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Ask Slashdot: Unity/Gnome 3/Win8/iOS — Do We Really Hate All New GUIs?

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the stop-moving-my-buttons dept.

GNOME 1040

Brad1138 writes "You see complaints about the 'next gen' GUI's all over the place, but do we really all hate them? Personally, I don't like them — I tried very hard to like Unity in Ubuntu 11.04/11.10 before giving up and switching to Mint (I am very happy there currently). But is it the vocal minority doing all the complaining, or is it the majority? Are we just too set in our ways?"

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You're asking who? (3, Funny)

Nimloth (704789) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993706)

What answer do you expect on Slashdot?

Re:You're asking who? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37993878)

What answer do you expect on Slashdot?

The submitter is probably looking for answers from people who use Linux. There are a few of those on Slashdot so it's probably a good place to ask.

Like the submitter, I have tried hard to like Unity but really can't do it. I can see how it might be a good idea for netbooks with small screens where you run all apps maximised but that's not how I work. I have a big multiscreen set up at work and a modest sized laptop screen at home. In both cases I like to work with multiple overlapping windows - which is not a mode where Unity shines.

The shared menu bar at the top doesn't work for me - I would prefer it to be in the app window, close to where my mouse is already. I also dislike the fact that the menu options aren't visible until you move your mouse over the bar.

I also prefer focus-follows-mouse - this just doesn't work with the shared menu bar as your focus changes while moving the pointer from app window to menu bar.

The complete lack of support for applets is a real pain point for me too. I like having SSHMenu available, I like having the CPU and network monitors and I like having shortcut icons on the panel where I choose to put them.

Things which I found easy to do with a single mouse click in GNOME2 now require multiple key presses or worse, mouse clicks and keypresses. I've been sticking with GNOME2 in the mean time and it frustrates me that that option is disappearing and available alternatives seem worse than what I have now.

Re:You're asking who? (1)

Aranwe Haldaloke (789555) | more than 3 years ago | (#37994036)

I don't hate them. There you go.

FYI on Ubuntu 11.10 using gnome-shell

iOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37993732)

uh pretty sure millions of people think iOS is great. are we referring to its influence on OS X e.g. Lion?

Re:iOS (1)

pwolf (1016201) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993876)

I think iOS is terrible. I don't like the UI at all. I can see where people find it easy to use and all that but I can't stand it.

Re:iOS (1)

alamandrax (692121) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993982)

Could you elaborate on what parts you can't stand or which UI concept in it you can't stand? Or have you already done so in your previous comments?


It's change for the sake of change (5, Insightful)

YodaToad (164273) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993736)

The problem that I have with all the new GUIs that are coming out it seems like it's all just change for the sake of change.

Re:It's change for the sake of change (3, Funny)

Tyrannosaur (2485772) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993750)

no, silly! It's change for the sake of requiring the purchase of new hardware to run the new GUIs!

Re:It's change for the sake of change (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 3 years ago | (#37994180)

Riiiight, unity and gnome-shell were designed so you would have to buy new hardware. Sorry, please try again.

Re:It's change for the sake of change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37994182)

The problem that I have with all the new GUIs that are coming out it seems like it's all just change for the sake of change.

no, silly! It's change for the sake of requiring the purchase of new hardware to run the new GUIs!

Maybe you right. While watching "The Light bulb Conspiracy ( The Untold Story Of Planned Obsolescence )" [youtube.com] I kept wondering if all the new DEs are just following the path of planned obsolescence..."the secret mechanism at the heart of our consumer society" ;-)

Re:It's change for the sake of change (1)

Scareduck (177470) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993818)


Re:It's change for the sake of change (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#37994156)

Im pretty sure Canonical gets no money no matter which hardware you buy, and that the Windows 8 GUI is LESS gpu intensive than 7's.

So no, not THIS.

Not necessarily. (4, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993822)

Not to defend any of the new-ish UIs, but the conventional UI model has always sucked. Every moment I spend moving a window around or resizing it is frankly wasted time. Same with launching programs or organizing my menus.

If we can abandon the model where the user has to fiddle with a bunch of unnecessary crap just to use their computer, that would be a step forward.

Thing is, I'm not sure any of the new UIs are quite there; they made radical changes but only minor usability improvements.

Re:Not necessarily. (3, Insightful)

telekon (185072) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993920)

The perfect UI for 90% of all use cases has existed for decades. I think In The Beginning Was The Command Line [cryptonomicon.com] should be required reading for all of those "Intro to Computer Literacy" classes they tend to require of college freshmen (or did about 6 years ago when I was still taking classes). I can see GUIs for Photoshop or Final Cut or whatever, but the vast majority of my computer usage is spent in bash/zsh and vim. And I'm not even describing my coding/sysadmin work, this is home use. As far as GUIs go, I liked Enlightenment, and I'm pretty happy with Snow Leopard. Lion is shite, Windows has always been shite, and Unity pisses me off. GNOME 3 is probably the least shite of the new ones, but that's not saying much.

Re:Not necessarily. (1)

epyT-R (613989) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993996)

so go use a speak'n'spell.. the rest of us need flexibility.. the cost of using powerful tools is that they incur a setup time.

Re:Not necessarily. (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#37994052)

By your logic, we should still be flipping switches and feeding in tape to boot our computers.

No thanks.

Re:Not necessarily. (0)

polymeris (902231) | more than 3 years ago | (#37994060)

This is pretty much my opinion, too.

During a Debian dist-upgrade Gnome3 got installed on my system, even though I hadn't Gnome2 installed (I think). Anyways, decided to try it for a week or so, and, honestly, didn't see why it is so abhorred. It isn't quite there, as the parent says, but at least they are trying.
Still went back to using the tabbed/tiled/keyboard-focused window manager I was used to (tritium [sourceforge.net] ), but I can imagine some people would find the new GUI ideas useful.

Re:Not necessarily. (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#37994102)

Then use a tiling window manager and launch everything with the CLI.

Re:It's change for the sake of change (3, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993886)

I started using windowing systems at DEC using DECwindows. my first wm was twm after trying and hating the motif wm. this was in the late 80's iirc. after leaving DEC, moved over to sun systems and grabbed twm and pretty much stayed there for 15 years or so. lately, I 'upgraded' to fvwm1.4 as my window mgr.

notice anything: there's no 'desktop' and I don't have any need for it. I'm quick to open a term window of some kind, do things in it and if a graphic app pops up, so be it; move its window, place it and use it.

drag to trash? really? people feel they need a desktop for that?

indicators work for me (new mail, battery, etc). no need for gnome or any proc-to-proc comms.

don't need my windows to 'shake' as I drag them across. opaque move has kept me happy for 20 yrs and its all the 'decoration' one really needs.

I guess I don't see the draw of a desktop once you have a very powerful cli shell (term windows) at your disposal.

my system is very fast with ghz-class cpus but with NO 'desktop' pile of daemons and procs that sit around and talk to each other behind my back ;) fvwm really does all you need in a windowing environment.

as long as I can disable their desktop stuff and simply start my own wm, I'm happy. think of all that free ram and cpu cycles I have, too.

unity? oh please! as a famous politician once said, 'go fuck yourself!'.

Re:It's change for the sake of change (1)

starfishsystems (834319) | more than 3 years ago | (#37994164)

Hear hear!

And while we're at it, I'd like to register my vote for application windows being placed where I configure them to go. Once upon a time, this would have been dead easy to set up with X Resources.

No it isn't (0)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 3 years ago | (#37994044)

The problem that I have with all the new GUIs that are coming out it seems like it's all just change for the sake of change.

I think the only people saying that are those that either:-
a) Don't bother trying to think about what advantages a change may bring.
b) Don't bother seeking out or listening to explanations of changes.
c) Instantly dismiss any such explanations without much thought.

There are design documents [gnome.org] that can be read, blog postings, discussions and so forth.

Don't ask me now! (2)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993742)

Ask me before you make the changes. Don't make the changes then say `try it..try and get used to it...this is better`.

Unity is not better. It was fine before. There are other areas of Ubuntu which could be improved first, and you should have made Unity an option, not the only choice.

I'm now sort of happy with Xubuntu but there's no point in pissing off loyal fans this way. It adds nothing but resentment and confusion.

Re:Don't ask me now! (2)

shish (588640) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993940)

Ask me before you make the changes.

So that you can tell Henry Ford that you want a faster horse?

Re:Don't ask me now! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37994070)

Those changes aren't "horses -> internal combustion" kind, they are more "steering wheel -> rudder stick"-like

Re:Don't ask me now! (1)

DeathFromSomewhere (940915) | more than 3 years ago | (#37994092)

I really do sincerely wish I had mod points. Instead I'll give you a virtual *high-five*.

Re:Don't ask me now! (1)

imnotanumber (1712006) | more than 3 years ago | (#37994160)

Ask me before you make the changes.

So that you can tell Henry Ford that you want a faster horse?

No, those who want a faster horse get a motorbike.

The automobile was for those who wanted a faster horse carriage.

Speaking for myself here (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37993744)

But yeah, I REALLY dislike the dumbing down of GUIs, hiding everything behind big buttons to make it "touch-screen friendly" and just not considering the power user. I was fine with Netbook Editions of linux distros(even though I never used any for more than testing) but this is ridiculous. We have more screen space and screen resolution than ever before, and now it's all nice boxes with rounded corners? Sheesh.

Re:Speaking for myself here (1)

jisom (113338) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993960)

Even google with their website is doing this. They have a new Gmail interface that has from compact to cozy to comfortable.

People also hated... (4, Interesting)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993748)

... KDE 4, Windows 7, Windows Vista... some people hate ALL GUIs.

Me? I like Windows 7. I find it nicer and faster than XP's interface, actually. I also like gnome better than KDE in general, but I preferred KDE 3x or 4x. I have not tried gnome3/unity yet, so can't comment there.

I sometimes wonder how long this debate has gone on. I'm guessing people hated Windows 95 when compared to 3.1 (or equivalent Mac OS version changes). People probably tried to show how a monitor was a disadvantage from the teletype; afterall, with teletypes you had a permanent hard copy and didn't risk losing it! ... (I have no source for this, I'm just speculating ;) )

I do think there are some things that don't make sense though - such as touch-screen-GUIs used on non-touch-screens, or the other way around.

Re:People also hated... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37993962)

I like some of the new GUI in Win 7/Vista, but by God do I hate having to navigate through numerous windows to get to somewhere which only took two clicks in previous versions; and that's when I can find the damn location of whatever the fuck I'm looking for. At least shell hasn't changed its interactivity.

That said, I remember going from 3.x to 95. It was a nicer experience. Mac OS? Too much alcohol, since the early days, to remember.

Re:People also hated... (4, Interesting)

epyT-R (613989) | more than 3 years ago | (#37994074)

with aero enabled the blitting is faster, but I wouldn't say it responds faster than xp. it's a bit slower..and I"m comparing both with all animations disabled.

Re:People also hated... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37994118)

such as touch-screen-GUIs used on non-touch-screens

So, Unity?

You have to ask? (2)

xski (113281) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993754)

> But is it the vocal minority doing all the complaining, or is it the majority?

Brother, its *always* the vocal minority doing all the complaining. The majority (aka 'the great unwashed masses') will generally take whatever is being shoved down their throats.


Re:You have to ask? (1)

notamisfit (995619) | more than 3 years ago | (#37994192)

The majority are still using Windows XP.

I like Unity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37993758)

I started with Slackware 1 on floppy disks downloaded by modem. I like Unity - first time in my Linux life I didn't spend hours dicking around with the interface. I have installed Faenza icons, but that's it.

Re:I like Unity (1)

telekon (185072) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993958)

Really? My first Linux install was Slack, and I constantly find myself missing the lesstif widgets + the *wm with the default Motif behaviour re focus etc.

Re:I like Unity (1)

epyT-R (613989) | more than 3 years ago | (#37994114)

I must question whether you're doing anything interesting with your computer besides browsing and playing media.. because that's all unity is good for.

Short answer: yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37993762)

Windows 7 nailed it.

Re:Short answer: yes (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37993880)

Windows 7 UI did not nail it at all. The only saving grace is that it is simple, and you have to visit the appalling UI parts that suck less.

Parts that suck
The control panel.
The network and sharing centre
The (start) menu system if you examine it and clean it up as you might in XP.

I am however glad you think they nailed it, because they decided they so nailed it they will eradicate it with ... metro.
And 5 minutes with Metro is enough to make you realise what a mess Windows 8 /ARM/X86/X64 / Legacy apps is going to be.

Re:Short answer: yes (1)

telekon (185072) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993980)

Obvious troll is obvious

Yes (1)

afabbro (33948) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993766)

...because we're using desktops, not tablets.

"UI designers" just can't design UIs. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37993770)

If there's one thing we should learn from these ordeals, it's that people claiming to be "UI designers" should be shunned. Every commercial and open source project needs to limit the involvement of these people. They can make icons, but that's where it should end.

GNOME, Firefox, and Windows all had far more usable UIs when actual software developers were in charge of making the decisions. This isn't surprising, though. Software developers are mainly concerned with creating software that works, and that works well. "UI designers", on the other hand, are more interested in creating software that looks "pretty", even if it's damn impossible to use productively. Usability does not come from gradients and curved corners.

Re:"UI designers" just can't design UIs. (1, Flamebait)

Yunzil (181064) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993986)

GNOME, Firefox, and Windows all had far more usable UIs when actual software developers were in charge of making the decisions.

...in your opinion.

Software developers are mainly concerned with creating software that works, and that works well.

...even if it may be impossible for the average person to figure out how to use it?

Usability does not come from gradients and curved corners.

Nor does it necessarily come from horrible user interfaces or command line tools.

Re:"UI designers" just can't design UIs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37994054)

Please don't confuse "UI designers" with "bad UI designers". A good UI designer will put together a good UI, one that is not just functional but aesthetically pleasing. Both are components of a good UI. Blaming all UI designers for a few bad UI experiences is like saying software developers should not be hired because buggy software exists. Software developers are often not trained in the basics of user interfaces, and it often shows.

So where are these "good UI designers"? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37994146)

So where the fuck are these so-called "good UI designers"? Where is the software that they've created?

They sure as fuck aren't working on open source software. GNOME 3, Firefox, and Unity are perfect proof of this.

They sure as fuck aren't working on commercial software. This is evident through Chrome, post-Ribbon MS Office, Windows 8 and iOS.

They sure as fuck aren't working on enterprise software, either. Much of this software makes GNOME 3 pleasant to use.

So where the fuck are they? What projects or products have these "good UI designers" worked on?

Re:"UI designers" just can't design UIs. (1)

Netshroud (1856624) | more than 3 years ago | (#37994068)

Software developers are mainly concerned with creating software that works, and that works well. "UI designers", on the other hand, are more interested in creating software that looks "pretty", even if it's damn impossible to use productively.

And that's why we need the UX people.

Re:"UI designers" just can't design UIs. (1)

MrBandersnatch (544818) | more than 3 years ago | (#37994108)

You seem to have a 90s idea about what UI designers actually do. Good UI designers run sessions with actual users at the early design stages to determine if their ideas fly, they use HCI techniques (e.g. KLM/GOMS) to see if their interfaces bring about actual performance improvements, and they run usability tests, gathering both quantitative and qualitative data on the impacts of those changes how their user groups perceive those changes.

Its only THEN that designers who REALLY LIKE CURVED CORNERS come along and bugger-up everything because pretty software is so much easier to sell to clueless managers than pages of research findings and hard applied scientific methodology.

Seriously though, I do know what you are saying; I look at just how much functionality something like Windows Explorer has lost over the years in the name of usability improvements and can't help but realise that there's something seriously going wrong with software development methodologies, even though the "hard sell" for usability has finally paid off. While its easy to blame "clueless managers" etc, I can't help but suspect the real culprit has more to do with company politics and personalities and that's something that I don't believe any methodology can hope to fix....

Re:"UI designers" just can't design UIs. (1)

jhantin (252660) | more than 3 years ago | (#37994154)

Usability does not come from gradients and curved corners.

Graphic design and usability are two different disciplines. Anyone who wants a good introduction to usability could easily do worse than reading Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox [useit.com] column. (I hesitate to call it a blog for several reasons, not least because it predates the coining of the term!)

Re:"UI designers" just can't design UIs. (1)

Cl1mh4224rd (265427) | more than 3 years ago | (#37994170)

Software developers are mainly concerned with creating software that works, and that works well.

Can someone tell me when the prevailing opinion shifted from "programmers suck at UI design" to "programmers make the best UI's"?

I actually value speed (3, Insightful)

Tyrannosaur (2485772) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993778)

I want my things to be loaded as quickly as possible. I don't care about flashy desktop effects that make things slower.

Re:I actually value speed (1)

CruelKnave (1324841) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993988)

Hear, hear!

Re:I actually value speed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37994116)

Personally, I would go one step further and say that the flashy effects are actually distracting. When I use my workstation for virtually all my waking hours (8 hours of work, however many hours of personal time), having the interface be distracting is not an option that I like the sound of. And no, I don't "get used to it."

I can't stand XP, Vista, Windows 7, virtually all GNOME/KDE interfaces. Apple products are an abomination unto man in this regard, but I guess that's one of the reasons that people like Apple products. There are almost no GNOME/KDE styles that even remotely emulates the Windows Classic interface that I love. Yes, there's Redmond, but it always ends up feeling wrong.

I like well-defined interface elements, no massive wasted space (GNOME/KDE interfaces in particular are godawful at this), no bloated components. No flashy colors. No fuzzy edges. No blurry text (I'm looking at you, ClearType and yes, I know ClearType can be mixed with Windows Classic). Everything is just right. Clear, consistent, not distracting.

You might call me a Luddite or an old bastard or whatever (I'm 23), but I can't stand the direction interfaces have gone.

Re:I actually value speed (2)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 3 years ago | (#37994168)

Don't forget about GUI latency in general - those barely noticeable sub-second delays that ruin an application through death by a thousand cuts. Visual Studio 10 springs to mind.

Oh good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37993790)

Asking for opinions on this on /. will certainly clear up the matter. This is the same place where people thought Linux was ready for the desktop 10 years ago, and where I've seen people defend X11's "mouse-over dictates window for text input" as model -- something should make any good UI designer's list of atrocities against users. Of the four listed, I've only dealt with iOS, and I think it handles touches pretty well (though I want to kidney punch everyone involved in applying for or approving Apple's patents on particular gestures).

Not all of them (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37993792)

I generally like kde 4 design though they need to work on reducing cpu usage / latency. In my opinion, it's the only one that does it right in that the interface for tablet/netbook and desktop are separated seamlessly and easy switched between the two. Programs do not need to be compiled to two different gui and users can pick which interface to use and don't have to bother with the other.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjO5X1ADUrE is an example.

My main problem with "next gen" gui is that they are too forceful. They try to combine desktop and tablet/netbook into one gui and do so badly at it. Windows 8 that forces you to switch between the 2 different guis depending on the software you use is an example of bad design.

Mint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37993798)

Mint all the way! The only easy-to-use distro that's really tuned in to user GUI likings.

Where's KDE? (1)

nite_warrior (151737) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993810)

I've been using KDE4 since the earlier versions, and I'm pleased with it. It even has options on how you want your workspace to be, if you want desktop icons, panels, widgets, etc. I haven't use Gnome 3 or Unity enough to comment on them, but KDE has been good to me and I have had no needs beyond it

Bah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37993814)

I happen to like Mac OS X 10.7's changes. I enjoy using GNOME 3 on Fedora. I didn't like Unity because it looked and felt rushed. And I love my iPod's GUI. Haven't tried Windows 8, but I don't like Windows 7's window management, although it's much improved over XP or Vista.

Also, I like the new GMail and Google Reader. The internet seems to think I'm the devil incarnate. I should get checked.

change is needed (1)

elexis (2503530) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993816)

Until the recent surge of change, the ui of all desktop environments was stagnant. Change is needed to keep things fresh, just because you have found a good setup doesnt mean its the best. The biggest problem is the lack/difficulty of customisation for these new UI's. For example, I live the new Gnome3 look, and from a general use perspective I find it very efficient to use. However it always is a pain when I want to customise something.http://ask.slashdot.org/story/11/11/09/015211/ask-slashdot-unitygnome-3win8ios-do-we-really-hate-all-new-guis?utm_source=rss1.0moreanon&utm_medium=feed#

Gnome 2 desktop. (1)

bejiitas_wrath (825021) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993826)

Linux Mint is moving to Gnome 3 so even that distribution will be going down that road of bloat. But I just configured Lxde to look exactly like Gnome 2 on Fedora and I am happy enough with that.

Escaped Unity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37993842)

I also left Ubuntu due to Unity.
I now like PCLinuxOS.

"Touch" (Finger) "Mouse/Keyboard" interface (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37993844)

1. All these guys want their OS distro on mobile/handheld devices.
2. In order to do that, you need a clumsy "finger paint" interface instead of the trusty precision of the paintbrush
3. all apps need to be changed so they behave like the clumsy finger paint interface
4. in order to do that, you need to force the clumsy finger pain interface on everyone
5. ???
6. Have most of the non-mobile/handheld users complaining about it, but don't listen.

KDE!!! (1)

zwede (1478355) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993850)

Been using it for 10 years. Yes, they had issues with 4.0 and 4.1 and I stuck with 3.5 until 4.2 came out. But from 4.2 and on I'm liking it. It does everything I want it to and looks pretty too.

Some don't like that the entire workspace is composed of widgets, but I think it's a great concept. I can customize my desktop to suit my style, and just about everything is adjustable/customizable.

haters and lovers everywhere (2)

ThorGod (456163) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993852)

For many people, in my experience, expressing hate more quickly passes the 'urge to talk about' than love. Plus, if you're pissed then you want to be heard. But, if you're happy, who cares who's talking? (Side note: the more visible something is, the more attention any changes will see. "New Coke", for example.)

I think that's what's going on with the latest GUIs. Change always has it's subtractors, and GUIs see *tons* of use.

Try making them suck less. (2)

Renstar (142001) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993854)

Give me one that doesn't suck and I won't hate it.

My current ire is directed toward Google for its new Gmail interface. What a joke.

Over simplification (2)

Dracos (107777) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993856)

The /. crowd generally is more knowledgeable about computers and their interfaces. UI teams are dumbing down their interfaces to cater to the lowest common denominator of user. The simplification has reached a point where even median level functionality is not just hidden, but removed. The targeted users don't know any better (and likely never will), but we do.

These new interfaces are just too simple for us.

who gives a ****? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37993860)

This article makes about much sense as asking if you would change your telco carrier if they changed their logo? Really, who gives a ****? If the OS runs my software faster, better and more efficiently than the previous version, i couldn't care less about some GUI quirks.

Failure to show benifits (1)

lanner (107308) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993864)

Show me how these new UIs produce a benefit for the end user. That's it.

I'm a bitter KDE4 user. From everything I can tell, they did it to make the code "neater" and for window candy.

Good 'ol Grandma (2)

bunhed (208100) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993866)

I still fail to see why anyone but Grandma would want a UI that even Grandma could run.

I don't hate the new GUIs (except maybe Win8's) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37993870)

Windows 8 looks like a confusing jumbled mess from developer preview videos I've seen and I don't know about iOS, but I use both GNOME Shell and Unity on my machines and I much prefer them to GNOME 2.

A problem I think you'll run into here is that Slashdot is expressly for nerds, not the end-users these interfaces were intended for (i.e., the computer-illiterate masses). As such, you'll run into a lot of people who may feel too 1337 or masochistic to like these new interfaces. I knew someone from a college programming class who swore by using FreeBSD on his laptop with nothing but 4 terminals for his desktop, and vocally derided other people's ways of using their own machines. I guess it's people like these who either need to feel special because of what they use, or they use it because they are "special".

Yup (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37993872)

It's not that I necessarily hate the new GUIs... Ok yea it is. Everything is going to touch screen because they believe tablets are going to take over the desktop. I'm still a desktop user, and I still want a desktop GUI. No Unity or Windows 8 for me, I'll use Xfce and Windows 7

Good - for tablets (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37993882)

The problem is that the next "big market" are tablets, smartphones, etc and everyone wants they share of it. But instead of developing a new platform they put tablet interfaces in computer desktops. And that is not a good idea. For example unity, big buttons are good for tablets because you hit them with your finger, but on desktops they eat too much screen space and offer no benefit. Also multitasking on these 'new interfaces' is really painful and on desktops it is a needed feature that has to be good.

Everyone is just going with this trend without thinking much about it. You really can't notice that a tablet interface on a desktop is nosense? Do a "tablet mode" or something but instead they try to convince us that the new interface is better when everybody hates it.

Re:Good - for tablets (1)

mmcuh (1088773) | more than 3 years ago | (#37994004)

I don't understand how it could be the next "big market" when you can't do any actual work with it, at least not any work that involves typing.

The Devil you know. (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993884)

The Devil you know is better than the angel you don't. You will always be faster and more efficient with a UI you know than one that you do not. I remember a friend looking at my Amiga back in 1985 and saying that DOS looked more "professional" than Workbench. Every time I move to a new system the first feeling I have is why doesn't it work the way I expect it too! I force myself to get over it and and move on.

Meh (1)

andydread (758754) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993890)

I remember the move from the Program Manger to the Windows95 interface that so many people here seem to currently love. Back then people were bitching about how the new Windows95 interface sucked. Now we have some of us Linux geeks that are still clinging to that interface. I remember when Gnome 2 came out and all the bitching started again. "Where did all the customizations go" "This shit sux" bla blah. Then that settled down. Then came KDE 4.0 and the signal to noise ratio got all out of whack again. "Fuck this i'm moving to Gnome" was the mantra. Now we have Gnome3 and Unity....... Break out the popcorn.

Re:Meh (1)

calc (1463) | more than 3 years ago | (#37994190)

I don't remember anyone complaining about Windows 95 interface, maybe that it was unstable, but not its interface. Windows 3's interface was so horrible I just used DOS instead.

Your user id is so high were you even born yet when Windows 95 came out? ;-)

Give gnome 3 a shot (1)

DrHappyAngry (1373205) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993898)

I've actually become a convert to gnome 3 after forcing myself to work in it for a day. A few minutes with a new UI isn't enough, you really have to spend a day working with it to really get a feel for it. It's actually really fast, and I'm fast with it. You just flick the mouse to the upper left, and you can do anything. It's definitely still rough around the edges, and far from perfect. It mainly needs more accessible configuration options, instead of having to have an extension for everything, but it will get there. Dual monitor support could be better too, but I know it will improve with time. I was a total hater until I really gave it a fair shot. I've used Unity for months on my netbook, and it's only usable on a small screen, though it does shine there. Plus Dash is terrible. Show me the Apps, not just the frequently used ones. If it were frequently used, I'd have put it on the dock and wouldn't be drilling through a menu in the first place.

Gnome 3 User (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37993926)

I'm running Gnome 3 right now, and there's a lot of things I really like about it. I kept the dock to the left of the screen on my last Mac, so somehow slamming my cursor into the top left seems almost natural.

I do miss desktop icons though....

Re:Gnome 3 User (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37994038)

Desktop icons are still available with a certain, quick hack. I've forgotten exactly what that entails, as I did it once about seven months ago. If you do a bit of googling, I'm sure you can find it though.

Gnome 3 (1)

Mathieu Lutfy (69) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993956)

This would probably be better as a poll.. but for what it's worth, I like Gnome 3.

I used fvwm for the past 10 years, always the same config file. I really disliked Gnome 2 (too much clutter, clunky). However, I was starting to have a few annoyances with fvwm and found myself wasting too much time on getting it to work right.

Gnome 3 (using Debian unstable/experimental packages) is great. I tweaked a few things, but even with the default conf I don't mind.. except maybe how alt-tab is broken, and sloppy mouse focus is not great, but I see they are working on it.

Right GUI, Wrong Place (1)

CruelKnave (1324841) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993966)

I don't hate them. I just don't want a GUI on my PC that looks like it's supposed to be for a tablet or a phone.

It's time for a change; accept it (1, Insightful)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993972)

I think the truth is that the basics of the GUI, at least as far as consumer operating systems go, are now almost 20 years old. There's been an incredible amount of change in the capabilities of the average computer, not to mention the possible interface options, since the first Mac hit the streets and it's perfectly right to see a lot of bold changes as tablets and fancy phones inspire a much needed review of the basics.

Now many of these new, individual products will suck but that doesn't mean anyone should disdain the necessary process of inventing the next era. Even if you really hate the new systems, at least pay attention to and be vocal about the pieces of them you liked. Your input won't be useful if you never say something positive; who wants to make a business strategy out of pleasing the un-pleasable?

Re:It's time for a change; accept it (1)

xhrit (915936) | more than 3 years ago | (#37994084)

I think the truth is that the basics of the wheel, at least as far as consumer transportation systems go, are now almost 2000 years old. There's been an incredible amount of change in the capabilities of the average transportation system, I think its time that we put the effort into re-inventing the wheel.

Aiming for the lowest common denominator (1)

junk (33527) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993974)

It's likely that the problem isn't with the UI but with the people who use it. The majority of people who have a personal/professional investment in the UI of a particular OS are not your average user. We're power users or developers or whatever you call people who make their Apples make noises and call it music. We tend to know how our computers work and can make them do things that outsiders look at as magical amazing feats. The designers of these new UIs had us as customers due to the tech under the UI and, in many cases, in spite of it.

With this new march of "progress," the target appears to be only the technically inexperienced. The UI is becoming the way you interact with your computer and not just something that makes the masses capable of doing their job while those of us who know how to use computers can work around them. When the UI becomes the only way to do things, then it's time for us to move on.

Win2k had my favorite Windows UI and I've made all future iterations work the same way.
I never liked Apple.
Xfce has all the interface I need to hold up a web browser, a chat client and a bunch of terminals.

I don't color. I don't take pictures. I don't play games. I write code. I read the interwebs. I conduct business. I am the 1%.

Just get me my desktop!!!! (1)

phurrballphredd (2503536) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993984)

I have ran just about every GUI in existence since Windows 1.0, this includes Linux, Mac and SPARC. For me it boils down to the same thing regardless of the GUI... Can I work THE WAY I WANT TO?..... Those GUIs that allow me work the way I want, either out of the box or with some minor customizations, get to stay around for while. Those that don't get tossed. Simple as that. I think those that are changing GUIs today need to be mindful that users want to work the way they want to work and have little patience for jumping, what they perceive as hoops, just to get something done in manner they are accustomed.

Windows 8 is a cell phone 1 app at a time UI (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 3 years ago | (#37993998)

That does not fit on a big screen / multi screen multi tasking system.

And being touch based does not help as very few desktops / laptops have touch screens.

How I turned Unity into a workable desktop: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37994006)

Install compiz config settings manager
Fix the launcher strip thingy so that it's always visible
Make the icons as small as possible.

Happy chappy ever since

Need for change... (4, Insightful)

Junta (36770) | more than 3 years ago | (#37994010)

Talk about an article just asking for rants. I'll chip in my rant...

I think the challenge is the UI paradigm preceding this generation is just too mature and way too many UI developers really have a hard time justifying their continued work. The MATE and Trinity projects forked out of an apparent strong desire to keep things as they are and have some confidence it won't magically bit-rot away, but they are far from 'glamorous' and really don't have much of substance to actually *do*, the job is pretty much already complete.

Now a whole generation of UI designers are largely pretending that computers *didn't* catch on every where and that some mythical large mass of people cannot cope with the UIs that all evidence suggests are working just fine. For a time they were sated with the genuine issue of UI design not scaling down to ~4" screens, but they are seized with the silly notion that there must be *one* UI to rule all form factors. MS decides their Metro UI is the answer for phones/tablets/desktops (despite not even making sufficient headway in the handset arena to prove that out even in the most likely case). Nearly every review of use of the Metro-UI in Windows 8 suggests a degree of awkwardness in the laptop and desktop case. Apple decides the iOS experience should dominate the OSX world (Apple is a bit of a special case, they can pretty much do *anything* and their loyal userbase will lap it up, it's more like a fashion brand and they probably see minimal difference in business results between the times they truly deliver an enriching experience and when they make missteps). Gnome 3 pisses away tons of screen real estate on oversized default titlebars to accommodate inprecise touch interaction regardless of context whilst also hiding their 'dock' for fear of wasting real estate.

  A large part of this is what I think is a bad assumption that tablets will just logically displace all laptops/desktops. iPad has seen commercial success (for reasons I think are more fanboy than a 'genuine' revolution) and now a ton of companies are wondering why they can't reproduce those results and get people off their laptops and assume something must be 'wrong' since tablets are *obviously* the way of the future.

Anyway, if you want the UI paradigm to continue as it has been, throw your weight behind MATE (or see if MGSE successfully decrapifies Gnome 3) or Trinity. Elect not to upgrade from Windows 7 if you prefer that (though you are at the mercy of MS in that scenario and you cannot force them to keep Windows 7 going). Alternatively prove me wrong by embracing KDE4, Gnome3, Metro, full-screen OSX apps as you get off my lawn.

One old fart (1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 3 years ago | (#37994014)

I'm an old fart, and I think iOS is terrific, best phone GUI I've ever had much better than BBOS. I think Windows 8 for phone or tablet might be cool. Speaking of which I think Microsoft Office's new GUI is a definite improvement, took me a while to get used to it.

I haven't played with Gnome 3, but used 2 quite a bit with RHES. Honestly I pretty much like all the Linux GUIs at this point they are all pretty good at most stuff and intuitive.

So no I don't hate the new. Generally things are getting better. I'd hate to have to go back to running DESQview [youtube.com] to multitask because windows 3.0/3.1 couldn't multitaks DOS apps very well.

Troll question (1)

Ryxxui (1108965) | more than 3 years ago | (#37994026)

The only reason someone would ask this question is to watch the comments devolve hilariously. You/we have all been trolled hard.

Re:Troll question (1)

ThorGod (456163) | more than 3 years ago | (#37994076)

Na, the freebsd desktop/server post earlier today was the troll post.

But I think slashdot kind of runs off these posts. It's a chance for us all to post screenshots and trade comments on each other's rigs. It's like an auto show with no chicks. Ever.

OS X rules (1)

ritzer (934174) | more than 3 years ago | (#37994048)

So where is the confusion? Anyone remember NeXT? I'll stick with OS X, tried and true.

The new UI is not made for us (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37994050)

Are we just too set in our ways?

I can't speak for everyone, but after years using Gnome 2 I switched to dwm. So Gnome 3 and Unity really suck. For us, that is. For the average user, who loves shiny 3d windows, huge icons, etc, the new way is better - they do not care how long it takes them to do anything with it, what matters is how shiny it is.
In a way I'm happy with what they did to Gnome 3 as it made me discover the superiority of tiling window managers.

Demonstratably Worse (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37994066)

In most use case scenarios you can demonstrate that the Windows Vista/7/8 GUI is inferior to the 2K design. Valuable information is hidden and you have to click something to access it, simple tasks take more clicks to complete, screen real-estate is wasted on interface elements that are of no value, all aspects of the itnerface have been targeted at novice users are are therefore needlessly verbose and wasteful, consistency between application GUIs has been lost so each window/screen is unique and requires you to learn how to use it etc.

I've demonstrated these facts to people when they've asked what I think of Vista/7/8, and everyone leaves convinced that the 2K style interface is superior. I've considered making youtube video to prove the inferiority of Microsoft's new interface design, but I've long since realised that Microsoft don't care about user opinion and will force whatever they want on the market through their monopoly.

Matters are made worse by the fact that Microsoft don't include settings to customise their interface in even basic ways. Something as simple as replacing the painfully difficult to read Segoe UI font with Tahoma requires you to change ten registry keys, and even then you can only get Tahoma 9pt instead of 8pt. Is it really too much to ask that I be allowed to select a font that doesn't cause me constant eye strain?

The first key problem is that developers are trying to "innovate" and since they can't come up with anything better than what we already have they simply make things worse. The second key problem is that developers are trying to make things "simple" for users (Windows 7: "Your PC Simplified", GNOME3 "Made of Easy"), however the only way you can make things simpler is to hide or remove functionality and information. This makes it harder for people who use that functionality and information to get things done, so once again things are made worse.

I really hate where computing is going.

The issue is both objective and subjective (1)

brokeninside (34168) | more than 3 years ago | (#37994072)

On the one hand, the interface that one finds intuitive is the interface that one has already been trained to use. Once experienced with one interface, any new interface takes effort to learn and, on that level, is less intuitive.

That said, some interfaces just feel more natural for most people. There are some interfaces that I've tried over the years that, even before I was experienced with them, just felt natural. Examples include OS/2's Workplace Shell, the Window Maker window manager, and iOS (on the iPad).

It is not an adaptation issue... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37994082)

I have only really used KDE 4 full time to this point and it really isn't that bad except for the millions of bugs. I wouldn't consider anything less than 4.6 to even be usable as a full time desktop. Lets think about that for a second. KDE 4.0 was released on January 11, 2008 and was of such poor quality it was unusable until slightly more than 3 years later January 26, 2011. It took 3 years to fix bugs that do things like corrupt the configuration files and even now, 4 almost years later, other serious issues still loom in the rendering of widgets and panels. For example, If you set a panel's min width to 50% of the screens width and the maximum width to 75% of the screens width you will notice that it does not grow correctly if something like additional system tray icons are added. Not to mention that icons get cut off all the time and the task manager ignores row and column settings periodically. I guess its better than the panel items reordering them selfs randomly on boot or corrupt KDE config files every other day but seriously, how the fuck do you get through 4 years of development and not fix some of these simple UI related issues (SHIFT + Ins in Dolphins terminal Anyone)? Why is it that every time one issues gets resolved 2 more are created to take its place? I am seriously considering moving to something like Enlightenment just have a working desktop environment, not because I am reluctant to adapt.

I don't need much (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 3 years ago | (#37994136)

I just want to keep 9 terminal sessions open, a web browser shaded and focus follows mouse without the window raising in the process. Doesn't really matter what window system I do that on, although I hear the new windows doesn't do focus follows mouse as well as XP does. I don't view them as excessive requirements, just how I like to work.

The main problem: lack of flexibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37994140)

In almost every case, the problem has been a lack of flexibility in the new GUIs.

It's perfectly fine for Unity or Gnome3 to design a GUI that better fits tablet usage. But it's not ok to force desktop users into a GUI design that works well only on a tablet.

Reducing or eliminating configurability is the hot new design trend. There is a new idea now that configurability is, per se, something that necessarily degrades the user experience. This trend, I believe, is almost entirely responsible for the problems that we're encountering with these new GUIs.

A small example: It's perfectly fine to use a global application menu on a tiny tablet screen. But on my setup (two 30 inch monitors), I need to drag the mouse up to 5000 pixels to go back and forth between the global menu and my furthest application. What works well on one form factor can be a total disaster on another. The new GUIs seem to be strangely blind to this fact.

Bad time to be a nerd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37994162)

That's ubiquitous computing coming into action : there is way more "average end-users" than shell nerds. Unfortunately the efforts will go in the direction of the masses, and progressively we'll lose the very notion of GUI because it won't even make sense to "use a computer".

We're human. There's always reason to complain... (1)

AugstWest (79042) | more than 3 years ago | (#37994188)

I have spent years using Solaris, Redhat, Gentoo, Windows 2.0 through the present, etc. I've been at a computer pretty much 11-16 hours a day for the past 20+ years.

The last 5 have been on OSX, and I'm not going back to any of them. You can't make me.

I've been experimenting with Unity, and hate it quite passionately.

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