11:09 AM

Make it flat. Make it the all same. Make it Boring.

posted under by Pinheiro | Edit This

"Less is a bore" brilliantly said Robert Venturi.

So at the end of the Oxygen period, UX/UI design was reaching an inflection point. Gone were the days were graphical designers challenged its own illustrations skills in a perpetual "I can my candy more naturalistic silly than yours".
We had reached the saturation point of the silliness in graphic representations of every day objects as UI elements. Now back then people needed to find a culprit for it all, a quintessential word that in itself represented all evil... Cue in "skeuomorphism", an word used in traditional design to imply a faux representation of a material. in this word we collectively found the  "wrong" to be corrected, we had our culprit.

We have to kill all aspects of anything skeuomorphic, cue in flat design, we don't need anything "fake", we don't need textures, we must do without those fake drop-shadows, kill all artificial gradients. reinvent the circle in a precise concise square.  

Well this all to me back then sounded a bit like a personal attack ;), I mean, gradients and shadows is all I did :) and just because some were abusing it  I had to pay for it?
And I said, they were all wrong, this was nothing more than a modernism surge all over again, "skuemorphism is all we do in UI any way" all the concepts in the desktop are skuemorphick, seriously we call it DESKTOP, we use Buttons and Folders we can't do anything but Skeomorphic designs the only non Skeomorphic design would be a screen turned off.

Sad reality is that being right when everybody else is wrong, just makes you irrelevant. And its not like that despite the argumentation being fundamentally wrong, there  was no need for change, there was!
Overly done design tends to be a trick a designer will do when he cant  find a efficient answer, and we all abused this "trick".

Out of it some great new concepts and methods came to life, must say I'm a bit of fan of Google new "material" design language. (in fact material design is IMO not flat I mean they must have called it its "material" for some reason ;) ) 

But so comes today, every little single designer agency looks the same, its easy to achieve the current dictatorial style, slap in a blurred background a lonely Helvetica Neue on top and you are almost there.
Trendy websites pop out everywhere looking exactly the same as one cooperative unique brand took control of everything.

And its a BORE....

What will come next?
Don't know, predicting this sort of things is absolutely futile, and I'm almost sure that anything that comes after it will retain some of the best aspect it brought out. Think we are in a transitory period and something new is around the corner.      

12:28 PM

A a litle fun.

posted under by Pinheiro | Edit This
So its has been a long time since I published anything Oxygen-KDE related. Well been taking some time off from the extreme amount of responsibility/work Oxygen/KDE was. It was for the best and its great fun seeing Breeze develop its own little magic. They are just great.
Plus gets me the time to reinvent my design language and skill sets in a vastly different design language world from what we had just a few years ago.
I might start something new for fun that is a bit more structured, things are starting to make sense to me and more important its fun again.

Any way a picture in every post right? So here goes a new take on a wallpaper I did a few years ago, quadros2.

12:32 PM

Something fresh something new!

posted under by Pinheiro | Edit This

Don't you love the concept of starting something new out of the ashes of something old?
To restart, to fix what was wrong, to potentially do it perfectly this time, to fail all over again, so that you might in the future start something fresh something new.

More info at  http://wheeldesign.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-visual-design-group-short-intro.html 

4:30 PM

In the beginning there was a screen.

posted under by Pinheiro | Edit This
This is where desktops, exist. and its a part of my "back to basics" series to take a look at our traditional desktop, up there 256x256, 128x128, and 64x64 icon versions of a more modern screen in the same style as the laptop, and just like the laptop works in bigger sizes...
So probably you will see it used in other situations than just the icon use...  

3:30 PM

Back to our basic desktop icon-s.

posted under by Pinheiro | Edit This

This weekend I spent most of the time playing with one icon that will be really useful to present our desktop line of products... A laptop (ultrabook kinda)... I ended up overdoing it a little bit to the point were it only made sense to look at it in 2048x2048 pixels :) so hardly an icon, and that wasn't the point, the point was to make an illustration of a desirable product that could show our KDE main Desktop. The fact that We can use it as a device icon is just a fortunate coincidence ;).

Its still filed with multiple glitches (like the keys a bit  "off", or overdone contrasts) but I think it will do its joob, as will the TFT screen I plan on doing next week.

Cheers and keep on having fun.

PS (the icon versions will show as usual modified and simplified version of this illustration so it remains easy to recognize and not a smear of pixels, you can already see that in the 128x128 version up there)

5:44 PM

Back to our basic desktop.

posted under by Pinheiro | Edit This
In the last weeks I been spending more than a fair bit of time working on what I consider the basic desktop, you know what we usually know as KDE that will be reincarnated soon in 4.10...

The focus so far as been mostly in decluttering most of the visual junk that had no  functionality, In a way making our KDE more simple without making it more "dumb".

So far I'm happy with a new wallpaper still a W.I.P. (I for some reason hallways need to start with a new wallpaper canvas.)

Me and Marco Martin moved into clean air a "bit" and I'm really happy with the progress so far.

We are also trying to improve some fundamental aspect of oxygen windeco in correlation with how apps can use it, for example letting apps use some features of  oxygen automaticly.
The test app for this as been decided to be Gwenview. And if all goes well we get this on kde 4.10.....

Sooooo, I start to look at the app this week end and I notice that the Background is a solid dull colour, and I thought.....hummm... "a texture would be much nicer" sooo I get to do one..... Problem (there is always one right?) textures need to be tested....So I had to make a little demo QML app to test a texture.... The result (texture not the QML) is what you can see above, plus a black opacity mask on top so that one can make it more or less dark depending on what you like best...

But once I created the little demo I could not resit and expand it into including possible replacement for the thumbnail view in Gwenview. (don't like it much)
The result can be seen in the video down here ;)...


I'm not sure Aurélien Gâteau will be interested in using any of this (I'm sure my code is way to messy to be used in any way and he probably as a much more efficient code under the current gwenview) , hopefully the noise texture will be ok to be used and that was the point. But its fun what one can do in QML over a few hours of trial and error code/design.

Any way and more importantly 4.10 is looking like our best KDE Desktop ever ;)

More in the coming weeks....

12:53 PM

Back to basics

posted under by Pinheiro | Edit This

What you see up there is a icon for a new KDE App Picmi, a kinda sudoku like game but more fun.. It's still a work in progress but I think its looking nice and retaining that level of fun that games like this have...

It was to me a bit of retro gaming style so I opted to bend traditional oxygen icon style a bit to fit what the game was all about.

And that served as a great excuse to talk about some of my personal plans for 4.10....
No mater what some people might say I don't think the Linux desktop is dead, I mean my KDE is  working wonderfully here, fits my needs as a work desktop that I mostly interact with with a keyboard and a mouse.
So for 4.10 I plan to work on that basic experience people know as the KDE desktop, you know the plasma-desktop shell, the oxygen theme a new wallpaper and a few more things I find time to do. 

That reminds me, do you have design skills?
Do you want to work on something brilliant?
Want to help define the desktop millions use?

Join us at #oxygen for fun and work.