc. and where you want attention on the text Use color tints in UI (have a secondary font color?)

Subtle smooth effects that increase usability and are pleasing to look at. (think Banshee [6])

The current website looks like it's from the 90's. It may give people a wrong impression about how modern the GNOME platform really is.The GNOME 3.0 break is a great opportunity to create a new (think Web 2.0) website.


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