Date: prev next · Thread: first prev next last
2011 Archives by date, by thread · List index

Hi Steve

On Thu, 2011-06-23 at 06:58 +1200, Steve Edmonds wrote:

Hi Planas.

On 22/06/11 10:05 AM, planas wrote:
Hi all,
On Tue, 2011-06-21 at 23:09 +0200, Bernhard Dippold wrote:

Hi Björn, all

Björn Balazs schrieb:
Hi all,

I am a little unsatisfied with the amount of individual threads going into
the direction of: "We need a new interface for LibreOffice - and it needs to
look linke this...".
For me they show the high interest of our team members in the UI design
area. But you're totally right: We need to integrate the different
proposals in general directions for UI improvements.
This is a Free Software Project. As a design team, we will not need to
convince ourselves about this need to change the GUI (we all agree on that),
we will need to convince the people actually doing (and financing) it - the
developers and the companies paying them.
Even if a large group of developers are paid by companies, there is
another group coding on their own.

What we need are at least a few developers interested in UI design. If
we can convince them, our ideas will become code and finally find their
way into the product.

But if we can convince more than just a few developers by showing the
needs our users to the entire community, this would get more developers
interested and involved...
[... we should never argue about personal opinions ...]

So, how can we make this more productive?

Ideas are good, visualisations are even better. So let us find a way to not
comment on these, but to collect them with the goal of easy comparision with
eachother. A gallary of ideas and visualisations of the future LibO.
A gallery is great - but I'd rather think of a gallery of single UI
improvements (with visualizations from different mockups) than of a
gallery of the different mockups.

If several mockups contain sidepanes, similar context menus or context
sensitive tools, these should be combined as features, based on user
data (already existing or new to be reached for) and expert statements,
decided on their positive/negative impacts and recommended for
implementation based on a specification containing all the necessary
information for the developers.
We should then try to extract the dimensions these ideas differ on. Knowing
these we can then again use user-centric methodologies to have the users
decide about what they like.
Of course user feedback is the most important quality measurement for UI
modifications. But based on the user's likings it stays to us to decide
which feature should be implemented in which way:

There are more than design aspects to consider (marketing, present user
base, documentation, coding effort, interdependency with other areas of
the product ...), users can't have in mind.
With this data we will have much less trouble to convince the code-sponsors
to go into a certain direction.
That's true - real user data are a very good argument to convince
marketing and development ...
So - the main point I am argueing for is a gallery of interface ideas. Easy
to compare and on one spot. What do you think about this?

I'd start with a gallery of the already presented mockups
(perhaps with a short description of their features) and then go through
this gallery and collect the single features for another gallery of UI
elements / positions / ideas as a basic tool for our overall concept.

I don't know if a gallery or a table would fit our needs better.

While a gallery is easier to create and maintain, a table allows to add
more fields than just one caption below each image.

With a gallery we probably need to go to the gallery entry's wiki pages
to get the necessary information.

A table (containing mid-size images in one of their columns) would allow
to add the features contained in the mockup, the rationale for each
specific design element (if existing) and many more information.

On the other hand it's harder to write than just to the gallery.

Best regards


Unsubscribe instructions: E-mail to
Posting guidelines + more:
List archive:
All messages sent to this list will be publicly archived and cannot be deleted

Could we circulate the link to other LO lists and possibly post it on
the LO site for users to access? I was thinking of broadening our answer

I think you will have roughly three groups: those who prefer an improved
version of the current UI but with limited graphical changes; those who
prefer a more distinctive UI (there may be a few major groups here); and
finally those who are indifferent about the exact look as long as it
meets certain goals such being customizable, well organized.

Personally, I am most in the last group of being more interested in
meeting certain goals rather than the graphical layout itself. I would
prefer to let the layout be determined by specific design goals such as
user customization, being well organized. I do not object to a new
interface if it will meet these and similar goals nor do object to
keeping the current interface if these goals can be enhanced.

For Linux users, you are probably familiar the debate about the Unity
GUI (basically a customizable dock with indirect access to all the OS
features) versus the more traditional GUI interfaces that are similar to
Mac OS and Windows. I actually found a Linux version that combined
elements of both the traditional interface and customizable docks, a
middle of the road solution. Ironically, this version developed these
ideas based on user comments from installing Linux on user boxes. The
docks allow me to have access to the programs or folders I want quick
access to while the traditional elements allow me to use access
everything else the way I am have doing for years.

I think we probably can combine the best features of the traditional UI
and newer ideas into a winning UI that the vast majority of users will
like. The key is the proper balance to obtain the most effective

I am more in your group. I am more interested in getting productivity 
(getting the job done efficiently) for myself and employees than how LO 
looks. This isn't to say that the look isn't important to entice use and 
productivity, but I think you need to start at usage before moving to a 
significant UI change, otherwise it is likely to change again when usage 
is studied.
There must be a regional or usage group influence involved as I do not 
know anyone in the educational institution I have association with (500+ 
seats Office 2010) who saw the ribbon as an improvement, but obviously 
many do. So treading carefully and basing change on sound investigation 
with all user groups is desirable rather than change for changes sake.

Like you I think a combination is going to work best. Input from the 
survey will be important and may be a number of surveys will be required 
to evaluate the suggestions put forward as they progress.

I like a comment Steve Jobs said in the 80's when Apple launched the
Mac, His goal was to make using a compute easy to use so would be
similar to another household appliance. The focus he had was on utility
and that forced certain UI/GUI choices. Some the choices made were due
to hardware limitations of the era, most where based on how people like
to work. 

Now we have much more powerful hardware that can things with an UI that
were dreams in the 80's. The constant is people, while used to working
with/on computers have not really changed that much. UI designs that
forget humans have not changed fundamentally over the last 30 years
could be actually more difficult to use. The problem is to make the UI
that best mirrors how a person will interact with the device, in our
case desktops and laptops primarily and use it.

Jay Lozier

Unsubscribe instructions: E-mail to
Posting guidelines + more:
List archive:
All messages sent to this list will be publicly archived and cannot be deleted


Privacy Policy | Impressum (Legal Info) | Copyright information: Unless otherwise specified, all text and images on this website are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. This does not include the source code of LibreOffice, which is licensed under the Mozilla Public License (MPLv2). "LibreOffice" and "The Document Foundation" are registered trademarks of their corresponding registered owners or are in actual use as trademarks in one or more countries. Their respective logos and icons are also subject to international copyright laws. Use thereof is explained in our trademark policy.