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Ubuntu 10.04 First Impressions: From Annoyed to Incredulous

So…. Ubuntu 10.04 is right around the corner. Awesome, right? Well, they’ve made a number of changes which I’m less than excited about. One of them being moving the titlebar buttons from the top-right of the window (where they have been for ages) to the top-left. When this hit the news, it kinda bugged me on principle because it seemed like a “change for the sake of change” sort of thing. But I brushed it off and more or less forgot about it until tonight. You see, Beta 2 of 10.04 was released this week, and as is my custom I upgraded my “I like it to be stable, but it doesn’t really matter a lot if it breaks” laptop to see how things have been coming along since I last looked at the first alpha. Almost immediately I ran into this:

Can you tell me what’s wrong with this picture?


Well, the problem with this picture is that fewer than a dozen pixels makes difference between clicking on “File” and clicking on “Close”. Perhaps even worse, less than 6 pixels mean the difference between hitting the main application launch button and clicking “Close”.

This is STUPID. This is going to piss off TONS of people. I’m a 15-year IT veteran and within 30 minutes of using this setup I accidentally clicked on the close button twice. What is the “normal desktop user” that Ubuntu supposedly targets going to do?

Ugh… seriously guys, it’s called Fitt’s Law. Look it up. It’s why things like this are BAD IDEA. If you are going to be making changes like this DO SOME FRIGGING USABILITY STUDIES.

I really meant to do a more thorough post on 10.04, but I have to go de-pressurize my brain after actually seeing this first-hand.

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