[maemo-users] OS2008 Damn ugly!!!

From: Eero Tamminen eero.tamminen at nokia.com
Date: Fri Dec 28 18:39:14 EET 2007

ext Peter Flynn wrote:
> inode0 wrote:
>> [...] I'm not hearing very many in this thread who agree with
>> the OP's characterization of the new desktop look.
> Noted. Some people may not have seen it yet.
>>> I agree the original post should have been less inflammatory, but I
>>> think it was very valuable nevertheless. Particularly if it helps make
>>> the designers think harder next time.
>> I don't have any reason to think the designers didn't think hard 
> Me neither. On the contrary, I'm sure they did think very hard (you have 
> to: design is *difficult*). And sometimes you have to make that leap to 
> get rid of an old or outdated paradigm.
> Alfredo J. Fabretti wrote:
>> Critics are good if they have a basis. Usually I don't listen or pay 
>> attention to that kind of comments because they don't have an
>> argument which I could use to make a decision or improve a product or
>> software.
> Well, in this case it did: an allegation of ugliness.

Well, that needs a bit more substance.  Despite the long thread, only
concrete item James came up was the black background color in xterm and
input method (in non-default themes).

It needs also context.  What in one culture looks a paragon of
ornamental adult sophistication, looks in another cheap kitsch.
So ugliness can also be in the eye of the beholder.

Regarding icons, currently the trend seems again going towards
simplified ones being more stylish.  Now that everybody has 32-bit
(or in our case 16-bit) color displays, the novelty of using every
color in the shading has faded and it's seen more as visual noise
distracting from the usability of small items on screen I think.

>  > Well, sometimes subjectivity shows only a person's taste.
> And sometimes not.
>> For example saying that "X car is ugly" isn't going to change (or
>> help to change) what designers and engineers have planned and
>> developed for years, 
> Unfortunately :-) The fact that the designers and engineers went ahead 
> with the Fiat Multipla doesn't redeem it from being the single ugliest 
> car in the world. It has many other good qualities but aesthetics ain't 
> one of them.

To an engineer, functional and consistent looks beautiful.

Whereas a apparently hip&cool person following latest trends might not
care whether it actually works as long as his/her friends say "ooh" when
they see the thing and nobody else has similar.

The normal people just want it to be reliable, easy to use and get
it cheap.  And for it to be commonly used so that they can interchange
stuff with friends and get spare parts.  Coolness wouldn't hurt though,
but it's not about what it looks like, more about what people talk
about I guess.

A matter of taste.  Hopefully we make good compromises for usability
*and* keep improving it in each release. :-)

	- Eero

More information about the maemo-users mailing list