I have been working on a UI Review for Glom. It is still rough around the edges and mostly covering the most obvious problems.
The most challenging bit so far was the redesign of the welcome screen. This is what I came up with (inspired by Adobe’s welcome screens):
For comparison, this is what it currently looks like:
What was most important to me was to allow single-click activation of the individual options, but by doing so I realised that Gtk doesn’t offer really satisfying options for this. The best I could come up with was buttons set to RELIEF_NONE, which is essentially the same as a toolbar button. Unfortunately this doesn’t make the item look particularly clickable (unless hovered). Other platforms often use labels that look like web links for this kind of functionality, but while Gtk supports hyperlink labels, that is generally only used for actual web links. Why?
As applications become more and more similar in design to websites (and vice versa), I feel that we over-use the “button” element and do not provide enough flexibility to create “clickable items” that suit the purpose of the application.