Experimental Theme Mockup

There are complaints about Ubuntu’s theming again and again. While I don’t think the default in Feisty is horrible, I don’t think it’s good, either. Colour perspective is an important reason for the prevalence of blue backgrounds. Orange jumps to the front, making Ubuntu look “full” and even “loud”.

So I played with warm but rather subtle tones, textures and various ideas in the details.

The shadows are not the same size for every window, but stepped according to z-order for a stronger sense of depth. This means the top window casts a larger shadow on the desktop.

Making no distinction between title and menu / tool bar means that any empty space there should act like the title bar does now. This is the reason why I clearly show the menu are on the browser window.

The size column of the browser has bars representing file size, where the full width is mapped to the largest file. With a very large file and several much smaller files, the only info this would provide is the distinction large / small, but even then it might be useful. It should work best in folders filled with similar files, like image or music collections.

Regarding some other details, please see:
HD Icons
List View Columns
Scrollbars with Popups
Options (check boxes and radio buttons)

Click on the thumbnails for full size images (1280 x 1024)

Experimental Theme Mockup

The Feisty screenshot this is based on:
Ubuntu Feisty
The only changes from the defaults that affect the visuals were turning on “Desktop Effects” and adding workspaces, I think.

EDIT: Since this still gets many hits, I would like to point to more recent work πŸ˜‰
Experimental Theme Mockup 5


About thorwil
I'm a designer from Germany. My main interests are visual and interaction design, free/open-source software and (electronic) music.

5 Responses to Experimental Theme Mockup

  1. bennyp says:

    Personally, I prefer the contrast offered by the standard theme. I do admire the way you use colour to soften the interface though. I can definitely think of situations where this would be preferable.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The Ubuntu default theme goes well with the Ubuntu motto of “for human beings”. The brownish color approximates the flesh tone of most human beings. Or at least, that’s a closer match than blue, the color of the sky and sea. The focus in Ubuntu, the theme declares, is the user (how true this is at the moment is another question, of course).

  3. Anonymous says:

    I think, you have created very interesting version, that should be at least one of the themes in Ubuntu. Do you it as ready theme to share? I agree, that the brown theme of Ubuntu, wich I also do not like, meets the conservative taste of many peoples, wich prefer the stability and simplisity, aimed by Ubuntu.

  4. thorwil says:

    There’s no theme ready to be shared, and if I ever go into the trouble of making one, it will likely be more like the Experimental Theme Mockup 4.
    Or whatever I come up with in the future πŸ˜‰

  5. mpt says:

    I like the texture. Themes should experiment more with texture, I think.