System Settings review

Since a while the VDG is working on a redesign of System Settings like described in the Wiki


we have also a design for some single KCM’s 80%. In plasma 5.7 you will see the new Desktop Theme module, but we also have some mockups for other KCM’s here you see the appearance KCM’s

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Now it’s time to bring the ideas, design and usability improvements to the users, we need you.


26 Gedanken zu “System Settings review

  1. mcorteel schreibt:

    Could you separate the screenshots for the appearance KCM? They seem really cool but I’m getting a little queezy looking at the gif!
    Anyway, that’s amazing work, thanks!

    • the thing is that when you look at the kcm’s as they are now and in the mockups there is not really that much difference. Everything you see in the mockups is available in the existing one, so the hope is to get it easy implemented. In addition when you have an ghns label and an import from file label it would need more space and the preview are is for select.
      But again. I need someone to get it implemented if the person want to radical change the UI, no problem.

  2. RASQ schreibt:

    The KCMs look great. Some consistency would be a very welcome change. I’d like to see the SDDM KCM changed as well.

    The first picture I can’t say I’m a fan of. Too much text, it looks cluttered. It actually reminds me of Windows Control Panel.

  3. Koma schreibt:

    Beyond visual and usability improvements (highly welcome!), I miss a feature to export and import the settings, which work safely beyond different kde/plasma versions and distributions. So you can export your settings and import it on another computer using another distro and/or kde/plasma version. If there are „inconsistencies“ or „anomalies“ they are visualized (e.g. if one is exporting from plasma 5 and import in 2024 in plasma 7, where the default plasma theme has changed from breeze to something else, the new default will be used and the user gets informed about that and can manually choose to use breeze instead – if breeze still exists), while other problems like different screen resolutions or system paths are automa[gt]ically resolved.

    Are there any plans for something like this?

  4. Doesn’t follow human interface guidelines and makes it difficult to use

    1. The screen needs to be usable at 800×600 size window at minimum, better if at 640×480. This doesn’t mean that people us so low res screens, but the window need to be able be resized so small and be usable in emergency situation like when display drier forces so small resolution.

    2. Now horizontal order. That is worst as your eyes can’t scan the content at once and this causes problem that everything looks complex. The order needs to be all put on left in a column so that icon is first and then text aligned so that one can just san first words or icons as easily.

    3. The history feature for last changed settings sounds good, but works only when doing something one day and wanted to reverse it couple days later after other changes. The need for it is just a proof of bad layout design to find the setting that is wanted to be reversed or readjusted. Use vertical order with good grouping and history is not required as user has easier and faster to find correct setting than look the randomly order history list.

    4. The left side is huge, empty space that doesn’t just look bad but takes important horizontal space. Designers do big mistake by thinking they can use horizontal space as there is plenty of it. That is wrong as the screen space is used for everything else (other windows) than settings alone. As well mentioned designers problem that they scale windows big while everything needs to work in small scale primarily.

    5. The toolbar is missing critical features. The history list should be moved as toolbar drop-down list, and that is as well place where a global setting management should go – where user can save all settings as file, load them and import/export as well. And then same toolbar allows to do same per KCM when one is opened (or right click the KCM icon in main view and from there select those per KCM).

  5. This is one of the best news I’ve red so far in KDE world. THANK YOU.
    The KCMs design looks damn good.
    My only doubt regards the Look’n’feel module part where you can mix between various themes for different widgets: I find it redundant (to my taste) and almost useless because user don’t have previews of all these widgets.
    Also „change select color“ in Colours KCM could disappear in favor of „Edit Color schemes“.
    Eagerly awaiting for the changes to happen (5.8! 5.8! 5.8!)

  6. AGui schreibt:

    Why isn’t this discussed in the VDG forum anymore ?

    If you go for a complete redesign of system settings, I would do more radical changes, apply the philosphy Simple by default, powerful when needed.

    For Apperance, I think this is confusing to have both „Look & Feel“, and „Icons“, Widget style, etc… By default, user should choose between Look & Feel package. There should be a specific one at the end of the list a „custom“ one, where you can access the related KCMs for icons, widget style, etc…

    Also, I think many user expect to be able to change the wallpaper from System settings. I know there are technical reasons for that, but it would make sense. I think on the right side, below „recent changes“, there should be a „related settings“ area where you could access the dialog for wallpaper selection. This could also be used to access „activities“ management from system settings.

  7. Ian schreibt:

    The screenshot looks great. i’d group everything to do with the desktop into one section i.e. Appearance and Workspace into Desktop Appearance. I find „Workspace Theme“ in Appearance strange when you have a section called Workspace.

  8. There’s so much text I can’t even decide where to look at. The space could be used better. The redesign should give us more consistency, so all menus and submenus should have the same layout… .

  9. Pingback: Nuevas Preferencias del Sistemas de Plasma 5 - KDE Blog

  10. hi, I think System Settings has too much icons and always have to scroll down-up (at least in my notebook).
    Would you consider making subgroups or folders in order to simplify the visual?

  11. Pingback: System Settings help needed | KDE and LINUX

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