Gnome40 UI feedback. UI elements feel very cramped and are very small. Displays are wide not tall, might want to reconsider current verticle layout to better accomodate this.
- New transitions and animations and touchpad gestures? Fabulous Gorgeous
- The verticle overview layout? Feels claustrophobic, and tiny. Displays are wide, not tall. Stacking them makes it feel cramped.
- Verticle workspaces are more intuitive for organizing apps from important to least important.
- Design simplicity and well-sized UI of Gnome 3 + Beauty and polish of Gnome40 = perfect gnome UI.
About a month ago I made a post here about some of my criticisms about the Gnome 40 updates made. As the Gnome devs considered user criticism we saw many changes from the original design.
Using Fedora 33 with the COPR repo and in VMs of the latest GnomeOS releases, I have been following the development closely and would like to share my thoughts on the matter.
Gnome's design strengths, IMO, came from the "Single Entry Point" of the Activities overview. From the activities overview, you could access any part of the computer. Whether it was opening a new application, searching for a file, viewing the opened applications on the desktop, viewing all the additional workspaces, or moving different applications to other workspaces. It was a sort of hub for you to do anything you needed.
Starting with the transition animation. The background darkened, signifying that it was no longer the point of focus. Open windows shrunk in size to display all the apps available. The dash and workspace grid slid from the left and right of the screen. The search bar simply appeared into existence, since the top bar would block the transition animation. This transition preserved our focus and happiness. We knew which workspace we were using, and why we opened the Activities Overview.
The layout of the activities overview was perfect as well. The dash on the left, the workspace grid on the right, and the search bar in the middle. With both the left and right of the display populated, there was a sense of symmetry and stability to the layout.
The latest releases of Gnome 40 improve some of the aspects but feels like a regression on others.
Instead of UI elements fly into the screen, the entire desktops shrinks to show the dash, workspace grid, and search bar hiding behind the desktop. Moving between workspaces is different as well. In Gnome 3, moving between workspaces felt like moving a group of applications in and out of view. On Gnome40 it feels like moving between different displays(which are closer in concept to workspaces). Overall, I like the transitions and animations of Gnome 40 much better, even though I prefer a verticle workspace layout. The transitions are stylish and the animations provide better feedback to users.
The layout of Gnome40 went through many changes. The latest ones contain a dash at the bottom. Workspace view on top, and a search bar on top. The issue I have is that the UI looks very cluttered. It feels like the area is cramped. This is likely due to the UI being more verticle. Most displays we use are wider than tall. There simply is not much space to put things on the top and bottom. This has an additional issue as well. The UI elements are much smaller than they were on Gnome 3. Particularly the window preview and the workspace previews.
If the Gnome devs can fix the cramped UI issues, I think gnome 40 can be a great desktop environment for all to use. While I do not have any suggestions to fix this issue, there are community designs that look promising. Perhaps the developers could take inspiration from these designs?
I hope this gets the attention of the developers. Good luck to all those who work on Gnome, and I hope to see these changes soon.
Edit: Additional feedback about verticle vs horizontal workspaces Workspaces, always start at the top. Subconsciously, intuitively, or consciously you always remember your top task for the day. Makes sense, you want to be on top of things for the day. Even if multitasking or getting distracted by additional tasks, you didn't have to think much about where you started. Horizontal workspaces, while still possible to have an organization, is not as intuitive as verticle ones. Simply put, Top is a higher priority than the bottom, left and right has no difference subconciously.