New KScreen Mock-ups Spark Conversation

by Ostatic Staff - Sep. 21, 2013

Last week Björn Balazs posted of the results in a user survey with the goal of redesigning the KScreen multi-monitor configuration interface. After taking all the data into account, new mock-ups have been designed and posted. However, Aaron Seigo said that power settings are "fine" but do not need to be in the main interface confusing users.

The requirements used to create the mock-ups based on the survey and resulting discussions were outlined. These are:

Functional requirements (sorted by relevance):

* enable /disable secondary display(s)
* precise and flexible positioning of views
* adjustment of resolution
* selection of primary display
* change of orientation
* setup of refresh rate
* identification of displays

Non-functional requirements

* persistence: saving of settings and automatic restoration
* flexibility: users should be able to adjust all features freely
* simplicity: configuration of screens is a seldom used function

One principal followed is "accessibility and transparency." Many advanced settings were hidden in previous configurations and the new design hopes to fix that. Krandr addressed those issues, but "lacks on lucidity." So, the new user interface looks like a cross between Krandr and earlier KScreen. The post says familiarity needs to be retained while providing the advanced features deemed important by users.

The new proposed KScreen interface mock-up
Quick settings Plasmoid mock-up

In the resulting discussion, KDE developer Aaron Seigo voiced his opposition to the mock-ups and even the survey itself. He said, "Having watched people struggle with the krandrtray approach of 'everything configurable in your face with a bunch of widgets,' I can tell you that it is painful, painful, painful. If we want to have a power tweaker interface, fine… let's put that somewhere else. But NOT in the main interface we inflict on everyone." Hiding advanced features is okay as long as it remains within a click or two replied Laurent Pointal. Dan Vrátil said the problem is fitting all the configuration options in the tiny little spaces available in the UI.

The mock-ups served their purpose in sparking an exciting discussion, but it sounds as though they may not be the last.