interface design suggestions

Joshua Layne joshua at
Mon Oct 15 20:03:58 CEST 2007

On Mon, 15 Oct 2007 12:19:57 -0500, Jeffrey Thomas <eljefedelito at>
> To be honest, I understand the concepts of better contrast etc, but the
> proposed interface is very blockish and not nearly as nice looking as the
> fades and the use of Orange in the current.  I do understand that it is a
> quick mockup, and that I myself have had no suggestions (nor do I claim
> know about usability), but I really like the current look quite a bit
> than the proposed.  I dislike the white fields in the proposed, and the
> large number of colours; there is much to like in the current: the
> keys, the rounded edges everywhere, the slight boarders to the various
> frames and fields, all make for a nicer looking interface (IMHO).  At the
> resolution the phone provides, I don't think that the phone should look
> like it has a lot less by removing these stylistic details.
> Again, I am just one person with the desire to help influence this great
> project, and the overall goal is to make a great phone.  I appreciate the
> work of all in this endever, as I really am only a "buystander."  The
> usability team will really know best, and I am hoping it is all themeable
> anyway.  Dani, you've put more thought into this than I, and you seem to
> know.  I just like the current so much, orange and grey looks great.
Hi Jeffrey,
all valid points, but I personally can't stand the orange and grey theme. 
the basic design is fine (curved buttons, etc), but the colors should be
_easily_ skinnable without having to entirely rewrite a theme.  Ideally,
just set somewhere in a preferences file, like ~/.openmoko
This should not reflect a philosophy of "all of these things are orange and
so they are all equivalent", but rather a functional characterization of
the UI element and association with base color.  For gradients where a
color shift is used for shadow/highlight, ideally this would be calculated
from base color, although allowing the specification of multiple colors to
form the gradient is an acceptable (if slightly more cumbersome)

I know Thomas was doing work on converting away from a pixmap-based theme,
so this flexibility should be possible, the gradients just weren't quite as
pretty using GD.

Of course, if run-time customization is not possible, then a multitude of
nearly identical skins will spring up - workable, but less than ideal.


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