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UI debate (Translucency or not)


32 posts in this topic

Posted

Windows 7 had a similar effect for windows borders. It was actually cool. But Microsoft dropped it in favour of flatter opaque UI for Windows 8.

I myself loved the translucency and Apple re-introducing this effect in Yosemite brings joy. Case being Microsoft dropped the ball... and Apple picked it up and polished it (frosted glass with matte look).
Much has been said about Yosemite's UI. But I quite like it. I want to know what Neowin thinks about it. If translucency is done right, can it enhance your OS experience in terms of eye candy? Is it more pleasing to our eyes?
 

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Posted

Well, I would prefer Aero Glass over Aqua when it comes to this effect. However, I think personaly that we are past the days that this was a nice effect. And be fair: it is quit a pointless effect. With Glass, you could at least see what the things behind the window actualy was, but this functional use doesn't exist in Aqua. It's only blur and you can't recognize anything from it...

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Posted

Windows 7 had a similar effect for windows borders. It was actually cool. But Microsoft dropped it in favour of flatter opaque UI for Windows 8.

I myself loved the translucency and Apple re-introducing this effect in Yosemite brings joy. Case being Microsoft dropped the ball... and Apple picked it up and polished it (frosted glass with matte look).

Much has been said about Yosemite's UI. But I quite like it. I want to know what Neowin thinks about it. If translucency is done right, can it enhance your OS experience in terms of eye candy? Is it more pleasing to our eyes?

 

 

i think the best thing any os can do is offer both or even more options with window decorations and themes. with windows i always feel so reduced (xp was the last system where the themes could be changed pretty much) i mean what they call now theme is just a new wallpaper.

and apple, well, if i just had the money ... like them or not they know a bit about good os theming/designing.

 

however. i get the same or even better in linux, especially kde with much more options.

 

generally: i also prefer the glass look and many 3d effects. flat ui is rather boring and i expect it to be only a very short lasting trend.

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Posted

I'm in the 'I don't mind either way' camp. 

 

As long as it's not overdone like it used to be on Linux desktop (Compiz with all of its effects, anyone?) I don't see a problem with a translucent UI. I don't mind the flattened, non-translucent UI on the Windows 8.x desktop either though. 

 

What does bug me is inconsistency - e.g. how Windows 8 has a translucent task bar while the rest of the UI isn't translucent.

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Posted

What does bug me is inconsistency - e.g. how Windows 8 has a translucent task bar while the rest of the UI isn't translucent.

 

That bugged me as well. But consistency is not Microsoft's fort

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Posted

I really liked the transparency in Aero Glass, but was well sick of it by the time Windows 8 came out. I don't like the transparent taskbar in Windows 8 and I really don't like the transparency in Yosemite (so I turned it off).

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Posted

I believe in minimalist, non distracting UIs. Content should come first. I'm not at my computer to stare at glass or wallpapers all day.

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Posted

When done right, like in Windows 7 i think it looks really nice. As mentioned above though its horrible when taken to the extreme, like what can be done in Compiz.

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Posted

When done right, like in Windows 7 i think it looks really nice. As mentioned above though its horrible when taken to the extreme, like what can be done in Compiz.

 

but that argument fails and has no logic. compiz offers more options, yes. but as the name says, these are options and dont have to be activated.

i prefer to have as many options as possible, than just little options and the os forcing it over me all the time and the only way to get more freedom is to buy shareware, eating away all your momory.

 

if i go and buy a car i also want to have the right to chose its color, engine, and in a list between as many extras as possible and i can say to each of it yes or no.

 

if consumers dont opt for choice the result is what we got with windows 8, which has even worse selling numbers than windows vista had!

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Posted

When done right, like in Windows 7 i think it looks really nice. As mentioned above though its horrible when taken to the extreme, like what can be done in Compiz.

That's the point. Can be done. Compiz and similar compositors are usually highly customisable. It's nice to have the choice IMO.

On the OP's question, yes, I like translucency / alpha compositing / compositing effects. It adds flavour to the UI and can make it very attractive. I'm just using the plain built-in XFCE compositor at the moment, but even that has a myriad of options, so I can customise it to my liking.

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Posted

I'm in the 'I don't mind either way' camp.

As long as it's not overdone like it used to be on Linux desktop (Compiz with all of its effects, anyone?) I don't see a problem with a translucent UI. I don't mind the flattened, non-translucent UI on the Windows 8.x desktop either though.

What does bug me is inconsistency - e.g. how Windows 8 has a translucent task bar while the rest of the UI isn't translucent.

Can I come in the "don't care" corner?

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Posted

I would love(though highly doubt) to see transparency return in a different/modern style.

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Posted

Personally I like transparency as long as it doesn't affect readability or get in the way. I most certainly don't like plain opaque colors without any gradients - it's like the professional designers don't want to make any effort at all, even a kid can draw up colored rectangles in Paint. Aero Glass in Windows 7 was not plain transparency - it had blur and glow. So the glass areas of the shell such as Taskbar and Start Menu weren't completely unreadable if something appeared behind them.

 

Windows 8 removes these DWM effects. In Windows 8/8.1, the taskbar is too transparent. But it is always on top of most programs (except full-screen ones). The same is not true for the Start Menu. Anything can be behind the glass area of the Start Menu so it can't simply copy the taskbar's level of transluency. If you make the Start Menu the same, it becomes unreadable. Like this:

BmE_WKBCIAE4uS8.jpg:large

 

Start Menu replacements have a challenge on their hands. People expect the Start Menu to match the Taskbar color so its feels "native". There are 3 options: either make the taskbar fully opaque and the Start Menu opaque too (ugly but readable), reduce the Start Menu transluency (remains a mismatch from taskbar shade), or use unsupported methods to reduce transparency of both the taskbar as well as the Start Menu.

 

For Classic Shell, the default skin that ships with it on Windows 8 is far less transparent than the taskbar so it looks like a complete mismatch (ugly) but is readable. There is a separate downloadable skin that tries to be as transparent as possible without affecting readability too much (still doesn't exactly match the 8.1 taskbar but comes close, it doesn't stick out like a complete mismatch): http://winaero.com/blog/get-the-best-looking-start-menu-for-classic-shell-4-with-winaero-skin-2-0/.

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Posted

Open choice for the end user. Not hard set.

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Posted

I like translucent effects personally. I think they can add subtlety to a UI that doesn't destract and basically makes it look professional.

Honestly, I don't like the look of the Windows 8.1 window manager. I don't think Aero glass needed to be removed for the Modern UI changes. If anything it would have enhanced it, as long as it was done right.

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Posted

I don't mind it as long as I don't sacrifice performance... not that it's a big issue nowadays but it used to matter.

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Posted

Windows 8's flat UI suits the modern vision. :) I like it mostly, although there are a few known issues such as translucence taskbar and not being able to change the text colour when using a darker coloured window background. 

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Posted

Back when Vista came out it was the "prettiest" desktop cause it was new and everyone was like "oooooooooooooo"

 

Looking back, it was utterly pointless. If a desktop needs effects to garner recongition you are doing something wrong. Personally I think the Windows 8 desktop look and feel (with no transparency ever) is the best looking one to date. For once Dot Matrix is right and content ought to come first.

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Posted

Kind of bored with transparency on my desktops to be honest.. starting to wear thin and feels very dated. May as well throw wobbly windows into the mix. I don't mind it so much when you're moving a window, but when it's just sitting there.. meh. For the other compositing effects I think Microsoft hit a nice sweet spot.. just enough without going absurd.

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Posted

Transparency, nasty

Rounded corners, nasty

Start menu, nasty

Modern UI on a desktop, nasty

Window borders, nasty

 

My opinion and I'm sticking to it

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Posted

I would like to see the aero glass returned as an option, that is one of the deal breakers with Windows 8 for me, I detest the flat look myself.  I feel the translucent effect gives it a much more refined look.  I can't understand why it was totally removed in the first place.  i think that Microsoft is in the process of losing it's way with it's users myself.

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Posted

Translucency add liveliness and sense of vitality to the entire UI. At the same time, Windows 8 added bunch of new stuff that non-related to desktop user and took away something that isn't broken.

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Posted

Glass was removed for the same reason Luna was removed: New OS, New look. Metro UI is all about, flat minimalist design. Glass is the complete opposite. The two just don't go together. Glass was also big on skeuphomorphism, which is a dated method of UI design.

Transparency might have been OK had Microsoft added it to the flat look of Windows 8, but if you're talking the exact Win7 glass theme, then Microsoft was right in removing it.

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Posted

I believe in minimalist, non distracting UIs. Content should come first.

 

This coming from someone who prefers a UI which when you hit the Windows key you get a full screen window covering up your entire screen :laugh:

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Posted

This coming from someone who prefers a UI which when you hit the Windows key you get a full screen window covering up your entire screen :laugh:

The way the start menu behaves is that when it's unfocused, it closes. You can't use another application at the same time as the start menu, so why make it small and in the corner? With the Start Screen, what you are doing is focused and there's nothing else to distract you. The reason why I would go to the start screen/menu is to open an application or a folder, nothing else. The start screen lets you have see more content on the screen compared to the start menu.

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