[KDE Usability] KMix UI orientation

Hans Chen hanswchen at gmail.com
Sat May 19 11:23:50 BST 2012

I prefer the vertical layout and would like to give some arguments for it,
since I didn't see anyone mentioning them:

- In the horizontal layout, the mute button is on the right side of the
slider. This is a bit counter-intuitive since the slider goes to the left
when muted. Of course the placement of the application icon and mute icon
can be swapped, but this is again a bit strange - the application icon is
what identifies each slider and is also connected to the text.

- I'm not a usability expert, but if I remember correctly, it's easier to
move the mouse cursor up and down than horizontal, especially on touchpads.
This is also why I don't support knobs, doing a circular motion is even

- I also agree that scrolling up and down is more intuitive in a vertical
layout, as mentioned by others.

With that said, the current tray popup using the vertical layout could
definitely be improved. I expected it to look more like the mixer window,
i.e., vertical layouts in a horizontal layout, if you get what I mean.
Regarding the text label, would it be possible to only show e.g. the
application name (Amarok in this case) and the rest of the text in a

*Conclusion:* I'm against removing the vertical layout for the reasons
mentioned above, but would welcome improvements to it.


On Fri, May 18, 2012 at 7:09 PM, Eike Hein <hein at kde.org> wrote:

> On 05/17/2012 08:50 PM, Trever Fischer wrote:
>> I'm starting to have a look at a lot of the papercuts in kdemultimedia,
>> trying to polish up all the little details that bother me.
>> Here's my first question:
>> Does KMix really need vertical slider orientation?
> FWIW, I recently had some involvement with this one ...
> - KMix has an option to select the orientation, but the tray popup
>  used to ignore this setting; only the main window would follow it.
> - The tray popup used to use vertical orientation, and from the above,
>  this meant that setting the orientation to horizontal would have no
>  effect on the popup.
> - One of the early KDE 4.8.x releases introduced a change that made
>  the popup use horizontal orientation, again regardless of the
>  setting. Immediately we got angry users on #kde who despised this.
> - Due to those angry users, I had a look at the code and made the
>  popup follow the setting. As a result, due to KMix defaulting to
>  vertical orientation, the popup is back to being vertical by de-
>  fault in 4.8.3 or so.
> Personally, I prefer horizontal orientation, but this is definitely
> a matter of preference and there are vocal users who prefer vertical.
> --
> Best regards,
> Eike Hein
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