[KDE Usability] KMix UI orientation

Aurélien Gâteau agateau at kde.org
Tue May 22 10:29:32 BST 2012

Le jeudi 17 mai 2012 14:50:59 Trever Fischer a écrit :
> 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?
> How many people really feel that having two different layouts is a major
> feature?
> I've taken some screenshots of the two layouts, for reference:
> Tray popup with horizontal: http://i.imgur.com/QrOuO.png
> Tray popup with veritcal: http://i.imgur.com/vwY8Q.png
> Mixer dialog with horizontal: http://i.imgur.com/PTMLt.png
> Mixer dialog with vertical: http://i.imgur.com/8AuMS.png

I very much prefer the horizontal layout as well, for few reasons:

- It is more common. Except for Dragon volume slider (which should be changed 
IMO), where else in KDE apps can you find vertical sliders?

- It gives more room for labels. This is becoming more and more important 
because we are moving from sliders which controls obscure hardware features 
(PCM, Master...) to application-specific sliders (Trever screenshots illustrate 
this already, but let me add another one: 
http://wstaw.org/m/2012/05/22/kmix.png )

Sure the current layout suffers some issues:
#1. Lack of clear indication of which way is louder
#2. Mute on the right side

#1 Can easily be fixed by adding volume level icons on the left and right of 
the sliders, similar to Mac OS X volume slider, as can be seen here: 

We even already have them! (audio-volume-low and audio-volume-high)

#2 This could be fixed if the horizontal layout were closer to the vertical 
layout on this topic. Right now it looks like this:

Channel title
( i ) ------o---------------------- [M]

(where "( i )" is the channel icon and "[M]" is the mute button)

It could be changed to something like this:

( i ) Channel title
[M] ------o--------------------------

Alternatively, the mute button can be turned in a regular checkbox and either 
stay on the right like the Mac OS volume slider, or moved below the slider, 
thanks to the wide availability of vertical space.

So I would suggest fixing those simple issues and going for horizontal by 
Dropping the vertical mode at all would be nicer (having worked a bit on KMix 
layout in the past I can say it is not just changing the orientation of the 
layout), but we should keep a way out for change-resistant users, at least for 


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