[ubuntu-art] Moving things forwards.

Ken Vermette vermette at gmail.com
Thu Jan 3 03:52:09 GMT 2008

"Ooh, what's that one?"

OSX is long held as one of the boldest and most unique designs in the
industry, when Windows was just toying with XP - Apple made the ultra-shiny,
over-glossed look and threw in every effect they could think of and paired
it with a pinstripe. If you look at OSX now, compared to when it was first
demonstrated, it has toned down dramatically; no pinstripes, for example.

That being said, I'm a firm believer in designs that are both bold and
unique. If it's unique, people will remember it. If it's bold, people will
talk about it. When you see a desktop screen-shot of Vista, you know it's
Vista. Vista is bold, unique. When you see OSX, you can see the dock - the
signature - Unique to OSX. Apple has always been bold, and the big "X" on
the box shouts at you. "Ooh, what's that one?"

If you want to make an argument for just being Unique - that bold should be
beyond our users, then I would be tempted to present Amiga. There's an
operating unique to itself, but there's no oomph in the design. I've only
ever -heard- of these Amiga users, and I only hear that the Amiga users out
there are the ones unwilling to let it go. I doubt anyone will walk by an
Amiga in a store and be captured by it. It's unique, and users of Amiga
reminisce about it - but it's not being talked about in anything other than
fond memories.

Linux users have posted pictures of Vista-clone desktops, or OSX-like
machines. You forget them, because it's not unique or ever as polished as
the original. Linux/Ubuntu is not Vista, it's not OSX, it's not Amiga:
Ubuntu needs to be Unique and bold - Capturing - Ubuntu. Ubuntu can be that,
and be user-friendly at the same time. It doesn't need to be jet-black to be
bold, bold isn't a colour or a specific design. It doesn't need to have
patterns and pinstripes - it needs to stand out; "Ooh, what's that one?"

When 3 computers are lined up at computer store X - you don't want Ubuntu to
be passed. If it makes the stand, people will notice it and be drawn to it
for it's beauty - and stay for the amazing operating system it is. You want
whoever passes that computer to say...

"Ooh, what's that one?"

On Jan 2, 2008 9:43 PM, Andrew Laignel <a.laignel at ukdotcafe.com> wrote:

> Who wrote:
> > How does a conventional 'vote for the one you like' allow us to see
> this?
> >
> Maybe you could vote 1...5 on each entry then look at the tally graphs
> for distribution?
> >> into love it/hate it camps which should be avoided at all cost.
>  Ideally
> >> a default theme should not be even noticed by the public - being
> neutral
> >> and innofensive as possible should be the goal.  A perfect
> demonstration
> >> of this is Apple, where the current theme for OSX is crips, clean,
> >> stylish and probably as neutral as you can get - no loud colours,
> >> drastic layouts or hard edges.
> >>
> >
> > AFAIK, this has never been the aim for the Ubuntu default theme - and
> > I don't think it ever will be. Sometimes going for love it or hate it
> > beats going for bland. At least then people see it!
> >
> > As long as I can remember the Ubuntu Theme has been part of the
> > branding, something that helps make Ubuntu known, something for people
> > to talk about. From this point of view, it has worked very well - if
> > you see a screenshot of linux and it is brown, you _know_ it is ubuntu
> > - if you see a blue distro.... who knows...
> I'm not saying don't be brown, or to lose the Ubuntu theme, but to avoid
> anything overly stylized.  Most people using a computer will never touch
> the default theme settings, and the less likely that a sizable
> percentage will be sitting in front of something they hate the better.
> If people want something really cool/different (ultra dark/steampunk
> etc) then maybe there should be some alternate themes shipped with it so
> if someone does have a look into the menus something is there.
> Ulitmately if you really want a radical theme you can with very little
> effort.  The focus should be on giving the people who simply don't care
> about the subject as pleasant an experience as possible, rather than
> forcing them to change it because it's horrible (to them).
> --
> ubuntu-art mailing list
> ubuntu-art at lists.ubuntu.com
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-art

-Ken Vermette
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