Experimental Theme Mockup 3

Continuing with my experiments, I couldn’t stand the File Browser layout anymore and left the realm of pure theming πŸ™‚

Allowing menu and tool bar to share a row saves quite some space. I removed the Up and Reload icons, as the first can be done via path buttons and the other shouldn’t be necessary in a file browser. Stop is also gone, but if loading takes a while, a throbber could appear on the status bar with a clickable stop symbol in the middle. With Firefox, I sometimes accidentally trigger the back menu instead of the back button. To avoid that, I removed the menu triangles and added a foot steps icon for a history menu. Alternatively it could be a written-out menu item after Bookmarks. Instead of zoom icons and a % label, there are directly accessible zoom levels: 25, 50, 75, 100, 150, 200, 400 %, the same steps as now, in true relative size. A combo box for only 2 view modes is rather silly, so here we have 2 icons for icon and list view instead. Finally directly accessible search. Incremental would be nice, but if not, the magnifying glass icon can serve as enter button.

I changed the icon on the Close buttons, as the button-on-a-button effect the current one result in is … odd.

Theme Mockup A
Mockup A, 1280 x 1024

Different tabs and path buttons:
Theme Mockup B
Mockup A, 1280 x 1024

The original of the CC Attribution 2.0 licensed background picture is from kevinzim on flickr.

The tab pages would be a candidate for transition effects, for those who like that sort of thing: fade, new tab moving in from above or sliding like all pages where in a row.
I’m using focus-follows-mouse and wondered if it could be applied to tabs. Instead of actual switching on hover (might show to be annoying), it could be more like a preview until a click occurs or the pointer is moved elsewhere. Meanwhile the tab header could pulsate.

Experimental Theme Mockup 2
Experimental Theme Mockup 1

HD Icons
List View Columns
Scrollbars with Popups
Options (check boxes and radio buttons)


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 3

  1. These are interesting – I think they are lacking a stronger indication of what window is currently in focus though.

  2. thorwil says:

    Hmm … I could have increased the brightness contrast, but didn’t want to make the inactive windows too dark or the active one blindingly bright. Didn’t use colour to keep things neutral. One option would be to have focus change the appearance of widgets, too.
    There’s some discussion of these mockups on the Ubuntu forum

  3. porl says:

    this is looking great. i still prefer the first taskbar though, and maybe the brown areas are a little *too* strong compared to the rest.

    your posts are definately some of the most interesting to watch πŸ™‚


  4. porl says:

    forgot to mention: i really like the new toolbar layout too πŸ™‚


  5. thorwil says:

    Thank you porl!
    I’ve received similar feedback on the forum regarding the dark areas and agree. Addressing it has led me off inverse contrast in the in-progress version.