Does Ubuntu's New Window Design Bite?

Ubuntu Lucid Lynx introduced many design changes, including moving menu buttons from the right of windows to the left. Was that a sensible move?

At ZDNet, Chris Duckett argues that while he respects Ubuntu's decision to both make the change and stick with it despite a lot of user outcry, the designers clearly haven't thought through the implications of changing both the order and position of commonly-used tasks:

By moving the close button to directly above the File menu, an already crowded area of the desktop, Ubuntu got dangerous. At least having the close button on the inside meant it was difficult to hit by accident. Now Ubuntu has put an ejector seat button next to regular functionality.

Do you think Ubuntu's latest design causes more problems than it solves, or are you grooving with its new potential? Tell us in the comments.

New Ubuntu look too destructive [ZDNet]


    It does not seem like a very good idea to go against what just about every other OS is doing, the good thing is it that it can be changed easily in gconf-editor, which is what i intend to do when 10 goes into release mode and I update.

    Is there any word on how this affects Kubuntu and Xubuntu?

    I'm not a big Ubuntu user, but I did waste sometime the other day working out where the fricken close button was. Kinda annoying...

    To me where they put the buttons and in what order is a non issue.

    I just changed them to suit myself. Same as I do with the panels, icons, menus, theme, window borders etc.

    The thing with GNOME is you CAN change them easily without having to resort to installing some potentially dodgey third party app.

    My OS, my look.

    So...even after a little eye-rolling over the changes, I am neither concerned or grooving with it. Business as usual.


    All of this crying about what might go wrong. Has anybody actually accidentally closed a window yet?

    I haven't tried it on Lucid, but have downloaded the theme for Karmic. My biggest beef is that if you do move the buttons back to the right, and order them min,max,close as they were before there is a rounded edge on max and a square edge on min. It looks ridiculous. I have reordered them to max,min,close which I have learnt to live with, but in Chrome if you use the compact title bar the order changes back to min,max,close!

    I second that Thepengwin, and would add this:

    If Ubuntu is aiming for wider adoption by non tech computer people, do we really think that they will think to go digging around and change the position.

    Far more likley they will just learn to live with it which brings us back to the old, why put it there in the first place. It has been doing fine on the right.

    It's just change for the sake of change imho.

    The overall theme is really nice in my opinion, but the buttons definitely irked me. An option at the installation asking what type of controls the user prefers (eg, Mac OS, Windows, or Custom) would be beneficial. KDE 3.0 did this, and I personally liked it. Kept me from having to tweak every little setting.

    They shouldn't even have put the buttons on the left at the first place. Were they trying to copy Mac OS X or something?
    Well it's my personal opinion. I just like them all on the right side. Like Windows.

    Do we know if they conducted any kind of user testing before agreeing on the new button position? Or does the cute blonde girl at ubuntu HQ have her buttons on the left-hand side, thus making it the thing that every geek wants.

    I'm a huge fan of improvement and innovation, but anything that changes accepted practices is always going to be a problem. It'd be interesting to see if any scientific-like studies were conducted to see what _really_ works better - a change like that, I would support.

    It never occurred to me that OSX has the buttons on the left hand side, it also cannot remember anyone ever having complained about it either. Just change for the sake of change, or more probably change for the sake of differentiation from Windows.

    I'm quite interested to know what is so special about the right hand side of the title bar that they felt the need to alienate their user base (as well as Windows users who they wish to attract) for the sake of 'Opening up space for experimentation further down the line'? Perhaps if the change had added something useful right now, it would have been a feature as opposed to an annoyance.

    Change for the sake of change is not good.

    I for one just hate this proposed change.

    It does make sense to have the controls on the left. With the controls on the right, you move from the middle of the screen to the top right and then to the top left to launch your next program.

    Are people so damn stupid that they can't just click on the right accident???...please!!!! It's as ridiculous as a woman falling into a toilet because someone left the lid up. Are you crying to Apple about their Mac computer buttons being on the same side???? My goodness----you're getting the damn thing for FREE!!!!

    I like the new order very much and got used to it in no time.

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