Exploring elementary OS

In the Design

© Photo by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash

© Photo by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash

Article from Issue 220/2019

Elementary OS is an elegant Linux with a long-term vision and a focus on good design.

"Good design makes a product useful," said the legendary industrial designer Dieter Rams. I couldn't agree more. My productivity is directly proportional to how well designed the tool is. I care about the UI elements – fonts, icons, the spacing between elements, and so on.

Unfortunately, when it comes to Linux on the desktop, the design is often an afterthought. Most projects don't have a UI designer on the team (some projects are a one-man army). As a result, what you get is all too often a patchwork that stitches disconnected components together.

However, there are exceptions. Elementary OS [1] is a distribution that attempts to bring the design principles of legendary design-first companies such as Braun, Dyson, and Apple to Linux. Good design is in the DNA of the elementary OS team, as its cofounders are both user experience (UX) designers. They have created very comprehensive design guidelines for developers building for elementary OS.


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