Solus Software Center - UI Feedback Requested


(Ryan Gorley) #1

I’m working on a proposed redesign of the Software Center for the Linux distribution Solus. It has been an incredible experience to get so much feedback from the community via Google+ that it made me think I should seek feedback from this community as well. Here is the initial view of the current software center:

This is the current state of the redesign:

People that use Solus remark at how clean and responsive it is. One of its defining characteristics is its app menu that puts search at the forefront of navigation. The operating system is very pragmatic, but not in an ugly way. What I am hoping to do is build upon those ideas.

I am something of a generalist when it comes to design. Some of you here have far more experience with interface work and UX. I’d love to get your feedback along the way. I’ll continue to post progress.


(Jdittrich) #2

Hi @ryangorley, thanks for sharing this! I wonder if you could tell us a bit about the goals (“foo should do bar quickly, because most of foo’s user do baz a lot”) of the design and/or user groups the distribution is targeting (Linux Nerds? Computer Newbies?") . This could help others to frame their feedback in a way that is meaningful for you.


(Heiko Tietze) #3

You actually have two different work flows covered with the examples, software installation and update. The difference is that users likely want to search for an app not knowing how it is called. Google playstore is a perfect example for search where you aren’t restricted to certain categories but get similar programs and all wisdom from the crowd.

On the other hand I doubt Solus can change the world as it was defined years ago. The packages under Linux are tagged in the corset of groups as defined here http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/RPM-HOWTO/build.html (6.2 Header: Group) and more detailed at https://en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:Package_group_guidelines. Similar is true for Debian packages and I believe the structure is craved in an ISO norm.
What I also miss are some more information. Really well done was the UE for Muon Discover (why not use this in Solus) https://community.kde.org/KDE_Visual_Design_Group/Muon_Discover (as an Arch user I never used this installer nor the Ubuntu software center).

To go more into detail, I always feel confused when the start screen tells me to go to categories (Desktop software, Gaming…) and in parallel to check Third party, Installed or whatever types. It looks like both are related and I get the categories of software for the types from the sidebar. Why not put the updater into a separate tool? Do Solus users really care what app is updated? With the ability to keep the old version. With a lot of hierarchical information. Okay, Uninstall is there but you may get my point.

The button like visualization is not really appealing to me. How about a big friendly icon, with a title, and some sub items showing what actually means. With a proper use of font size and bold it looks nice without any additional control. There are of course many details to flesh out if you go in this direction.

What I’d recommend is to define the requirements with user stories like “John wants to find a game by entering the keyword “chess” and selecting the most appropriate by visual appearance and functionality out of a list of options. He also wants to get similar apps like Go in case of chess.” (John is one of your personas). For the core usability it’s much easier to discuss those user stories than the final designs with shiny images focusing on visual aspects.


(Allan Nordhøy) #4

@ryan Gorley: Did you accidentally those in the wrong order?