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Archive for May, 2015

Libreoffice Human Interface Guidelines: The second step

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

The Libreoffice Human Interface Guidlines (HIG) have been given a new lease on life. In this posting we introduce the impact of two primary personas on guidelines about menu bars and tool bars.

Almost a month has passed and it’s time for an update. The Libreoffice UX team finished two more guidelines that are introduced in this posting. The interesting point is not what the guidelines constitutes in detail but the impact of the previously defined articfacts. Because we introduced two primary personas for whose Libreoffice is being developed we need to address this fact as well in every design and workflow decision. And of course the guidelines have to reflect the duality likewise.

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KSysGuard: The Green Paper

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

This green paper summarizes user comments regarding needs and wishes for a new KSysGuard and presents a couple of mockups to initiate the discussion at the KDE forums.

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KSysGuard: What are your requirements from a system monitor?

Saturday, May 9th, 2015

The KDE system monitor needs an update. In the first step we like to ask you to join the brainstorming about requirements. What do you want integrated into KSysGuard?

KSysGuard has been attributed as visually outdated and suboptimal in respect to its functionality. The competitors do have beautiful layouts that makes it easy to grasp the system state at a glance.

Task manager

From the usability point of view, there is no common layout or workflow. While Microsoft has a similar approach as KDE with different, tabbed views to the information (one process table with CPU, RAM etc.), Apple provides with the Activity Monitor a layout with tabs for the data sources but shows the history on every page. And command line tools like top merge it all together.

Microsoft published a nice blog post about the development of their task manager. Based on telemetry data Steven Sinofsy argues that applications and processes are more important than other information like networking. However, if the user cannot be deal with the shown information due to inappropriate visualization or missing functionality the feature will receive less interest.

So before we redesign KSysGuard we would like to start with a qualitative survey on the requirements. [Continue reading…]

Libreoffice Human Interface Guidelines: First steps

Monday, May 4th, 2015

The Libreoffice Human Interface Guidlines (HIG) have been given a new lease on life. In the first step, generic artifacts including the vision, personas, and an UX manifesto are presented.

The work on usability and design is often seen as some kind of anarchistic creativity: some people receive divine inspiration out of the blue and read tea leaves to decide how features have to be implemented. But that’s not true. Both the creative work on visual design as well as the composition of an effective and efficient user interface is hard work based on axioms. Those fundamentals are “written in stone” by Human Interface Guidelines (HIG) with the objective to improve the experience for users by making application interfaces more consistent and hence more intuitive and learnable. [Read on…]

Spring break for the KDE system monitor

Monday, May 4th, 2015

KSysGuard underperformes in both visual as well as functional respect. Unfortunately it is not actively maintained yet so we are looking for developers first before starting with ideas about the redesign.

Recently there was a request on the forums to update KSysGuard. The dialog looks outdated and not appealing, from the user perspective. From the usability POV there are several flaws too. First of all the dialog does not fit the HIG for simple command pattern. But even with some visual updates it might not fit the requirements. [Read on…]