[ubuntu-art] Kyūdō: Means to Express the Message

Thorsten Wilms t_w_ at freenet.de
Sun Oct 12 19:50:34 BST 2008


I would like to discuss the possible means that can be used to express
the message. First the message again for context:

= The Message =

The message is not restricted to what anyone thinks of Ubuntu now, but
is entirely about how it should be seen in the future. 

Impression on sight, not necessarily using it. Ubuntu is: 
      * distinct from other offerings. That means there has to be
        something about the design that you do not find elsewhere. 
      * a viable alternative of professional quality. Stand out not like
        a clown, but like a champion! 
      * desirable. Something between chocolate and a sports car. 

On use, trust must be established. Ubuntu is: 
      * trustworthy 
      * straightforward 
      * supportive 

Furthermore, Ubuntu is: 
      * friendly and welcoming 
      * based on cooperation and sharing 
      * global 
      * about software freedom 

= Means to Express the Message =

This is a listing of what can be done to express each part of the
message, not of what has to be done. 

      * Characteristic color palette. 
      * Characteristic shapes or combinations of shapes. 
      * Wallpapers made with a specific technique/style. 
      * Tendencies in the choice of motives (e.g. motives related to

Viable, of professional quality: 
      * Don't just copy the competition. 
      * Continuity: Wallpaper, window and widget theme and icons must be
        adjusted to each other. 
      * Avoid paleness. 

      * Make every detail look refined and elegant. 
      * Make widgets look like they could be touched and it would feel

      * Don't try to impress in a flashy and bold way like an imposter
        would do. 
      * Keep it simple, clear and balanced. Avoid distractions. 
      * Make transitions smooth, avoid any flickering. 
      * Keep strong visual ties from one release of Ubuntu to the next. 

      * Avoid unnecessary details. 

Supportive, friendly and welcoming: 
      * Provide visual guidance, make clear what is important and what
        is not. 
      * Have a tendency towards warm colors, avoid paleness. 

Cooperation and sharing, all around the world: 
      * Use motives that are about people, being connected and the

(Software) freedom: 
      * Use motives that imply freedom, such as wide open sky and far
        away horizon. Specifically software freedom is a too complex
        story to tell, though.

= Prejudices we have to fight =

      * Linux is overly complicated and only for nerds. Avoid a
        complicated and cold, technical look. 
      * If it's free it has to be inferior. Free of charge should only
        be an implied part of the message, bound to the sharing and
        community angle, because things that do not cost money are often
        not valued and thought to be inferior. 
      * It's just a bad clone of Windows/OSX. See first 2 points of the

= Beneficial associations =
      * Letterpress printing (cultural achievement, infrastructure,
        sharing of knowledge) 
      * Scientific process 

Those who might think negative about the above are quite likely to not
be sympathetic towards Ubuntu, anyway.


So, is there anything to add, remove or change? This is a draft, don't
worry about my feelings ;)

Do you have questions related to this? If you just think it's fine as
is, that's a good thing to know, too ;)

Thorsten Wilms

thorwil's design for free software:

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