Ideas on Haiku Interface
Well, first of all, this is my first post to this forum so: Hello, everyone!
I've been following the news over Haiku for a while now, but I'm not actually an user. I used BeOS R5 PE for a while a loooooooong time ago (I think it was around 1999, but I can't actually remember), and been playing with a pre-alpha build for a few weeks now, though with little time dedicated to it.
Anyways, this post is about sharing a few of my ideas on Haiku's theme and interaction with the interface. I believe that, not being a regular user like some of you on this list, a few of the things I think of discussing in future posts may sound a little heretic. Please don't get your pitchforks and torches just yet, ok? :)
To start I thought of talking about Haiku's current theme. When I first tested it around a month ago, I got quite impressed about how modern some of the interface elements feel and behave, and at the sime time how dated some of the interface elements look. Most of all it's a pleasant interface to look at, but I guess it could improve.
So, before showing a small work of editing of mine (mind you, I'm no designer, I'm actually just another programmer who happen to like playing with The GIMP) I have to say I quite liked the menus and the window tab posted by John Wells here: http://www.haiku-os.org/community/forum/haiku_ui_mockup
Then I started thinking what I didn't like about Haiku's interface. Or, to be more precise, what I felt that looked aged in Haiku's interface. I came up with a mock up that is far from John's quality, but which I think shows my ideas somewhat well.
And here is a comparison, so you can see the changes in a different tab and switch back-n-forth to see the exact changes:
Well, pretty much the work was a mix of simplifying and adding complexity to different parts of the window. I decided to drop most of the gradients, and only use them where they are supposed to make some element stand out:
- The window tab still retains it's gradient (though it's there really just to take the space, John's would be a better option).
I also took off most of the separating lines, which makes the window look (to my eyes) less cluttered. Then, with most of the gradients and lines out, I decided to add a little bit of complexity to balance it all:
- Some less-flat scrollbars, based on those used by KDE on it's Oxygen theme, but much simpler, with a sunken look.
- And a higher degree of bevel added to the inside of the contents pane with the icons, together with a tiny shadow projecting to the inside of it.
I still dislike how the item-count looks in this interface, but I didn't have the time or ideas to make it better. It blends quite well, in the original Haiku theme, but stands out too much with my mock-up: does anyone have an idea of how to make it better?
Well, anyways, that is it for this post. I have quite a few ideas on interface objects behaviour in general, but I'll save it for future posts when I have more time and thought more about them.
All comments are welcome, and I'd really appreciate your opinions on the few ideas presented here. It's useful as a guide when cooking more ideas.