GUI Championships: Best overall finalists announced!

We're nearing the last couple weeks of the third bi-annual interwebsite user interface design contest.  The contest, which brings graphic designers from around the world to compete in making the best icons, wallpapers, and Windows GUI skins has already had "Most original" and "Most usable" warm up events judged.
 
Now we make it to the final event category -- Best overall. The judges which include our own Steve Parker (founder of Neowin.net) along with judges from deviantART.com, Lockergnome, Betanews.com, and Microangelo now must decide which skins, icons, and wallpapers are the best.
 
Based on user voting, the finalists have been determined and announced. See below for the finalists in each category.
 

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Well in the wallpaper section 'Africa' and 'Edisso' are pretty good,the others seem somewhat oldschool though. 'Seasons' for example is just a clone of the classic 'Change of Seasons' from 'Silveryn' ,of DeviantART fame,which dates back i think two or three years now,so no prizes for originality there,nor should they be rewarded for it!

I think if the like of the aforementioned Silveryn,Smashmethod,DevineError,Kol and the other top wallpaper artists of the past & present entered this comp,they'd wipe the floor with this lot. My suggestion is to go to Deviantart and rank the wallpaper class of your choice by fav,and pick from there,or try Pixelgirl presents.

The GUI Championships has proven itself to be a complete joke. I can't believe some of the things that have been deemed finalist worthy.

Quote - Toology said @ #10
The GUI Championships has proven itself to be a complete joke. I can't believe some of the things that have been deemed finalist worthy.

You mean the finalists that were determined largely by Neowin users? Lot of self-hate around here. ;)

I think the finalists overall are pretty impressive - especially the icons. I have to wonder about the sanity of anyone who isn't impressed by the icons in the finals.

The wallpapers are tougher to judge. I like plain wallpapers so I can't really say what a "Good" wallpaper is. The WindowBlinds skins arelly depend on what you're looking for. Acrylic and Vectra certainly are impressive and several of the other ones have a great blend of originality and class.

Quote - Frogboy said @ #10.1
You mean the finalists that were determined largely by Neowin users? Lot of self-hate around here. ;)

I think the finalists overall are pretty impressive - especially the icons. I have to wonder about the sanity of anyone who isn't impressed by the icons in the finals.

The wallpapers are tougher to judge. I like plain wallpapers so I can't really say what a "Good" wallpaper is. The WindowBlinds skins arelly depend on what you're looking for. Acrylic and Vectra certainly are impressive and several of the other ones have a great blend of originality and class.

Self-hate? I can assure you I did not vote for those finalists nor do other Neowin users speak for me. The icons are fine. Not great, but fine. What I'm referring to is the wallpaper and the visual styles; "Tempest" looks like a flashback from 1999, "Pushkin Bipsky" looks like someone puked all over a PS CS tutorial, "Vectra" is the typical worn-out, techy, random semi-transparent gemotric shapes lying around and glass orb wallpaper, "Jitter" is just bleh. Better things are submitted at Customize.org and deviantArt on a daily basis. GUI Championships is supposed to attract and display the best of the best; this is more like the best of the sub-par and mediocre. "Africa", "Edisso" and "S-Force Eagle" are the only ones worthy of being finalists. I've already have my moan about the visual styles in the other GUI Champs news item.

Quote - Toology said @ #10.2
Self-hate? I can assure you I did not vote for those finalists nor do other Neowin users speak for me. The icons are fine. Not great, but fine. What I'm referring to is the wallpaper and the visual styles; "Tempest" looks like a flashback from 1999, "Pushkin Bipsky" looks like someone puked all over a PS CS tutorial, "Vectra" is the typical worn-out, techy, random semi-transparent gemotric shapes lying around and glass orb wallpaper, "Jitter" is just bleh. Better things are submitted at Customize.org and deviantArt on a daily basis. GUI Championships is supposed to attract and display the best of the best; this is more like the best of the sub-par and mediocre. "Africa", "Edisso" and "S-Force Eagle" are the only ones worthy of being finalists. I've already have my moan about the visual styles in the other GUI Champs news item.

Just because you have different taste... doesnt mean u have good taste.

Quote - Toology said @ #10.2
Self-hate? I can assure you I did not vote for those finalists nor do other Neowin users speak for me. The icons are fine. Not great, but fine. What I'm referring to is the wallpaper and the visual styles; "Tempest" looks like a flashback from 1999, "Pushkin Bipsky" looks like someone puked all over a PS CS tutorial, "Vectra" is the typical worn-out, techy, random semi-transparent gemotric shapes lying around and glass orb wallpaper, "Jitter" is just bleh. Better things are submitted at Customize.org and deviantArt on a daily basis. GUI Championships is supposed to attract and display the best of the best; this is more like the best of the sub-par and mediocre. "Africa", "Edisso" and "S-Force Eagle" are the only ones worthy of being finalists. I've already have my moan about the visual styles in the other GUI Champs news item.

I have to go with you on this one... The wallpapers are really.. well uninspired.. and the wb skins.. come on.. this are not the best of the best.. Get some good look at stefanka's work .

Some of the icons are pretty good.. Some are just too plain for icon.

Wallpapers.. lets not go there.. Its a very unique flavour.. but i have to say, i cant see what the hype is about vectra.. is a very common techy wallpaper.. loads of those on devart. But thats just my 0.2 € cents

Quote - Winswy said @ #10.3
Just because you have different taste... doesnt mean u have good taste.
And where-oh-where did I make any mention or claim of me having good taste?

Quote - Toology said @ #10.2
Self-hate? I can assure you I did not vote for those finalists nor do other Neowin users speak for me. The icons are fine. Not great, but fine. What I'm referring to is the wallpaper and the visual styles; "Tempest" looks like a flashback from 1999, "Pushkin Bipsky" looks like someone puked all over a PS CS tutorial, "Vectra" is the typical worn-out, techy, random semi-transparent gemotric shapes lying around and glass orb wallpaper, "Jitter" is just bleh. Better things are submitted at Customize.org and deviantArt on a daily basis. GUI Championships is supposed to attract and display the best of the best; this is more like the best of the sub-par and mediocre. "Africa", "Edisso" and "S-Force Eagle" are the only ones worthy of being finalists. I've already have my moan about the visual styles in the other GUI Champs news item.

Well you can always ask for your money back.. ;)

Perhaps you should pick up skinning and show people the types of skins that you want. People make the stuff that they like themselves and share it with others. Your tastes don't match the tastes of others.

As for "better stuff on a daily basis on dA and Customize.."

In the past month, if you remove the Aero/Vista/Aqua skins, there were about 11 new msstyles. Some of which I like quite a bit but when you use them (as opposed to the screenshot) of those 11, about half are either missing shellstyles or have some bugs that keep it from being able to be used (by me anyway). There have been no new submissions this month on dA btw. So I'm not sure where you get "daily" from.

Here are the dA skins:
http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/42122714/
http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/42106736/
http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/42099453/
http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/41956019/
http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/41915280/
http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/41898961/
http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/41811979/
http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/41956019/
http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/41740551/
http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/41598316/
http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/41684517/

Not all of which have shellstyles or toolbar icons. Some of these I like a lot. But I'm pretty okay saying that the finalists in the GUI Champs are pretty good and there's 55 entries in the past month as opposed to 11 so odds are you'll find something worthwhile (well maybe not you but most people).

A few of the others are ports from the Mac.

Meanwhile, in the past month on Customize.org, 5 visual styles were uploaded. Of which 1 is a port from the Mac, another is Luna with a different color, and another is a metalilc Aqua skin. That leaves 2 from the past month one of which probably would have been a finalist except that it's a port of a WindowBlinds skin.

That leaves this: http://www.customize.org/details/47371 as the only new msstyles on Customize.org. If you feel that one is better than all the finalists you're entitled to your opinion.

Suffice to say that I think your claim about "better stuff on a daily basis" on dA/Customize seems a bit of an exageration.

I guess I just don't understand people who feel the need to go out and trash things for no reason other than the sake of trashing something.

Rather than tell us what you think is bad, why not link to something you think is really good? You (and I) both like b0se's skins. And I also like Treetog's, Alexandrie's and Kol's skins too. In an ideal world, a contest could draw the best skinners of all time at one time and one place. But that's rarely the case in the real world. But there are a LOT of excellent skins in this contest from top skinners like Essorant, MikeB, VStyler, Gabriel, JJ Ying, danilloOC, etc.

Quote - Frogboy said @ #10.6

Well you can always ask for your money back.. ;)

owned .. :laugh:


Quote - Frogboy said @ #10.6

I guess I just don't understand people who feel the need to go out and trash things for no reason other than the sake of trashing something.

for some reason this seems to happen more and more on Neowin and is certainly not indicative of most other communities.

Its quite sad, i used to enjoy coming here.

Perhaps you should pick up skinning and show people the types of skins that you want.

I guess I just don't understand people who feel the need to go out and trash things for no reason other than the sake of trashing something.

Rather than tell us what you think is bad, why not link to something you think is really good?


Perhaps those of us that don't skin, should just shut up and not say anything? Perhaps you listen to music as well? Maybe you think some bands or music styles suck? Perhaps you should learn an instrument and get on stage and show them how it's done??

I guess we should shut down all the talk shows, shock jocks and columnists that post their views regardless of whether or not the comments are positive or negative to the cause?

Rather then tell us what we should or should not post as our own opinions, why not try to understand that we live in a society that makes more demands on the person everyday to be more of an individual? A leader in their own mind, and not a follower.

Ya know...people are going to say what they want, when they want. What I get tired of hearing, is when mom and dad come to the forums and comment sections telling us if "we don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

Guess I haven't made my point as well as I should have the last time I've come across you (Frogboy) trying to shoot down someone's viewpoint because it's not yours. Can you skin? Yes.... Can others? Yes.... Do we all? No. Does that leave those that don't skin from voicing their opinions? In a Communistic society...I would agree with you; but I could swear this was more Democratic.

If I were to put this into any more simpler terms...we'd be going backwards with our education.

Live and let live...and let others share their side of things without having to constantly battle for their rights to do just that.

Vectra by vStyler and the Vectra Art of Glass wallpaper get my nod! Definite usability, originality and most importantly, excellent quality and bug free! If there is a bug, at least the author told us about it. All the others are either way too busy, have bugs that the submitter did not mention, or are of low quality in many places. From what I can tell some of them may even be reworks of some already existing works done by the very same artists.

I liked Acrylic the best of the buch for styles. I just cant bring myself to buy Windowblinds after owning v4 and having to deal with many many problems even though I have heard that v5 is much better.

overall I like things simple and clean (I really really liked the wallpapers) .... but some of the themes have a lot of details that are .... umm ... u know ^^; ...

but thanks for this great work every1 ^^ ...

I have to say that none of the Visual Styles, wallpapers, or icons are anything that I could ever use for a considerable length of time. I thought these were the best of the best?

Stardock's idea of a "usable" theme or even what is visually appealing is really questionable.

Edit: The word "Stardock" and "The Community" are interchangeable.