Community-driven redesign / new theme for Paroli

Risto H. Kurppa risto at
Wed May 20 17:46:33 CEST 2009

On Wed, May 20, 2009 at 5:34 PM, Warren Baird
<wjbaird at> wrote:
> I'm interested - however, I think you might want to set a bit more direction
> in terms of where you want to go with it.   The problem is that UI's are
> very subjective.  I saw at least one person say that the current paroli UI
> in OM2009 is good, whereas I think it's at best kinda boring...

> and I'd suggest you might want to go a bit further than just a 'theme'.
> I'd like to see some serious thought put into the whole user experience -
> how does the user make a call, send an SMS, start an app, etc.

Warren, you're reading my mind :) It's impossible to create a UI that
pleases everyone. We have the freedom to create many choices (whereas
closed mobile phones stick to one - maybe change the background image
:) so why not enjoy that freedom with a selection of themes..?

And I definitely agree that the whole usage process could be
rethinked. I'm not saying the way Paroli now works is bad but I'd like
to play a bit with it.. Today I realised that the trying to fit the
concept of physical keyboard just sucks - so I tried qwo (Quickwriting
keyboard or something, see,
install and activate with the illume wrench) and fell in love: instead
of trying to hit small areas I can slide my finger/stylus around the
screen: works much better when walking.. So kind of a redesign of the
whole cellphone UI concept and workflow.

> Risto - can you say a little bit about how *you* would like things to look
> and work?  Is there an existing phone or PDA UI that you think  we could
> borrow good ideas from?

Have think a bit.. Generally I admit that I like colours. KDE4.3b1
surprised me (ok, I changed the background image to the bright green
leaf :) - It's just pretty. I think the Linux desktop has had the
problem of looking ugly (vs. Windows or Mac OSX) for years and only
recently with Compiz etc (KDE4, if you ask me :) it has started to
really look good and compete & even beat the competitors. And I'd like
to see this happening on the linux phone as well. Why make it
uglysimpleminimalistic when it could just Look Good (TM). And yes,
people like different things.

I already mentioned something:
> I saw some sliding things in Paroli I got the idea of menu that'd be
> kind of mesh where you start in the middle and then it'd show where
> the nodes would take you and you'd slide to that direction to get to
> that menu and then you'd see the options there and so on..

I also played with the idea of not separating messages, people and
calls but I wasn't able to make much sense there. But I think that
messages and calls could all be on the same list, after all they're
all some kind of events or connections taken. So maybe the dialler and
sending an SMS could be more or less the same thing and phone log and
reading SMS's could be in the same list, sorted by the time. Ok, maybe
it could have a filter (or search) to show only SMS's or only events
that have something to do with person X in my phone book.

And I like to be able to see what can I click and what not -> I like
that a button looks more or less like a button. In 'advanced GUI' I'd
like to have some kind of beginner mode that'd give me hints (like
small arrows or something) to tell me things I can do - and then have
the option of turning it off when I know my way around my phone.

Ok, some more challenges: how about a mokomaze-gui: you roll the ball
from menu item to another - that's also something we can and have the
freedom to do. I have no idea how usable that would be but I'd
definitely give it a try if someone implemented. Plot it on a map and
give the people coordinates and you can call them by rolling the ball
to their house. Keylock would work by taking your 'ball of life' to a
cage in the corner and only way out would be to bounce the ball away
from there. Or to pick from 300 contacts you would roll the ball to
the letters of the name one at the time and the app would of course
provide only the combination of letters that exist in the phone book
(actually there was a input method for desktop computers & mouse,
can't remember the name -> can't find screenshots).

That's a start - feel free to add and play with the ideas :)


| risto h. kurppa
| risto at kurppa dot fi

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