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Sunday, August 5, 2012

The design ethics behind OS4

Some have wanted to know, what do we look for when we design OS4?  We appear to change the layout across releases and we introduce some groundbreaking translations to how people interact with their computer.  Well remember, with OS4 we have a lot of input from our users so we dont do it all ourselves.  We get letters, artwork and even designs from our users so what we try to incorporate is a nice mix of it all and listen to the feedback.  Another thing we look at is current operating systems and their approach.

But nonetheless our design ethos is simple.  Our operating environment, we want you, our users to be able to use and understand it in 10 minutes or less.  We use a couple of schemes for this.  First is naming.  Our application names have things like, word processor, spreadsheet, software warehouse, software installer.  We do this so that users who dont know what Abiword is or Gnumeric, Synaptic or gdebi is dont have to worry about it.  With naming schemes they know what it is and they learn it and understand it.

With the desktop there are 3 guidelines we use.  WIMP, Windows, Icons, Menu and Pointer, which is what that acronym stands for.  A launch surface for commonly used applications, and a centralized information center, the Applet bar.

So that is our design ethics plain and simple.  With the Linux desktop thats important and I have yet to find a distribution that fits that goal except for OS4 and not only should that type of usability be constricted to the desktop, but it should be used on the server as well and that is why we do what we do.  To improve your experience.

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