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Jani-Matti H├Ątinen Helsinki, Finland
KOffice-1.5 startup screen improvement

Various KDE 1.-4. Improvements by jannuhat 4 comments

Your points are good, but implementing most of them would require more wide-sweeping changes to KDE's GUI style as all of the things you mention would have to be implemented consistently across all KDE applications. Not just one dialog.

The screenshots provided here are merely krita mockups based on my preferred widget style, iconset and color scheme settings (yes, I like greenish and brownish colours a lot).
If you were to, for example want to have a more pronounced difference between the button and background colours, you could easily set it according to your preferences in the KDE Control Center as well as choose a widget style with more of a 3D effect to it. Also, the icons I use are fairly non-standard (noia-warm) but they are the standard icons displayed in such buttons across KDE.

I do agree with all of your points except for one: I see absolutely no reason usability-wise why GUIs should be restricted to rectangular buttons only. (for one we already have square icons in all toolbars)
As you described, a button can be recognised in many ways (different colour, pronounced border, icons, etc) and thanks to KDEs extremely unified look and feel, recognising buttons of non-standard proportions is very easy, as all buttons share all the other characteristics even though the proportions might differ.

Anyway, thanks for your comments, which would be an excellent primer for a more general talk/suggestion about differentiating important GUI elements.
Here my goal was to simply offer an idea to increase the usability of one KDE dialog by bringing the relative sizes of the various GUI elements more in sync with their relative importance. - May 24 2006