[ubuntu-art] Wireless signal icons

Steven Brown swjb at interchange.ubc.ca
Sun Apr 16 18:35:18 BST 2006

Joseph Hill wrote:
> I just subscribed to this list so I don't know what has been discussed, 
> so if this has already been discussed and resolved, just tell me and 
> I'll shut up (or point me to where it's been discussed so I can read 
> up).  I'm a huge fan of the new default theme and icon set, which 
> surprises me because I'm usually a minimalist.  I like that it isn't 
> copying anything.

I'm in the same position as Joseph.  In fact, bug ##34521: 
is the reason I subscribed to this list.  I looked on the archives, but 
could not find any discussion about it.

First, I also think it takes up too much horizontal space.  (Especially 
when you make your panel 50px, like me.)  Rotate the status bar 90 
degrees, and that problem's solved.

Second, I think it's completely non-intuitive.  I'm a heavy computer 
user and I pride myself on not having to read instructions, etc.  (Also, 
UI's happen to be a personal interest).  But I could not figure out what 
was going on with the indicator - I had a single orange square on the 
far right of the bar, and it never fluctuated.  I thought the network 
monitor had broken between dist-upgrades (entirely possible: new 
artwork, it could be a work in progress...).

It wasn't until after I was going to file a bug on the network monitor 
that I discovered this was the intended behaviour.  I quickly ran to my 
laptop, dist-upgraded, and verified with its lesser signal.  Only after 
thinking it was broken, searching for bugs before filing a bug report, 
following links and reading references did I realize it was not broken 
and accepted the behaviour.  That is not intuitive.

Third, it's inconsistent.  Nothing I can think of behaves this way. 
Nothing.  Perhaps, it would make sense if the rest of the theme behaved 
the same way, but it doesn't.  As soon as you click the network monitor, 
you're presented with a horizontal status bar *filled* to the percentage 
of the signal, not marked with a cursor.  It's not even consistent 
within the application.

For the wireless status, I would suggest using the 3-4 vertical bar 
system that is used on mobile phones.  That seems quite internationally 
accepted.  Or even the radio tower icon with the percentage written 
beside it.  If it must be done using a "marker" method, then use 
something that more people can relate to: a line with increments and an 
arrow?  The reason given for this design, if I recall, was that a full 
bar of orange is too distracting.  I think this could be resolved by 
spacing out the segments, like in the default gnome icon.

My 2 c.

References (that I could find):


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