Theme Plastic Introduction

Posted in Core User Interface by

Current default Nemo theme is rather visually inconsistent so I started working on a new one.

Main idea of this theme alternative is easy recognition. Unified icons’ outer shape enables smooth visual flow without informational noise. Additionally, big square icon’s area filled mostly with single colour, helps colour based recognition, which is faster than e.g. shape based recognition. Shape needs more complex attention process. Plus, during motion blur that occurs during tracking elements on the screen, we loose their shape (due to loss of high spacial frequencies) and are more likely to use colour as main recognition clue. Navigation bar is integrated with wallpaper, so it’s less obtrusive. Wallpaper is used also as a lock screen.

There is currently wallpaper, navigation bar and set of icons in this theme, so still a lot to do… The idea was to create a theme accordingly to UI guidelines, which are about to be published soon.

Another logo to think about

Posted in Thoughts by

The mailing list discussion prompted me to try again on the logo idea.

This new logo is based on the idea of a boat sail, symbolizing the freedom to go anywhere. It comes in dark and light versions. It is colored in the colors of the sea, and the various shades is a hint to the variety of use cases and the adaptability of the OS.

Enough with words, here is the design:

EDIT: Seeing it again, I think the text is disproportionately big so here’s a revision:

Here’s another twist on the same idea

And this is a simple website mockup to go with it

Circular slider and timepicker in qml

Posted in Core User Interface by

The default qml components timepicker uses a slotmachine arrangement which is terrible in terms of usability, and is by definition a dialog, which is not always desired.

On the other hand the circular meegotouch timepicker is visually beautiful, easy and intuitive to use (like an analog clock), so I decided to implement a similar qml component for nemo. The component is not a direct clone nor it uses the harmattan meegotouch theme assets, but if somebody wants to change the artwork it should be trivial to do it.

For the time being it doesn’t have animations (PathAnimation, which is coming in qml2 will help do that animation easily, so for now it’s deferred) and it is 12h only (you have to create a switch by yourself to cater for AM/PM.

The component is comprised by two circular slider components which are also part of the project. So if you need a custom qml circular slider just include CircularSlider.qml in your project.
The code is on http://github.com/qwazix/qmltimepicker

P.S. The reasons I think the slotmachine is not good in terms of usability are the following:

1. 60 items are too much to show in a flickable list. The user can’t know how hard to flick to go directly to (or even near) the minute he wants, and one big swipe often isn’t enough (you run out of screen). On the other hand you need one tap on the circle, and it’s obvious where to tap unless you can’t read an analog clock.

2. When you flick upwards you cover the slot with your finger so it’s difficult to see what you’re going to choose

3. If we had an inline slotmachine with only the selected time visible and the other values showed up only while dragging I might prefer it in some circumstances (depending on the frequency of choosing times and screen space constraints) over a pop-up circular picker but in the current situation the qml timepicker is a dialog that by definition takes up the whole screen and adds two unnecessary taps.

4. Inconsistency: There’s no cancel button in other dialogs, the buttons aren’t themed like the other dialog buttons, and there is no X button. That dialog is like a hastily made custom component.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also feel obliged to mention this effort which I was not aware of and tries to bring the meegotouch timepicker to harmattan qml.