The Buoyant UI concept
So how do you start a design blog? I figured I might as well put in my latest UI concept. The setup is very simple but allows me to do more or less everything that I use my PC for.
Time, date and volume work as you might expect; miscellaneous information which is nice to have, although not necessary. I find that too few elements would make it seem too barren, so with the addition of those three elements I get more balance in the overall impression.
The actually useful element is, though, the menu. By stripping Windows’ taskbar from view (I mean it’s still there, I just hid it) I basically still need ways to get around the system, preferably without using the Start button or looking at the taskbar.
I therefore found some free icons to use as quick metaphorical guides, along with the wordplay beneath. I thus tailored my experience to personal keywords that probably only make sense to me. “Dive in” gets me my Windows Explorer view. The idea is that it allows me to navigate the computer file system. What usually happens is that you as a user require new files for your work or simply information, so I made the next step “Enquire” to send me online to the Chrome browser. Once I find what I need online, I have the “Resurface” combined with a cloud icon to signify the OneDrive upload, from where I can of course take whichever files I need. Once resources are gathered I am ready to “Produce” which opens up Adobe Creative Cloud for me to select what app to work in. A computer also needs settings to tinker with, so I linked “Review” with the Windows settings interface (again in order to skip looking at the taskbar).
The setup is not perfect as I sometimes do find the need to open Cinema 4D or fix WiFi settings and what have you, but the theme has got me a long way towards not being dependent on the Windows UI.
It has become a tradition for me to upload my UI themes to Flickr and share them with groups interested in the Rainmeter software used to make them, and I have been featured on Lifehacker several times due to the show-and-tell approach.
This theme landed me quite a lot of views:
This success may have been aided by my first-ever video add-on to the theme. As shown below I went to After Effects to develop the ‘concept’ part of this UI, meaning that it is purely a piece of fiction, my vision on how I would have liked the end product to be. Unfortunately I am no programmer, so I will have to make do with Rainmeter.
The theme would not exist without the below people, so these are the credits:
/ I used icons from the free package at Modern UI Icons.com
// Wallpaper used is ‘Grey Pier Scenery’