I've looked at the screenshots on the silverwolf website, and I must say, I'm horrified by the UI's shown there - they're just eye-sores. The functionality might be there, but the look and feel is downright scary and 90's looking. Please, please, tell me you'll have a better look and feel in a future version? Most linux carpc UI's I've seen seem to follow suit, unfortunately. It would be nice to have soft colors for a change, without all the harsh metallic-looking gradients.
While not the most diplomatic way to put things, I tend to agree with monkeyBox's sentiment.
A lot of interfaces that I see are terribly compromised by "bling".
When designing an interface for a car one has to think about stuff like
* "how will this be used?"
* "what will the driver be doing when trying to select a playlist, tune a radio station, find a waypoint?"
* "Is the interface easy to discern or understand at a glance?"
If you have access to any materials on developing MFD (multi-function display) interfaces for aircraft, this would be a place to start. They even give simple things like selecting colours for specific uses and screen layout. Intuitionsys, check the library at Carleton. I seem to remember a *****e load of avionics text books there from my university days.
Also, the Apple style guide type documents are a great help as well. I forget the correct name for the docs, but IIRC they go into detail on how to layout information on the screen for low user workload.
When in doubt, think of it this way: will someone unfamiliar with your interface be able to at a glance be able to figure out how to change modes between navigation, tuner, radio, whatever while whipping down a four+ lane highway at 160 km/h? Will they be able to extract information and value from the interface without picking up the fine manual?
Leave the bling for the show and shine Windows weenies that are into stereo competitions. :D An elegant and infinitely more usable system will get the nod over that any day.
It takes restraint but a month later you'll still like the interface as opposed to thinking it is time for a new theme because the current one is too cheesy.
You got beat up alot on the playground as a kid right? :D Just kidding :)
Originally Posted by monkeyBox
What Reece146 mentions about the Apple style guidelines isn't a bad idea though. Their interfaces are very clean whether or not you like Aqua or Macs in general. The only reason the current skin is what it is is because it was the first thing I thought of. No research no nothing just "umm yeah that'll do for now and it works okay" kind of thing. The more time I spend on the skin the less time I spend coding. btw I've made some pretty hefty breakthroughs with the video engine this last week so an alpha release could be sooner than expected. Cross your fingers...
Oh and the mention about the necessity to fiddle with the interface at 160km/h gets me thinking that Reece146 has driven in the fast lane on the Ottawa 417 more than once ;)
Who, me? Why no, that would be illegal.
Originally Posted by intuitionsys