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Hi Nik, Ricardo, all!

Am Montag, den 07.03.2011, 03:45 +1100 schrieb Nik:
Hi Ricardo, all,

On 3/7/2011 2:41 AM, RGB ES wrote:
Agree: I prefer no shadow at all, specially if it means more system
resourced used to no real usability gain.


Must be a subjective thing then.
Once you add that background-image though, you'll be mighty sorry you 
don't have a drop shadow to separate your document from that busy 
background image.
Which would be a usability gain. And even if it doesn't there's that 
precious fleeting thing called User Experience.
I for one, love drop shadows on my documents, makes it easier to focus.

I'd propose having a drop shadow by default and having the option to 
turn it off, or turn it "flat" (like it is currently).
I know; it's easy to say, but hard to implement. Sorry.

Drop shadows are one way of telling the user which element currently has
the focus. Some time ago, I've presented an idea how to present the
document vs. the notes in Writer. Please have a look at the first two
pictures (although it was based on the rather simple shadow in Writer):

Concerning the - "turn it off" option. For my point-of-view, wouldn't it
be better to go with a design which a) performs well (in terms of
speed), and b) is acceptable by the majority of users. We already have
too many options and (at the moment) no way of presenting them somehow
prioritized ... like Firefox.

And the shadow should scale with the zoom-level, when have you ever seen 
a thumbnail-size paper cast shadow twice its size in all four directions?
At a football stadium, I'm guessing =)
That will conveniently address the 
"proximity-to-neighbouring-pages-issue" too maybe?

Mmh, this is a good point - we've discussed that some time ago in the
OOo UX team. I think the major point is, that the "document paper" does
not change its height in comparison to the background. Therefore most of
the systems (although having only a right-bottom drop shadow) don't
change the size of the shadow when the content of the document is
zoomed. For example, the shadow size is kept if the user zooms in - the
shadow doesn't convey valuable information in this case.

Consequently, and this what I think you had in mind as well, a shadow
should be defined in a certain size for "100%", and:
      * if the document is zoomed in, then the shadow should grow only
      * if the document is zoomed out, then the shadow should decrease
        according to the document zoom level (but keeping a min size of
        e.g. 1 ... 2 px)

That's the good thing when it comes to usability ... it's usually never
simple ;-)

I'll actually chip in a mock-up in the next few days if time allows.
Maybe the Motif-Design task can tie into this and become the subtle 
default bg-image?

Cool, thanks! And although some people might think I am stressing that a
bit too much ... Johannes once put together some ideas:

And some things I still have in mind ...

Nik, you mentioned the "light comes from above" issue (I deleted this
section in this mail, so sorry for the late comment) - of course this is
correct, but in one special (but most important) case - talking about
Writer - we have continuous document content spread over different
pages. So, if the content is scrolled, then all the pages show different
lighting and it behaves a bit like a passing train in the night (bright,
dark, bright, dar, ...). For all other cases (like icons, Impress, ...)
the top-lighting will work. But for Writer, applying a constant shadow
across the page is more than okay.

There has been a proposal to use the background to differentiate between
the different document types. This might be tricky, since even the
"main" applications in LibreOffice sometimes miss an application
background. Consequently, I wouldn't make this a "key visual" (by the
way, Microsoft Office 2010 has solved this elegantly). Furthermore,
color applied on a large surface like this one will distract ...

And, since we talk about the application background. Please be aware
that these are usually defined by the operating system. If we change it,
then we "miss" to behave according platform requirements. And usually,
this is against usability ... so this should only be changed if its a
real (perceived) benefit.


2011/3/6 Rick Hansson<>:
Hi all,

I don't see any reason for having borders or shades at all. A plain
background is fine. Keep it simple. I made a quick poll among friends and
they all have different ideas, so this would be great if it could be
optional. Also, since many like gradient backgrounds, why not make that
optional as well? I've uploaded some drafts:

The default prefs are very important, since most users stick with them or
doesn't even know that you can do changes. The text boundaries for example
should be unchecked.


On Sat, Mar 5, 2011 at 12:44 PM, Sébastien Le Ray<>wrote:

Le Fri, 4 Mar 2011 21:36:19 +0000,
Daniel Merker<>  a écrit :


Just a thought. Wouldn't it make more sense to have the background be
the primary color of that application. For example, the Writer would
have a blue tinted background with a shadow (I like the shadow on all
sides), and Impress would have an organge tinted background with the
same shadow around the slide. This should help tie in the color theme
and help build on a general motif.

-Daniel Merker


The background color of the application can already be customized
through preferences...



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