What will Ubuntu 18.04 LTS look like?
Hopefully half as great as the image you see above. This (rather stunning) concept gives us a glimpse at what the future could hold for Ubuntu now that it is to switch back to GNOME as its default desktop environment.
Ubuntu hasn’t had any major redesign since 2011, which is when the familiar transparent Unity UI we’ve all grown familiar with was first introduced. The Ambiance and Radiance GTK themes have been around even longer, having first appeared in Ubuntu 10.04 LTS ((though both themes have been tweaked and tuned over time).
With the switch to an all-new desktop environment Ubuntu has a chance to create a new appearance — giving Ubuntu fans the opportunity to image.
“When it was announced that Ubuntu will be switching to Gnome from Unity, I decided to create a mockup combining the visual style of Ubuntu with the Gnome layout,” Jovan Petrović, the designer behind the, er, design, explains on Dribbble.
I love his use of Ubuntu’s existing purple and orange colour scheme in this design, and as I’m a sucker for a bit of transparency, I dig that too.
I’m less keen on the Nautilus redesign. It looks a little too simplistic to work as functional file manager, though does show off how neat and tidy client-side decorations (CSD) can look.
Design In Limbo
Canonical let the majority of its design team go as part of its “refocus” on profitability. It’s uncertain whether there’s appetite within the company to undertake a redesign.
Mark Shuttleworth says Ubuntu 18.04 LTS is likely to ship with a “vanilla” version of GNOME, adding that they (presumably Canonical) “…should respect the GNOME design leadership by delivering GNOME the way GNOME wants it delivered.”
How much wriggle room there is for designers to tune the appearance will, like everything else Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, be a topic of discussion for a while yet.