GUI Championships: Most Usable & Most Original visual styles

This week the inter-website user interface contest posted the results of two classes of WindowBlinds visual styles: Most original design and most usable design.
 
Neowin's own co-founder, Steve Parker was one of the judges along with judges from Lockergnome, deviantART, Betanews, and elsewhere.
 
Winning entries included Acrylic from danilloOC for most usable and G-Pod 2 from Gabriel for most original. The results were extremely close between 1st and 3rd in each event.
 
Next week, the "Best Overall" events will come up to see who has the best overall icons, wallpapers, and GUI skins.  In the overall medal count, China leads with 10 medals, the USA with 5, Russia with 1, Australia with 1, and Brazil with 1.
 
To use these skins, you will need to have WindowBlinds 5.1.
 
 
 

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To be fair, this competition has given us "vectra" and "edisso". Regardless of results, this competition is a major success simply because those 2 skins are plain awesome. I definitely ain't complaining, I get to use vectra.. ;}

I really liked and agree with the most usable design. The others, I can't say I agree, but then I didn't look at all the entries, though I would hope that there were better entries than those which seem to have won runner-up etc. As for the G-pod, there had to be a big bevelled design up the top somewhere. I personally see it as about five years out of date, but each to their own I guess.

Aluminium was a worthy winner though, that's for sure.

I say congrats! to all of the winners so far and good luck for those whose skins will be considered in the last few categories.

I have actually downloaded and tried out many of the windowblind and icon packager submissions. There were/are some very talented people involved in this and prior contests hosted/co-hosted by Stardock. Hopefully they will continue to skin for fun and community, despite the bashing here by a few. There are hundreds of positive comments at the GUI Championship site from other folks who have downloaded and tried the skins.

I can't believe the immaturity demonstrated by many of the posts I've read here.

Quote - bmetelsky said @ #1
I have actually downloaded and tried out many of the windowblind and icon packager submissions. There were/are some very talented people involved in this and prior contests hosted/co-hosted by Stardock. Hopefully they will continue to skin for fun and community, despite the bashing here by a few. There are hundreds of positive comments at the GUI Championship site from other folks who have downloaded and tried the skins.

+ 1

I was really hoping to find more "congratulations" and positive comments towards the winners here. However, the amount of derogatory comments towards the artists and skins are disturbing. Nobody has to agree with the decisions and everyone might have an opinion on "who should have won", but putting down someones work has no benefit whatsoever.

Lets also remember many of these artists put in many hours to complete these skins, and I think they all deserve a pat on the back regardless if they won or not.

Quote - Island Dog said @ #48
Lets also remember many of these artists put in many hours to complete these skins, and I think they all deserve a pat on the back regardless if they won or not.

Mmm you're right, it's a pity though that ALL windows blinds designers fall into the same trap of building bloated themes. Where is the MINIMAL/FUNCTIONAL ones?

Quote - weemies said @ #46
Most of those skins are really ugly.

People should go look at all the skins and not just the listed ones

www.guichamps.com

Quote - Fl@sh said @ #46.1
People should go look at all the skins and not just the listed ones

www.guichamps.com

I was hoping the other skins would be better so I did personally browse through them myself. They're generally unimpressive.

I've watched this since the beginning like all of you have...and again, just wasn't worth my time in the end to think I was a part of it just by casting my votes. Which....apparently, don't matter. The judges are people...people that know people and I get the feeling don't want to have to put up with the half ton of hate/email and phone calls they'd get from their "friends" in the skinning community for turning their back on them. (don't bite the hand that feeds right?)

Yes...I believe the votes didn't count for anything. Nice to see you pat your friends on the back for a job "done again".


Most Original? What part of the winning skins were ORIGINAL?? Absolutely NOTHING. GPOD is Gel, done back in the day of StyleXP's CoughDrop theme (2002?). Old, redundant and bland.

Edisso. Very nice skin, and I am a fan of JJYing's work. Big time fan....but, original? This skin is not. Swap the colors in your mind, and JJYing's Azenis themes come straight back to you. A job well done, but the skin was put into the wrong category.

LORE?? Who's f****** kidding who here? What in the good Lord's name is that theme even doing in that category much less the top three??? Anyone remember the theme Pipeline still found at ThemeXP?


From the top four that made it....Vectra is the ONLY one of those skins that had any "original" functionality or content to the theme. Granted, the Windows flag as the Start button has been worn out since the days of the earliest development of VS's. However, that little flaw aside, just using the Taskbar alone shown more originality then the other three skins combined.


The judges couldn't tolerate being impartial, as they should have been. Sponsors of the shows shouldn't be using themselves or anyone they know in that same community to determine the results of a user based voting system. Hint: Even though the voting was complete in stages, did you see the voting results? I sure didn't!!

Based on the finalists as selected by user voting, our judges made the difficult call and picked the following winners.

Difficult call? How could there have been a difficult call? We voted, we seen no voting results....so how in the world could we have known that the judges had the voters real popular picks in mind.

Don't bother posting the results after seeing this post.....if it's not realtime...it's questionable.


Sorry....this championship was more of a disaster then it was last year, and though I loved seeing some of the greatest icon sets since the beginning of the skinning era, the overall ending was what I expected it to be which is why I didn't say anything until now.

The judges never saw the vote totals for any of the finalists, that way it would not impact their decision. One thing we've learned from this years competition is that user voting does not work. Everyone strung us up over the Most Usable winners, but what everyone failed to understand is the judges had to pick based on the finalists based the USERS picked.

Although I feel your comments towards the winners are somewhat harsh, I have to agree with most of this. I feel that Vectra should have won most original, followed by Evolution, and finally GWARamor. Although Evolution is the only one of those three that I might actually use I feel that these three were the most original.

Somethign else to point out. G-Pod, as mentioned here is really G-Pod V2. G-Pod V1 was a winning skin by the same author in the last GUIOlympics. Honestly, the two skins look very much alike. Whether you like that style or not, there is no way that G-Pod V2 should have won most "original".

Wow Morph, I mean sheesh, what exactly is your malfunction?

If you're such a great designer, let's see you put something up there.

Feel free to create your own contest to help find God's chosen greatest skins. Nothing's impossible for the guy who never has to do anything but complain about others.

Quote - Frogboy said @ #45.3
Wow Morph, I mean sheesh, what exactly is your malfunction?
If you're such a great designer, let's see you put something up there.

Feel free to create your own contest to help find God's chosen greatest skins. Nothing's impossible for the guy who never has to do anything but complain about others.

That was almost an attack on Morph, I guess you don't have an answer for him?
While I'm no developer, I completely agree with him. Your "judges" don't seem to really know what Original/Most Usable is. That's the truth, if you can't handle it, then stop having this contest. People have the right to complain, especially if you have users VOTING. You have yet to completely justify the reasoning behind this, and I honestly don't expect you to ever post something of value in any of the GUIC posts, old and new.

You will come in and say that this contest is free to everyone, and costs Stardock money, but maybe you need to realize that without these beautiful themes that were created, your revenue would surely go down. Stardock doesn't solely make money off Windowblinds, but you seriously need to give credit where credit is due.

I'm not going to come in and say that I am not biased on a particular theme that didn't even place, because I am, but I think many people feel that certain themers were "robbed". These people clearly put way more time and effort into the themes, and yet the winners are the ones that seem to put less/little amount of effort.

You need CLEAR rules that define what each category is. NEVER in my life, did I even expect http://www.guichamps.com/skins2006.asp?skinid=704 to win First place on most usable.

"Wow Morph, I mean sheesh, what exactly is your malfunction? If you're such a great designer, let's see you put something up there.

Feel free to create your own contest to help find God's chosen greatest skins. Nothing's impossible for the guy who never has to do anything but complain about others."

That was almost an attack on Morph, I guess you don't have an answer for him?

Well if you feel it was an attack you can report me to me and I can tell you. But no it is not an attack. It was exasperation at a litany of, IMO, silly assertions. The judges, which includes Neobond, founder of Neowin, probably don't even know who the skinners are. Yet Morph implies (actually states) that there was some conspiracy in favor of some skinners from China.


While I'm no developer, I completely agree with him. Your "judges" don't seem to really know what Original/Most Usable is. That's the truth, if you can't handle it, then stop having this contest. People have the right to complain, especially if you have users VOTING. You have yet to completely justify the reasoning behind this, and I honestly don't expect you to ever post something of value in any of the GUIC posts, old and new.

People have the right to complain and the people running the contest have the right to suggest they start their own if they think they can do better.

I'm not a judge. So it's not a matter of me taking it personally. I just think it's silly to say that the founders of Neowin, Lockergnome, deviantART, Betanews, and so forth don't "really know" what original or most usable is.


You will come in and say that this contest is free to everyone, and costs Stardock money, but maybe you need to realize that without these beautiful themes that were created, your revenue would surely go down. Stardock doesn't solely make money off Windowblinds, but you seriously need to give credit where credit is due.

I don't agree with the premise of your assertion. But even if I did, what does that have to do with non-skinners making a stink about how the judges picked skins?

What I see is a deflection -- the people who benefit most aren't skinners OR Stardock but rather the people who use skins. And what do we see here? People who don't make skins insulting the people who do.


I'm not going to come in and say that I am not biased on a particular theme that didn't even place, because I am, but I think many people feel that certain themers were "robbed". These people clearly put way more time and effort into the themes, and yet the winners are the ones that seem to put less/little amount of effort.

Who isn't to say that I don't feel the same way as you do? I wasn't a judge. I have my own opinions on what the best ones are too.

The difference is that I don't insult the integrity of the judges for having the nerve of having their own opinions.


You need CLEAR rules that define what each category is. NEVER in my life, did I even expect http://www.guichamps.com/skins2006.asp?skinid=704 to win First place on most usable.

That's fine. You have a different opinion. So do I. But does that justify impugning the integrity of the judges? Judges who are highly qualified?

* Steve (Neobond) has been around skinning for years.
* Angelo Sotira has been involved in skinning from the start.
* Chris Pirillo is one of the people Microsoft comes to for feedback on Windows UI elements.
and so on.

Your opinion, my opinion, everyone else's opinion differs. But that doesn't make their opinions less worthy than yours or make them corrupt for having a different opinion. We should be thankful that people with their credentials were willing to volunteer their time to go through all the finalists that USERS voted for to be amongst the finalists to decide which ones they thought were best.

Way to go Frogboy!!

I too have been an artist for over 25 years of my life, though I do not spend that artistic qualities doing themes for the Windows UI, I have and will continue to beta test themes for other artists.

I have your themes and artwork as part of my collection and enjoy them as I do the others.

My feelings are just that, and will remain just that. You need to stop looking at the present and view the entire picture, when it comes to originality, the winners didn't really use enough of it IMHO, to suffice getting the gold.

Yet Morph implies (actually states) that there was some conspiracy in favor of some skinners from China.

Sounds like someone is trying to justify a fact not conclusive in the evidence. Did I mention specifics? Did I say anyone based their decision on what country the theme was developed in? DO NOT put words into my mouth...damn, like always I have to clean up a mess because someone wants to post back what they read from my post as fact or true meaning of what I said. Should I have to do this for every intelligent person who's chosen to take part in the conversation? I thought I made the point clear enough from my point of view. We didn't see any voting results, therefore how could we know what the judges had or didn't have to vote on? Was it clear enough to the voters what true favorites made it into the finals. Even if we based fact solely on user comments, Vectra could have won the Most Original hands down.

And, get this straight....to anyone that even thinks for one second that I am biased or even in the least bit prejudice about race, sex, creed, nationality...gay or otherwise. I don't care what country you're from, what house you were born into, whether or not you're rich, poor, deathly sick, white/black/gray/red, or whatever "color", nationality, religion you believe in....everyone is the same to me. I see people thru their eyes and their actions, nothing else.

My compliments do go to the winners. They put forth a valiant effort to bring yet another stage of development to an aging and stagnant UI. And like I said, we've seen some of the best skins for each category come to life in a long time. These ideas that were brought out from the skinners will continue to give any skinner more to work with in the future.

Frogboy, you will not see my artwork on any site other than the wallpapers I played around with and posted on my own little page, and ThemeXP (just search Morpheous416) a long time ago when I first started using Photoshop/PaintShop Pro and became an active member on sites such as GFXOasis and asked questions and found tutorials from those that had the experience I was looking for...I do not do themes. Most of my work is in black/white and on pencil. Not to mention the years of work I've done teaching others to play guitar.

It boiled down to one real reason I said what I did. Regardless of the combined years of experience the theme sites have, the contest for "most original" didn't shine thru as it should have. Of all four themes that were in the top, only one showed anything original. If you can't step outside the box due to years of living in it...that's not my problem.

Morph,

The issue isn't that you don't agree with the results. You're as entitled to your opinion as I am to mine.

The issue is that, for no apparent justification, argued that there was some conspiracy between Lockergnome, Neowin, deviantART, Betanews, etc. to intentionally rig the contest in favor of certain skinners.

It's not my job (nor inclination) to prove they didn't. I can tell you for a fact that the judges simply voted for the skins they felt best for the event. They don't know what the others voted for.

The skins that won were finalists because USERS, such from this site, voted for those skins to be one of the 10 finalists.

You didn't even name what skins you did found original. It's easy for someone who doesn't make skins to poo-poo originality. The issue isn't whether those skins were "original" in some absolute sense but rather whether they were more original (or usable) than the other finalists.

And, get this straight....to anyone that even thinks for one second that I am biased or even in the least bit prejudice about race, sex, creed, nationality...gay or otherwise. I don't care what country you're from, what house you were born into, whether or not you're rich, poor, deathly sick, white/black/gray/red, or whatever "color", nationality, religion you believe in....everyone is the same to me. I see people thru their eyes and their actions, nothing else.

No, I don't think any of those things. I just don't really..you know..care what you think (any more than anyone else) other than you implying that my friend Steve Parker, founder of this site, is somehow not a stand up guy.

You're free to think what you like.

As for your contributions, yes I found your stuff on Themexp. Artwork is subjective.

You didn't even name what skins you did found original. It's easy for someone who doesn't make skins to poo-poo originality. The issue isn't whether those skins were "original" in some absolute sense but rather whether they were more original (or usable) than the other finalists.

Ya know Frog, it looks like I'm going to have to create a skin which would be nothing more than a simple drawing in Paint just to point you to the obvious things you missed. Which, since you're an admin level poster at WinCustomize, I would have gathered I didn't need to do.

I know you've been in the skinning community for a while now...and you'd done your share in that community. That...however, doesn't justify that you are above ANYONE when it comes to visualizing originality. Your comments seem to stem from a single sided, "I don't get out much" artistic viewpoint. So...let me boil it down to it's simplicity.

All skinners are artists.....NOT ALL artists are skinners.

You keep pointing the finger back at me indicating that since I don't put any effort into using my PSP/PS skills to work creating themes, that, for some reason, is your only arguable point in figuring I have no artist talent, creativity...or the means in which to objectively and constructively criticize the artwork that was placed in the categories and judged as such.

When I point fingers, you'll know about it. I'll tell you straight to your face what's what. I don't need you going around saying that I said NeoBond or anyone else for that matter is not an upstanding individual.

So....last but not least, I'll end this with one final version of what you need to read from my post.

Vectra (which I did mention - read the posts again) is and was my vote for "most original". Which I believe the category was/is. MOST ORIGINAL. Ok, nuff said.

The others had so much repitition of "GEL", "block style menus", little to no color variance (actually they all had little color variance)...and reminded me of "version 2, 3, or 4" of so many other themes that were done by the artists, that to me, didn't fit the criteria of even the least defined - Most Original.

Think what you want Frog...

p.s. Just so you do know..yes, artwork is subjective. Exactly what I was trying to get you to see from a viewpoint not your own. One of the most difficult aspects of any person.....let alone a judge. Or and admin of a virtual world. The walls I posted were mere experiments when I tested the waters almost two years ago**....just because I chose not to swim, doesn't mean I don't know how.

** credit for the education goes to Foood and his well put together tutorials on "Glass, the easy way!" (not actual name of tutorial)

Morph, let me say this as sloooowlly as I can:

I. Was. Not. A. Judge.

My opinions on what was most usable or original mean nothing in the contest because I am not a judge.

Do you get that yet? Stardock nor WinCustomize did not pick the winners.

I have my own opinions on the most original and most usable and they may not have anything to do with who won -- because I wasn't a judge.

Is that simple enough for you to understand?

My objection has nothing to do with your opinion on who should win. My objection is that you attacked the integrity of the judges for no apparent reason than not having the same opinion as you do.

It was a great theme, but, no disrespect to Omart, it wasn't the most original (very mac like) nor was it the most usable (very small caption buttons, among other things).

Doesn't shock me at all that the neo-crowd like Acrylic, its basically a msstyle ( Aero-style) with some trans, doesn't at all take advantage of the other features of WB5, great skin dont get me wrong, imo, most "useable" but should not win a wb5 skinning contest.

What you fail to see is that you don't have to take advantage of every feature in WB to make a good skin. Doing so would result in a very bulky, shadowy, transparent mess. Acrylic has very very clean lines with a real focus on maximized usable space in the UI. Any UI design should focus you on the content itself and not the design of the interface. Simplicity is the secret sometimes, hence the continued existence of the K.I.S.S. method.

Quote - bangbang023 said @ #43.1
What you fail to see is that you don't have to take advantage of every feature in WB to make a good skin. Doing so would result in a very bulky, shadowy, transparent mess. Acrylic has very very clean lines with a real focus on maximized usable space in the UI. Any UI design should focus you on the content itself and not the design of the interface. Simplicity is the secret sometimes, hence the continued existence of the K.I.S.S. method.

Of course i understand that, but fact is it was a WB5 skinning contest, why have the format when your not going to use the features?


Exclaiming that in taking advantage of all WB has to offer makes for a messy skin is just flat out ridiculous, there were plenty of skins entered that took advantage of all features that werent a bulky shadowy mess, Just because minimalists dont appreciate going BEYOND simplicity doesnt mean THOUSANDS of people feel totally opposite, the way you comment sorta makes you seem like your opinion os some sort of fact, when fact is, it IS just your opinion, personally as with a lot of minimalists, i think its pretty narrow minded. Head over to WC sometime, and express the minimal arguement, and you'll see that its not the be all and end all of skinning.

Your entitled as is everyone to think what u want however.

Quote - Fl@sh said @ #43.2
Of course i understand that, but fact is it was a WB5 skinning contest, why have the format when your not going to use the features?


Exclaiming that in taking advantage of all WB has to offer makes for a messy skin is just flat out ridiculous, there were plenty of skins entered that took advantage of all features that werent a bulky shadowy mess, Just because minimalists dont appreciate going BEYOND simplicity doesnt mean THOUSANDS of people feel totally opposite, the way you comment sorta makes you seem like your opinion os some sort of fact, when fact is, it IS just your opinion, personally as with a lot of minimalists, i think its pretty narrow minded. Head over to WC sometime, and express the minimal arguement, and you'll see that its not the be all and end all of skinning.

Your entitled as is everyone to think what u want however.


I visit WC every day so I see everything that's posted there. The fact of the matter is, Acrylic is a good WB theme that uses most of the features available but does so without looking gaudy. As I said, when it comes down to it, the theme is just the wrapping around the content you're trying to get to and, from a purely UI design, no personal preference perspective, it should stay out of the way.

I honestly thought Dreamy World should have won most useable. It's big and easy to get to, but, unlike Aluminum, has controls that stand out and are easy to spot whereas Aluminum's controls tend to blend in a bit too much. It's a shame he went and whored the theme with those ugly blue bubbles, though.

I like Edisso and Dreamy but most these are too bevely. While that's fine sometimes, skins should be flatter caption buttons should be square and fit well into the titlebar as bordered or raised objects -not sunk in like so many skins. Widgets should not be glossy, that just gets hard to look at.

I'm sorry but my theme rips the skins off ALL these themes.
Screenshot

I know it's not a fair comparison -- those being for windows and all. I also know they spent a lot of time working on those themes with all they had to work with but I still expect more from a 'GUI Championship'. There really needs to be a better themer for windows. Hopefully a better one made for Vista (3rd party of course).


Anyway, take a look at my theme, any suggestions are welcomed.

I found the title of this post misleading, these are Windows Blinds Visual Styles, not just Visual Styles which are the native format used in XP. It's like those posts about MacBooks are in fact about MackBook Pros. None of these will work without forking out for WB. I'm not saying thats a bad thing, but the post title should reflect what category they are actually in.

As for them being a bit yuck, I would say that WBVSs seem to err on the side of maximalism and VSs more on minimalism or reworking of OS themes. I guess what the 'pay for' group prefer. I personally like some extreme VSs at times, Sentinel is still one of the VSs I have installed by default along with Luna Element and Royale Four.

I've gotta agree with a lot of the comments here...most of the skins just suck. Acrylic is definately the best one there.

If that's the best entrants to a GUI "championships" can do, then thak God they don't work for Microsoft. I could (and will) do better than most of these entries...... They're ugly, badly designed and terribly colour coordinated......

Acrylic should of won it for sure. All other skins i see look good, so i go and get a windowblinds trial, and after a day or so, windowblinds is uninstalled. But Acrylic has actually caught me. Plus it's like the only skin i've used where apps like dreamweaver still look good.

And Frogboy, will there be a "best" skin award then?

The best "Overall" event is currently being voted on at the GUI Champs website. The voting closes this weekend so be sure to stop by soon and cast your vote.

I personally find the results very flawed. Someone please tell me how the Lore skin gets the bronze and Vectra only an honorable mention.

Evolution was brilliantly done. He took a concept many people would have really screwed up and made it work very very well. I'm a little unimpressed with the start button, but the theme is solid, otherwise.

I agree, the start button is the only real piece that detracts from the theme as a whole. Still, like you said, the rest is executed so well that it's still an amazing theme, overall.

I'd definitely be using it if my PC weren't, you know, completely and totally dead.

Edisso beats the crap out of G-pod, hands down.

As for the usable styles, Aluminium's start button brings the entire theme down. Dreamy's taskbar needs to be slimmed down, and Acrylic could use some tweaking, but both are better than Aluminium by far, IMHO.

Still, good to get some competition out there.

Acrylic, Ascent, Zitus, Evolution, Dreamy World should be tops.
And China includes JJ Ying and Eico team among others, hard to beat.
Congrats to everyone! Hope the voting went smooth and fair.

how the hell did China win the most? like the Olympics there is probably crooked judges at work ;)

p.s. I like Aluminum and Acrylic

the only one that worth of all of them is Acrylic.
Dunno why Vectra isnt at least nominated (yea, I know, the start button kill that theme)

Quote - ThePitt said @ #16
the only one that worth of all of them is Acrylic.
Dunno why Vectra isnt at least nominated (yea, I know, the start button kill that theme)

Thanks for your comment, however i designed the start button to take advantage of WB's ability to use oversized start buttons, to be ..original and also i find it much easier to click as i have carpal tunel and typically clicking the start button is one of the most painful areas of the screen to navigate to.

If i thought it would "kill" it i wouldnt have , in over 100 comments on the skin it wasnt brought up otherwise i may have given some thought to changing it.

As far as the contest itself, it isint over yet, for those of you who want to make a point about more minimal skins, then do something about it, there are several minimal skins submitted, go vote for them !

For those of you that liked my theme, which although not mentioned it located at http://www.guichamps.com/skins2006.asp?skinid=701 you can also choose to vote for me.

thats the great thing about the contest, YOU choose what you like and have a say in it.

Quote - Winswy said @ #16.1

If i thought it would "kill" it i wouldnt have , in over 100 comments on the skin it wasnt brought up otherwise i may have given some thought to changing it.

Hey, dont take it personally! Its just my opinion :)

To me your skin is the most original of the last few years and should be in the 1st place

Vectra's use of that transparent tab area for the taskbar reminds me of how the mockup of GUI.Air looked like.

But overall, great looking skin.

Quote - ThePitt said @ #16.2

Hey, dont take it personally! Its just my opinion :)

To me your skin is the most original of the last few years and should be in the 1st place

Nothing personal taken , I appreciate your comment.. sincerely.

I'm not to sure about usable but Vectra RC2 (Not linked for download but gets an horable mention on the GUI champ page) has some interesting uses of transparancy on the task bar and start menu

wow, either the judges lack any taste, or there was a general shortage of good submissions.

I couldn't imagine using any of those "usable" styles, they don't compare to half the themes posted on neowin.

Dissapointing

Im sorry but every year GUI championships choose some of the most god awful styles out. Yes most of them are well made in the sense they offer unique styles and have had a great amount of time spent on them......

But with artists like b0se, Stefanka etc its a wonder they dont pick something clean, modern and usable instead of these plastic bubble affairs.

Not one of them would I ever consider as a worth while replacement.

I wonder who the judges are. Maybe we should think about a Neowin sponsored alternative for some of the (IMHO better skinners that are found on Neowin as mentioned above.

Just my 2 cents

Quote - Colicab said @ #11
Im sorry but every year GUI championships choose some of the most god awful styles out. Yes most of them are well made in the sense they offer unique styles and have had a great amount of time spent on them......

But with artists like b0se, Stefanka etc its a wonder they dont pick something clean, modern and usable instead of these plastic bubble affairs.

Not one of them would I ever consider as a worth while replacement.

I wonder who the judges are. Maybe we should think about a Neowin sponsored alternative for some of the (IMHO better skinners that are found on Neowin as mentioned above.

Just my 2 cents

While the judges decisions didnt reflect the user vote and I disagree with almost every choice Bose and stefanka are more than eligible to enter, perhaps their worried that outside the minimal outposts their styles wont fare so well, actually, bose entered last time, picked up a bronze? surely being such a great skinner he could have done better than that?

Most of what these types of artists produce is usually a slight variation of another of their or someone elses trendy minimal unimaginative skin.

What I see at the GUI champs is at least an attempt at using their imagination, The REAL quality skins like Azenis, Vectra and Acrylic are quite , even more modern and useable than anything bose or stefanka ever did...far more imaginative as well as useable.

AND If you you had read the Post intro you would know who the judges are.. most noteably, umm the OWNER of Neowin.. this WAS a Neowin sponsored contest and ALL were given notice and invited.

heh..

Quote - Colicab said @ #11
Im sorry but every year GUI championships choose some of the most god awful styles out. Yes most of them are well made in the sense they offer unique styles and have had a great amount of time spent on them......

I think they needed to have the prizes set, and more promotions at least for an extra month or two before the thing actually started. I know we missed out on whatever KoL was planning on making.

Quote - Fl@sh said @ #11.1
While the judges decisions didnt reflect the user vote and I disagree with almost every choice Bose and stefanka are more than eligible to enter, perhaps their worried that outside the minimal outposts their styles wont fare so well, actually, bose entered last time, picked up a bronze? surely being such a great skinner he could have done better than that?

Most of what these types of artists produce is usually a slight variation of another of their or someone elses trendy minimal unimaginative skin.

What I see at the GUI champs is at least an attempt at using their imagination, The REAL quality skins like Azenis, Vectra and Acrylic are quite , even more modern and useable than anything bose or stefanka ever did...far more imaginative as well as useable.

AND If you you had read the Post intro you would know who the judges are.. most noteably, umm the OWNER of Neowin.. this WAS a Neowin sponsored contest and ALL were given notice and invited.

heh..

Yeah, well "minimal" and "unimaginative" or not I'm still using b0se's visual styles. I like Acrylic and Edisso but Acrylic got criticized by someone at GUI Champs for looking too much like Aero and was called a "modded-luna" theme. Like I said, I like Acrylic, but I can't say that I disagree with those criticisms. Edisso's colors remind me of kol's Thallos. You like Vectra but I think it is disgustingly bulky. Beauty is subjective.

I'm using WB and it's obviously the more powerful of the two engines, but, taking an unbiased look, the best skinners have always been on the msstyles side of the battle. b0se, Kol, bant, and em3 are all focused on msstyles (for the most part) and made pretty big names of themselves there. You know what's funny? Acrylic is one of the best WB themes entered into the contest and it's very very similar to his past couple of themes. You say how msstyles authors just rework small bits and call it a new theme. As much as I like his work, danilloOC does the same exact thing.

Quote - bangbang023 said @ #11.5
I'm using WB and it's obviously the more powerful of the two engines, but, taking an unbiased look, the best skinners have always been on the msstyles side of the battle. b0se, Kol, bant, and em3 are all focused on msstyles (for the most part) and made pretty big names of themselves there. You know what's funny? Acrylic is one of the best WB themes entered into the contest and it's very very similar to his past couple of themes. You say how msstyles authors just rework small bits and call it a new theme. As much as I like his work, danilloOC does the same exact thing.

I don't think you could get more subjective than asserting what is "best" in terms of art.

I like b0se and Kol and Bant and such (who make WindowBlinds skins too incidentally) but WindowBlinds fans would assert that people like Treetog, MikeB, JJ Ying, Alexandrie, Gabriel, Essorant, and so on and so on are at the very least equally good.

Quote - Frogboy said @ #11.6

I don't think you could get more subjective than asserting what is "best" in terms of art.

I like b0se and Kol and Bant and such (who make WindowBlinds skins too incidentally) but WindowBlinds fans would assert that people like Treetog, MikeB, JJ Ying, Alexandrie, Gabriel, Essorant, and so on and so on are at the very least equally good.


Couldnt agree more... dont remember Bant ever making a WB tho.. lol...

ANYway..

.. what bangbang "fails to see" is theres a much bigger world THAN minimalism OUTSIDE of minimalism and that not everyone is concerned about maintaining the maximum number of pixels dedicated to functionality, that to some people, adorning their interface is equally as important and as stimulating than actually using their interface. Sure everyone likes a nice efficient streamlined interface at some point, but honestly how many people need every spare pixel? What he .. fails to see..is a a great percentage of people adorn their PC's screen in the same vein that they pick out living room furniture, the more time people spend at their comp the more they dont want it to look like a ripoff of the last unimaginative release by the minimal crowd, Im not knocking streamlined minimal themes, they have their audience, no more so than around here, but, fact is the REASON less and less good minimal themes are being produced is because, in the space allowed YOU CAN ONLY DO SO MUCH and ergo..every one released..is typically not much different from the last

Enter Windowblinds.

also to all you folks who claim you can do SO much better... lets see it ! I personally would love to see how much better you can do. but UNTIL you do, how about show a little respect to the guys that spend their nights giving all they have to give YOU...all they can.

This aint easy... and anyone who thinks it is and hasnt tried to yet.. go on.. I dare ya..lets see what U can do.

Quote - Frogboy said @ #11.6
...but WindowBlinds fans would assert that people like Treetog, MikeB, JJ Ying, Alexandrie, Gabriel, Essorant, and so on and so on are at the very least equally good.

Exactly! These are great skinners!

Quote - osirisX said @ #5.2
Ufortunatly true. Because Acrylic is just a reworking of Aero.

But still, its the only one I'd use heh osirisX you took my first choice for name :S

I don't like G-pod's grey-plastic look, Lore is just bleh, Aluminum is decent but nothing special, and Dreamy's start button and taskbar are behemoths.

Acrylic and Edisso seem to be the best of the bunch to me.

Quote - Toology said @ #3
I don't like G-pod's grey-plastic look, Lore is just bleh, Aluminum is decent but nothing special, and Dreamy's start button and taskbar are behemoths.

Acrylic and Edisso seem to be the best of the bunch to me.

I Concur

I bet none of them work well with 120 dpi. WTF 2006 and WB 5.1 and the skinners only check if their graphics work on 96dpi leaving all of us with big resolutions in the dust.

Actually, DanilloOc is one of the few skin artists out there that make WB's that don't break at 120dpi. Using Acryllic right now at 120 and it looks fine.

Indeed it does.

Yes, it's based off Aero, but if only WindowBlinds supported pixel shader blurring this theme would replace Aero quite nicely.

But damn it, like most WindowBlinds themes they don't respect the fact the top right corner of the screen SHOULD close a maximized window when you move your pointer to there quickly. Common Fitt's Law violation.

@ 1.2 - Please let's not get into a Fitt's Law debate. It's up to the artist wether or not (s)he wants to position the close button there or not. Why don't you try WinMover and then Alt+Doubleclick to close a window. Beats Fitt's law any day