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Usability Tweaks Proposed for ‘Software Updater’ App

A Better Looking Software Updater Is On The Way...

A redesigned version of Ubuntu’s ‘Software Updater’ application is likely to arrive in Ubuntu 13.04 before April.

Writing about the UI tweaks on his blog, developer Michael Terry says that a patch containing the changes has been ‘proposed’.

The change itself isn’t drastic but is an improvement.

Overall the design looks cleaner, thanks in part to padding that is consistent with the rest of Ubuntu’s system application.

The redesign also adds headers to explain the purpose of the ‘checkboxes’to the left of listed items, and puts the ‘download’ size in a more obvious place.

Multiple packages specific to a given application are now grouped under the application’s name by default (as can be seen with ‘Backup’ in the images below).

software-updater

Interestingly the patch proposes removing the name of libraries and system packages from view, instead displaying a description of what they do.

I can see this change being something that a lot of developers aren’t going to be comfortable with, but it is something that will benefit users. When upgrading core system components, knowing what a package is is more useful than knowing what it’s called.

Most desktop applications would retain their name in this new view, as can be seen in the image above with Ubuntu’s ‘Backup’ app.

Terry says that he is ‘confident’ that the changes will make it into Ubuntu 13.04 before April.