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lainchan archive - /tech/ - 33216

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I am beginning to get bored with flat minimalism in GUI visual design.

I wonder what you lains think will come after it?
I am thinking about whether or not I should keep using minimalism in my rice for a bit longer or if I should try rericing my stuff into some gothic/victorian style. Perhaps something goth-loli (FYI goth-loli is in no way lolicon, it doesn't even have to contain children).

IMHO one of the few good things about minimalism that I can think of ATM is that it is hard to make it look really ugly. i.e. someone who is a noob at visual design can still make something minimalist and make it look nice.


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Maybe a Princess Maker GUI?

I think minimalism is fine when done tastefully, but then you have Windows 10, which looks like it was designed on a drunken bet.


Lolis are supposed to be flat, though.


Maybe in the chest, but never in the ass.


Let me repeat myself: Goth loli =/= loli.
Different things but the source of the name is slightly similar. Kind of like Australia and Austria.
Anyways back on topic...

TBH. I am getting tired of my i3 minimalism. I have learned averything from the archglitterboy school of minimalism, and now I feel like I want something different again. Something that isn't minimalism anymore.

Also minimalism in GUI and website design in general has been with us ever since 2010. It's gotten boring, Isn't it time for something new? Some new trend?
Your picture however is worth 1 KiloKek. :)


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GUI minimalism in currently widespreading form was never appealing to me, and i've been always finding it offputting, it feels like the OS was a website, where this design emerged, and where it belongs (not really, i prefer pre-flat web as well)

Everytime i run old OS that follows design principles seen in Windows 2000, XP, or even Vista i feel like home. I've never felt much need to change what was both functional and pretty, and that's why i really want the UI designers to get back in time.

Pic very related


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I think the trend is going to be back to pixel arty stuff.
Either that or a somewhat urban aesthetic


>Urban aesthetic
Would love that!


The trend will reverse back to it's starting point. Retro will become the new hip and UIs like Win95, XP, or maybe even a DOS-like interface will become popular again. Then start the cycle over...


that embedded windows things makes me hard. holy soykaf it looks lovely.


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> The trend will reverse
already happening, leaks of M$'s win10 redesign (project NEON) have aero elements >:)

i gotta say i enjoy minimalism but it does have to be done right, the simplicity (or maybe it's the nostalgia) of the win2k design ethos is really appealing to me.

what's next is non-flat minimalism i.e. material design where everything looks like it could be made with paper. it's not simplistic or very minimalist, it's clean cut and has cutesy animations that will continue to add more js dependencies to the web.


That second screen shot reminds me
how come i can't switch back to the non laggy outlook site anymore. I used to check it on mobile because it defaulted to it but they updated it awhile ago so i had to switch to seamonkeys built in mail.


In my opinion, something like modularism (a single program is divided in different floating blocks) and trasparency


That would be cool, but it's not aesthetics. Still, nice idea.


The second screenshot looks straight out of a movie or something. It's not the most "functional" thing out there, but it does it look nice to the eye.


GIMP is like that and almost everybody hates it.


Now that I think about it. Most of us use most of our windows maximised. And this would be a pain. GIMP really does have something like tha, and most of the time it seems like a gimmick. Moving those floating blocks around is a bother. It would be even worse once those blocks start to go under each other or under other windows.

Still you get a star for creativity.


Actually GIMP has a single window mode since...uhm... very loong time (Windows -> Single-Window Mode)


Still, having experienced the multi window mode I can see the flaws in it.


Lots of programming IDEs too, Delphi 7 for example, IB Console, etc.


GIMP has both single window mode and modular, and it's great. I use the single window mode when using only a screen, but the modular approach when using a multimonitor setup (main window in the central, bigger screen, tools and layers in the auxiliary). Really nice for editing big pictures without having to zoom in and out and scroll constantly.


kind of related but the thing I hate most about macosx is how it tries to force floating windows on you. I get why they do it, but it is just a massive waste of screen real-estate.


Some trends I think are going to be popular in 2017:

>Use of gradients:


>Use of hand-made illustrations


>Use of video as a design element



Sorry to break it to you - everything but the last one are already a thing.

I'm personally seeing a "return to basics" soon. visually simple design, but secretly fuarrrking loaded with css and javascript.


I don't think it's going to change very soon (or ever).
When you design a UI you should not just think about "it looks nice!" but also on cognitive load and cognitive bias. An interface could induce to error, and that's bad.
Minimalism in UI tried to use the parsimony principle: if you have less elements showing to the people, the less the chance of error and the less cognitive load required to a specific task.

But, anyway, I think this idea should spread to code too. These minimalist interfaces use so many javascript that it's simple to have a bug somewhere. If too bad that the general computing is adding all the bullsoykaf frameworks that slow down everything for no reason. You can't even browser some soykaf nowadays without having to load tons of JS, external requests, google analytics and fonts, and so on.

so tl;dr: if a interface requires less cognitive load and is more adapted to cognitive bias (to not induce to human errors) it's, probably, not going to stop being used too soon. The only way I see that it change as a trend is the emergence of new human-computer interaction devices, such as VR. In this case, the attraction will not be less cognitive load, but instead more cognitive load, since people will want more realism, as an scape from reality...


I agree.

I too am greatly aroused.


What's the bottom right thing called? I'm looking for that window frame since forever noe. I am angry


Not him but you're looking for CDE, the UNIX Common Desktop Environment, its toolkit is called Motif, so Motif is to CDE what GTK is to GNOME.


Just a word of warning: the gpl'd linux and bsd build must be ran with rcpbind in unsecure mode, which is a minor security hole.


And I of course mean CDE, not motif toolkit itself.


Yeah I noticed that when I ran it one time, I'm assuming the person who asked the question is just looking for a GTK theme to match the look and feel as opposed to actually running CDE itself, still a good thing to note though.



Yeah I agree with you, and I'm looking forward to it. Many people feel a lot comfier with that more 'human' looking stuff, and all those big fuarrrkass tech companies are always looking to 'humanize' themselves.


One thing about minimalism that I think does the opposite (causes more errors) is minimalist buttons.
A lot of minimalist designs will have a menu come up with three buttons with weird abstract designs on them, and sometimes they do a really bad job of describing their purpose so its easy for the user to click the wrong one or just be confused overall. Also, when there are NO buttons and its just based on directional swiping or dragging in directional hotspots, this is confusing if not described properly (which way to swipe? where do I click to do XYZ?)
What are your opinions on this? Is this just a sympton of *misuing* good design principles?


Everything can be in one window tough. If your screen is 16:9 or similar id shouldn't matter.


Thank you.
I read up on motif, lesstif, cde and open cde now. I'm afraid my linux power level is too low to fiddle around with these things yet.

Besides, I found out about Window Maker along the path and it looks quite nice as well. Will keep that for a while.


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Total clickbait, OP.

Came for design trends.

Found another weeb show-me-your-desktop thread.

Left disappointed.


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Ditto, I still use XP (with the classic mode UI) when gaming for this and many other reasons.

Linux is great for trying out different UI styles and methods. I have used Linux for many years so I have had time to try (and in many cases get used to) almost every UI style implemented by various wm's and de's available. No matter how much time I spend with something different, I always still feel the most at home when the UI follows the design principles from Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP. I actually feel comfortable in windows 3.1 as well (sometimes used for gaming in a vm), despite not using it in a serious capacity for 20+ years. Pre-OSX MacOS is rather comfy too, despite only using it in an emulator now due to my OS 9 based mac dying quite a few years ago.

Since I repair computers for a hobby/living I have no choice but to deal with modern UI's regularly. No matter how much I have had to deal with Windows 8 and 10 I just do not find them to be very comfortable to work with. Copying AOL's crappy UI nobody liked from the 90's likely does not help matters either.



Christ. The AOL kids prompt just gave me flashbacks to the jailed version of the web... and that UI. Everything about it is prophetic, pointing to what the net is turning into.


>urban aesthetic
What would this imply?



Are you sure that isn't just Windows 8? That totally, 100% unique and in-no-way-stolen-from-AOL product by Microsoft?


OP here. I agree with you. I was hoping for a bit more creativity, but lack of creativity is a common problem among very technical people.


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that design exists because it's easy to use on mobile devices, since they're smaller and touch screen, something with big easy buttons and gesture controls is ideal for that market.
I just hope for utilitarianism over cool design
also with voice interfaces becoming better and more widespread maybe that'll become even more popular in the future and GUIs won't matter? Probably not but that would be interesting.
Oh yeah, lcars from star trek looks pretty schway if you ask me


I have a fascination for aircraft displays. They convey an absurd amount of information using only green vector lines.

It doesn't have to be barebones. When I played Ace Combat 5 I thought they used that aesthetic to great effect.


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You're right. Evidence of this is the fact that every single linux distrubtion (YES, YOURS TOO) is absolutely hideous looking.

The problem with developers and programmers is they have the attitude "if I *can* do it myself, then I *should* do it myself" and never even consider delegating design to, you know, an actual *designer*.

A designer can help with the UI/UX as well and make your operating system *actually* for "human beings."

inb4 someone says, "but... but... *this* one looks like it had a designer!" No, you're wrong. Ask a graphic designer and they will immediately tell you you're wrong.


> You're right. Evidence of this is the fact that every single linux distrubtion (YES, YOURS TOO) is absolutely hideous looking.

As opposed to what? The design of win 10 osx or android? I feel like contemporary design seeks to conceal the underlying function of the machine as opposed to elucidating it. It's fuarrrking lame. There's an unspoken rule in the world of design that if something looks bad or out of date it must work poorly too that's completely false, slapping more abstraction onto already abstract systems doesn't help anyone.

There's a big difference between ease of use and ease of learning in an operating system, in an ideal world ease of use would come first but it's often sacrificed for 'learnability' for example if you were using osx or windows, renaming every file in a folder is a drag, using the shell however you could do it in a trivial amount of time. In that case, Linux is 'easier to use' in that you can accomplish a significant task without significant effort.

> *actually* for "human beings."

What's more human than being able to tailor your tools to your own use, like Linux? It's a myth that one design solution will fit 'all' people. But if you'd like the one size fits all solution that Johnny Ive wanked over for 30 minutes, be my guest.

Me too man, I think it's incredible that humans can learn to parse a symbolic language like that so quickly. In particular I'm fascinated with the HUD's on and HMD's on modern attack aircraft, those things are sick, especially in new aircraft like the f-35 and the f-22 I'd love to feel like I had achieved 'sensor fusion' with a 102 million dollar aircraft, closest thing we'll ever get to piloting an EVA.

Ultimately I feel like the next step in design is a return to language and pictographs. I think people are getting fed up with ambiguity.


>in an ideal world ease of use would come first but it's often sacrificed for 'learnability'

I think you have that backwards, (or I do) but the way I see it ease of use gets too much of a focus. look at iPads and android tablets, literal children use them completely interchangeably. There is no learning needed you just pick it up and poke the coloured squares.

linux and the CLI on the other hand is not easy to use If you plonk a highly educated but other wise computer illiterate adult down at:

user@host ~$

they won't know what to do and more likely just assume it's broken. However there are bountiful resources for learning, internal and external, once you get past the initial hump. The benefit of this of course is that the Linux skill celling is infinity higher than any tablet OS.


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Personally I'm hoping for a return to LaimWM that I can run on FreeBSD, like I did back in ~2005.
(Still run FreeBSd though).


i3wm has great design. It manages your windows to use the most space available on your screen in a consistent manner. You can tab or stack windows, hide them (via the scratchpad), go fullscreen, have certain classes of windows automatically float; all this and you move throughout it via your keyboard in an intuitive way. It's visual appeal is desirable minimalism, meaning minimal without being a hipster. In i3 you see what you want, which is usually your window title, workspace number/name, and status information.

The next design trend will be whatever the silicon valley frappe chuggers dictate. They know best, of course. Though I'm being sarcastic there might be some truth in people knowing best or having better taste in design, a la http://www.paulgraham.com/taste.html

Note, anything associated with "unixporn" and/or "ricing" is the devil to me.


When touchscreens started being a thing I hoped that LCARS would become a standard, but unfortunately we got mostly unusable garbage instead.

I have a similar facination, but mainly old green/orange screen retail displays. They are pretty rare nowadays but occasionally I'll go into a fast food place that uses them. I still see cash registers using DOS too.


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You know that not every aircraft cockpit display is a monogreen type thing? This is mostly true for military aircraft HUDs, but many moder glass cockpits have full color displays, like this one in a small Cessna


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With floating blocks i didn't actually mean floating windows but divided fixed sections in a single window, something like pic related or a program with a tiling wm style (i3wm, awesome, ...)


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Thanks to customizability of Linux, I'm off this ride whenever I'm on my PC.
Unfortunately, UI looks many times incosistent with a-la Win95 customization, but most of times it's OK and I feel comfortable in the system.
I think there are enough lainons who use a-la Win95 UI.


Most military planes still have monochrome green displays because of how old the designs are. For example, a good portion of 4th generation fighter jets (such as the F-16) went into service during the 70s and 80s. Military planes designed in the 1990s have color displays.


>Use of gradients
>Use of hand-made illustrations
>Use of video as a design element
flash animation landing pages

+popup windows
+this is best viewed in
+java[script] app(lets)

What's old is new. :(


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Both of those would be interesting, and the combination of the two into cyberpunk aesthetic would be the height of both, no?

Vaporwave has already become popular tho.

It is aesthetics, for example- https://i.imgur.com/X8TD9vU.png



Minimalist design is not merely for pleasing visuals, it usually helps with efficiency, pic related (not mine).


Let me tell you something as someone that had man machine communication in college... Usability can also mean how fast you can do a task, or how accessible are the really complicated tasks.
I.e. in i3wm I can bind a script to a keybinding and be done with the task in 5 seconds. Or in CLI I could write a one line command in like 10 seconds. Where someone with an empty desktop would have to menu hunt for 20 seconds and then spend another 20 seconds ticking checkboxes etc... That way one could argue that CLI and i3wm have better useability even though they are harder to learn.


What distro, shell and theme is that?


Designers have soykaf taste and soykaf ideas.


Don't get me wrong, I am dissapointed with the amount of creativity here, and some of my best friends are qualified IT designers.

However, while designers are good at making simple and visually beautiful programs, when they need to do power tools most of them are utterly bad. Because most of their careers were spent repeating the matra of simplicity, they won't have knowledge nor experience in designing power tools.

That's why when doing power tools I will give the task to a programmer.


I was never a fan of the way windows systems look. When I switched to Linux I quickly dropped Gnome for XFCE and recently went even further to dwm, which suits me perfectly.
A computer is a workstation. No need for a pretty and shiny desktop GUI, because what I'm working with are the programs its running.


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This depends on personal tastes, some people (including me) want to have a usable workstation that is also pretty at the same time. Of course, definition of "pretty" is a very subjective one, thus even more disagreements among those who care for looks than among those who don't. As for me, i love both oldschool pixel art style, and mid-2000s shiny 3D design paradigms. That's why i liked the looks of all those OSes i posted here >>33228 so much, compared to soykafty modern style, that is overly minimalist, relies on obnoxiously huge pictograms, uses too much animation and often leans towards hiding complex menus and options from users.

Imho, it'd be best to engage both programmers and designers into the process of making a UI, this would've been the most healthy way of achieving a reasonable ballance between functionality, usability and aesthetics, with designers only throwing general ideas and creating the art, while programmers would've had the decisive control over the whole process.

That's true


To be honest I never even used Windows 8(.1) or 10. Sounds like I didn't exactly miss out on anything too.



skeuomorphism actually causes less of a cognitive load, at least so far as iconography is concerned. There's a lot of problems in flat design, interface elements aren't deliniated properly, and information density on a given page is often sub-optimal, there are also some very obvious portability issues with flat design, you could argue for example that 'flat' design is a good analogy for a phone or a tablet, but for the desktop flat design is like kicking dead whales down the beach.



I don't have it backwards.

Ipods and Ipads are easy to learn, in that the entire interface can be learned in an evening you don't need a book to learn the IOS.

Contrast this to something like bash, which fulfills roughly the same purpose as the apple gui, when you're presented with a blank command prompt, well nobody is going to tell you what cd does or even that cd exists. Therefore the interface is difficult to learn.

Approaching a problem like renaming 1000 files alphabetically, good luck doing that on your iphone, or the task would take significantly more time and cause much greater frustration than entering a single command in the bash shell. Hence ease of use, at least in that particular situation, if you'd like to take a selfie or swipe through some bitches on tinder, an iphone is probably easier to use than the bash shell though.

Really when you're evaluating an interface, think about the tasks it was built to perform and ask yourself how easy it would be to perform those tasks with a given interface, if it is easy, the interface has a high ease of use.

To evaluate learnability ask yourself how long it would take to learn about everything in a given interface?


Well it's true that each interface has it's own situations where it shines.


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So what about a 3d desktops. Yeah, I know, every 3d desktop ever has sucked.

My vision is one where you can place windows in a 3d environment like computer monitors. You wouldn't place every single window you open. The windows you place would be data you use regularly and want to monitor. RSS feeds, logs, terminals, etc. These "Rigs" would be savable. The monitors would be connected to pipes. For example, | grep "stuff" would be a 3 demensional hose that you connected from either a shell script or another terminal monitor at one end and stdout at the other. An entire rig could be connected to a VPN, or a particular instance in Qubes. The VR space would, of course, be arbitrary, and users could log in to a shared space, load rigs, and pass data.

I actually tried to build this once in unity for windows, but couldn't figure out how to represent a powershell script. At any rate, this is my vision of the desktop of the future.


It is a sane idea, in fact I hope we get something like that when we get AR and/or Holograms. (OP)


There's newer, similar stuff out there. Mostly for windows though. I think cobbling something together shouldn't be too bad, though. Look up BigScreen Beta on Steam. Supports the camera on Vive, so you can see your meatspace keyboard. Something similar could be made in Android for google cardboard, but you would probably only be able to do SSH, and none of the cool VR piping and VPN wrapping of rigs, saving/loading, shared workspace stuff.

Sadly, all I know is python. Having trouble picking up java. I'm a little spoiled I guess.


what would a gothic lolita themed desktop entail?


Your typical ricing. I guess finding good wallpapers, retheming my i3 config. Finding proper GTK and QT themes... Etc... I didn't go trough with it yet.


All your windows have elaborate curtains


I think a new Fisher Price aesthetic will emerge.

Initially flat will remain, but each app will move to working in its own 2 bold colors. The stated reason being that it helps you know which app you're in at a glance. So your music player will be green and yellow, your text editor will be orange and purple. Black/grey/white will go away.

After that it will go really curvy. It will look a lot like LCARS but without black backgrounds.

Eventually textures and bevels will start being added to those primary colors, to "help further distinguish apps." And then we'll be right back to looking like the taskbar in winxp.



I think this is a pretty neat design philosophy.


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reminds me of that bret victor's presentation


>I am beginning to get bored with flat minimalism in GUI visual design.
I never liked it at all.


>>35092 I wouldn't mind this.

Though, if talking 90+s design, and 90's computing in general, I like that people did software and stuff just for the lulz.
Like this:

Over time lot's of this just for the funnyes software has just disappeared.



Dude. That's beautiful. This is exactly what I was talking about.


i'm glad! check out bret's website or presentations, he's great at conveying interesting ideas


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I'm sorry I missed out on the Talking Moose.


>every linux distro
ever heard of Solus?


The guy who made that is a fuarrrking infuriating cunt.


Go back to whence you came kevin