Some improve suggestions (translated from others)

Hey, great developers of Linux Desktop Environment. I found a question in zhihu (a website like quora but use Chinese):

Many Windows users claim that the GUI of Linux distributions is not good. What is the problem?

There is an answer which perhaps has value to refer, so I translate it from Chinese to English:

Original Answer


Updated on June 3, some problems have been recorded with KDE that comes with openSUSE, and are attached to Fedora.

Updated on June 6. Questions about the xfce experience that comes with openSUSE are attached at the end.

I installed a new Fedora 36 today and played with it for more than ten minutes. I took screenshots to record the GUI problems I encountered:

  1. After modifying the resolution setting option, after-images appear when dragging the window, and only the upper left corner area can be clicked.

Unexpectedly, the window afterimage that has not been seen in Windows for many years can be seen again on Linux.

Mouse click interaction cannot be responded to outside the afterimage area, and this window cannot be closed directly.

  1. Fedora 36’s proxy settings window, don’t you think the layout is strange?

Even an actual UI designer cannot design such a mind-boggling layout.

  1. The button to clear history cannot be clicked directly. It has animation but no response.

Even if the system is newly installed and there is no history to clear, it does not mean that this function cannot be normal.

  1. The system prompts to update, and the interface that pops up after clicking cannot be dragged.

I have never seen such a weird problem in my life. The title of the window is completely blocked by the taskbar, which makes all operations on the title bar of this window impossible to perform.

Under normal circumstances, a window cannot be dragged to overlap the taskbar. I also encountered an overlap that I don’t know how to achieve, but it was not completely blocked, leaving a few pixels for me to drag the window away with difficulty.

  1. When searching for the software in the built-in store, it gets stuck and the progress bar stops moving.

The search function, one of the most frequently used in the store, is hidden by default. It is only displayed when you click on the icon in the upper left corner. It is useless to complain.

Even if it really can’t be found, can you either give a hint that it can’t be found, or give some related information such as chromium?

  1. Highly relevant functional options can be so far apart.

My first reaction was that clicking on these two contents would not take effect. After researching for a long time, I discovered that there is an enable switch in the upper right corner of Laoyuan.

Do UI designers completely ignore the experience of users with large screen sizes?

  1. Weird interface layout

What about your alignment? What about centering? What about spacing control?

It would not be an exaggeration to say that the interns randomly dragged it onto the interface to generate it.

  1. There are no warnings that should be there

Clicking on the red warning remove button at the bottom right will take effect directly without giving the user a chance to confirm. The problem is that in the previous screenshot, a confirmation prompt will pop up for a simple emptying of the Recycle Bin.

There are also red alarm buttons. Some will prompt and some will not. It’s completely arbitrary.

  1. Number increase and decrease buttons are not standardized

Generally, the minus sign is on the left and the plus sign is on the right. At least the number should be centered in the text box.

  1. Content layout is too rigid

Either learn Windows and carefully adapt the layout to the big screen

Either learn mac and do not allow the window to be resized at will (the width is not allowed to be adjusted)

  1. The password input box pops up inexplicably

Is this an obvious repurchase of the logic of mobile devices?

You can’t be so rude on PC, at least let the user know what is going on here, and only ask for passwords for some key operations.

Even if all the content here needs to be password-controlled, at least don’t block the directory area on the left.

And you can view it directly by clicking Cancel, so why bother?

The more serious problem is that the password is always entered incorrectly, and I don’t know what the problem is.

What’s even more outrageous is that after clicking Cancel, clicking to start sharing again does not allow you to verify the password. Did this password intercept a lonely person?

Example on mac:

The login password setting does not require entering a password to view it.

The password manager has key user data, but not entering the password will not affect the switching of functions on the left

  1. Confusing disabled styles

When the item is disabled, please set the disabled style for the arrow as well.

  1. The color block with unknown meaning on the right side of the title

I can’t click on it and there’s no prompt. Does anyone know what these two short bars are for?

In fact, it is used to reflect the volume of the sound currently played by the system, but what is the point of making it so short?

  1. Weird pop-up content

Click on Volume Levels and Figure 2 will pop up. First of all, such a large pop-up window contains only so much content? Secondly, is it necessary to allow users to pop up the window more than once before setting up such a small amount of content?

Click Alert Sound, Figure 3 pops up, and then “Click” is directly selected by default? If there is a default value, why is Click not displayed directly on the outside? There is no default value, so why is “None” not selected in the pop-up window and None is also displayed on the outside?

What’s the point of bombing so much for such a small amount of content?

Where is “unknown” as the default value?

  1. There is no unified font in the same interface

The font size of the description text below is obviously smaller

  1. Mixing negative option values and disabled styles

“Off” is a valid option, not a disabled option, so even if “Off” is selected, the disabled style cannot be displayed here.

Later, I found that even if it was turned on, it still showed “On” in gray. It can be seen that it was not a confusion, but simply a mess.

  1. There are no rules for pop-up windows and page switching.

Sometimes such a small amount of content requires the entire right page to be switched. Sometimes the pop-up window cannot be displayed anymore and a pop-up window must be used, even if the pop-up window is not to obtain an input result from the user.

  1. The layout of hyperlinks is so weird

Either it follows the previous text, or it is aligned to the right. How do you lay it out that is neither left, right nor in the center? Or is it that the developer randomly typed 8 spaces in the previous paragraph to separate the following hyperlinks?

  1. Default program settings

Highlighting a stinginess and crampedness is also extremely confusing.

  1. The navigation bar can actually be switched?

The switching of secondary pages should always be standardized in the right content area, otherwise it will be very fragmented for users to switch between some on the right and some on the left.

By the way, when I restored the window from maximizing it by double-clicking the title bar, the settings interface crashed! Can you believe it!

The prompt message is actually a toast that disappears automatically instead of a dialog box. It seems that I am afraid that the user will troubleshoot the problem, so I did not take a screenshot of the above picture. This is a screenshot after reopening it.

Example on mac:

One last thing:

After clicking on the last “about” item in the settings, you need to wait a second or two to see the content. It basically contains basic information about the device without taking screenshots. The problem is that “wait a while”, as if the developer did not collect this data asynchronously at all. of……

You see, I can easily capture this state where both items are selected. At this time, the lower item is clicked but is in the “wait a moment” state where the interface hangs.

The above is just a brief look at the system settings interface. I have not looked at other things such as file management, but you can find the problem by clicking on a menu: Why is the spacing on the left side of the project so much larger than the right side? Is it difficult to center the whole thing? Is it difficult to keep the left and right sides consistent?

I have sorted out so many questions casually. Fedora is also a relatively well-known and representative distribution, right? Don’t you think something is wrong when you start using it casually and there are so many problems? I think it’s not that I didn’t do it well, but that I didn’t think about it seriously at all. And even if you put aside the problems in UI design, you can easily encounter many problems when using it. Operations fail, operations cannot be done, the interface crashes, and the response is slow… Again, I only used it for less than half an hour. I can’t imagine it. If it is used as a daily system with high frequency, I don’t know how many moths I will encounter.

So in my opinion, at least the GUI of this distribution is indeed not very good and has not reached the basic level it should be. Let’s take a look at other well-known distributions when you have time.

Updated on June 3, installed openSUSE leap 15.4, experienced KDE

  1. First, open the settings directly. This time, look for the language option to experience the level of Chinese support.

The interface for adding languages is as follows:

Is the first language selected by default?

But when scrolling the list, the window actually changes

The window title is against the parent window. What about the previous spacing?

Has the distance increased again?

Can the position of the window also fluctuate with the position of the content?

  1. Difficulties arise in the actual operation of adding languages

Looking at the screenshot above, British English is selected by default, but the Add button is disabled.

Putting aside the statement that the language should not be selected by default in the process of adding a language, why should the add button be disabled when it is already selected?

Later, when I click to select Simplified Chinese, it is still disabled, but when I click Traditional Chinese, it is enabled? Later I found out that I could choose multiple times?

Isn’t multi-selection such an interactive behavior? I don’t think it’s a bad thing to be able to add multiple languages at once, but this is not redundant for user operations, especially when British English was selected by default earlier. Most people just scroll down and select a language. Do we need to add British English and Simplified Chinese at the same time? Chinese?

Moreover, the disabled and enabled status of this add button is really a bit mysterious, and I gave up on researching how to make it switch.

What is that square square square?

Does it actually support multiple selections? At this time, the title bar of the pop-up window is actually blocked.

You can cancel it by clicking it repeatedly for a while and you can’t cancel it for a while. The logic is very confusing.

  1. Chinese font thickness is inconsistent

After adding Chinese, log out and log in again.

Isn’t it Siyuan Heidi by default? I remember that the character set should be quite complete. Why does this problem still occur?

In 2023, let’s not talk about the font problem. This line break makes me feel that it is not as good as the control panel of xp or even win 2000.

  1. After the locale is set to Chinese, the fonts become even uglier.

Can anyone tell me what’s going on? I have not changed the font settings.

This font is not as good as win98

Just this change, changing the region from en-us to zh_cn

  1. I want to change back to English, but find that I can’t set it up.

You can neither drag English to the first place nor click the arrow on the right to move English up one position.

Why? What went wrong?

I can drag, but when I am about to change the order, I am forced to restore the order. It is like dragging pictures on Zhihu to change the order. I can only look at it.

  1. Cramped layouts are still common

Not only wasting so much space, this alignment is also very subtle and has an indescribable sense of disharmony.

  1. Basic button alignment is also problematic

Pay attention to the help and configure buttons.

What is the significance of the layout of the two buttons at the bottom, one high and one low?

  1. Meaningless spacing

Why is there such a gap between the title and the content? Other options don’t have this kind of content

  1. Large spaces of unknown meaning appear

There is no problem at normal size, but it becomes like this after dragging to a certain width.

Also, have you noticed those 口口口 characters in the font content on the far right?

Although the Chinese support is quite good, there are some hidden corners that always make you regretful. This impression has not changed at all in 20 years. My impression of Linux has not changed at all.

  1. Window is unreasonably at minimum size

Moreover, is it necessary for such a simple sub-window pop-up to support minimizing and maximizing operations?

The title is not fully displayed. Is it necessary to save space like this?

Isn’t it good to display it directly in this size?

When you click the maximize button of this pop-up window, as a sub-window, how do you think the results should be presented?

A: The pop-up window is full screen, just like other maximized windows.

B: The pop-up window fills the same size as the parent window.

C: The pop-up window has not changed. The parent window is maximized in full screen. This operation is consistent with the minimize button.

D: There is no response. The maximize button of the pop-up window is just a decoration.

Publish the answer:

The height remains unchanged and the width fills the screen. This misalignment is caused by my dragging position.

Moreover, the general window cannot be dragged after it is maximized. Once dragged, it is equivalent to clicking restore. Windows does the same, but this pop-up window can be dragged at will. In short, it seems that it is maximized but not fully maximized.

  1. Options that cannot be continuously selected

Compare the two pictures:

By default the wallpaper on the left should be selected but it is not.

Other mouse and about can be selected normally.

  1. Different viewing views actually have different functional items.

The system settings are divided into two views, one is the icon view and the other is the sidebar view.

This is the sidebar view, icon veiw. Please refer to the Chinese font comparison screenshot above.

The problem is that this “Quick Settings” is an item that does not exist on the left, and it only appears when the home button on the left of the search in the upper left corner is clicked.

And this quick setting is not available in the icon view.

Anyway, I can’t find the quick setting in this attempt.

My mind is full of questions, can you imagine switching your files from list view to large icon view without one less directory?

Why doesn’t the icon view add a home button to provide quick settings?

Why can’t the quick setting be added to the list as a normal item?

Why are the search box positions of the two views so different?

  1. Continue to dig out more problems with this icon view, not because this is the default view set by the system, although I think the sidebar view is more reasonable and easy to use.

Let me first talk about a problem that some people may have noticed. Why is the first appearance item selected by default when I switch from quick setting back to icon view?

When in the quick setting interface, the appearance item is not selected and is not part of the appearance content.

Appearance is selected by default as if it just came out of the sub-project, which makes no sense.

  1. The search function of the icon view is also unreasonable. It can only display the first-level results. If you click on the specific function, you will not be able to see the target results related to the search results.

The outermost layer can prompt related results in color, but as long as you click in, all will be restored, and you can’t see the search-related prompts.

In comparison, the sidebar view search is more practical:

  1. In the same search box, the prompt text is not unified?

There is an ellipsis after

There is no ellipsis after it again

  1. Unclear switch options

I’m talking about you, the highlight changed settings in the lower left corner. In my impression, I haven’t seen this kind of switch button used to express status switching elsewhere. It’s not that it shouldn’t be used, but why is it different from other unifications? And a checkbox makes it easier for users to understand that there is a switch here, instead of having no border at all. I used it for a while and didn’t notice that there was an option button here.

  1. When disabling the superior option, all sub-options should disable the display instead of only disabling the display of text.

Give a correct example on mac:

  1. Some pop-ups are a bit out of place

Compare pop-ups elsewhere

It seems that they are not under the same system. The background modal range is different, the pop-up window style is completely different, and the button configuration is also different. There are too many differences, right?

Moreover, when you capture the active window, you should normally only capture the small pop-up window itself and not the parent window. However, when you change the password, you directly capture the parent window, as if it is a false pop-up window that does not exist at all. .

  1. The interaction when adding users is unreasonable

This is where pop-ups should really be used. User confirmation and cancellation must be carefully distinguished. When necessary, a reminder should be given when canceling to prevent misoperation.

How is it done here? Interface content replacement is used rudely. Once the user rudely clicks elsewhere, the content being entered will completely disappear and cannot be retrieved. Without any warning prompts, the user can only start typing all the content again.

  1. There is a problem with window content adaptation

Either automatically expand the window size so that it can be scrolled vertically but the complete content still needs to be displayed horizontally.

Either break it down into steps and don’t make a window so complicated that everything needs to be done.

Let’s take a mac example:

  1. The judgment mechanism for content changes is not consistent either.

The special thing about this interface of network setting is that if the options in other places are changed and then restored (for example, if you open and close an option that is closed by default), the change prompt will not be triggered, and the apply button in the lower right corner will also return to the disabled state. But all the options here seem to forget to make such a judgment. As long as the user makes an operation, it will be regarded as a change.

So every time I come here to modify the settings, I feel an uncomfortable and indescribable sense of disharmony.

Finally, there is the question of a simple start menu:

Why is Firefox selected by default?

Represents running software? I don’t have Firefox open.

Represents the software last opened from the start menu? When I opened the start menu after setting up, Firefox was still selected by default.

Also, notice the left arrow in the lower right corner?

My first reaction was to hide it and display the simplified version of the start menu.

Anyone thought this was a popup menu button? Normally, you shouldn’t use an ellipsis or hamburger icon. At worst, it should be an outward expanding arrow.

Updated on June 6, I tried openSUSE’s xfce (mainly for the system’s own settings) and recorded some problems:

Stop due to 32000 characters.

Thanks for the translation, but why here of all places and the first half of the post doesn’t even cocnern KDE :slight_smile: All of this should be consolidated into bug reports, which are more actionable than a max length post like this.

This person used Fedora 36, which came out a year ago… and it doesn’t even seem like that shipped 5.27.