The Canonical design team are currently hard at work designing, testing, evaluating new layouts for the Ubuntu Software Centre version 5.0.

Their work so far has resulted in three highly impressive mock-ups of Ubuntu Software Store interfaces heavily featuring an aggregated set of features that are par-the-course for Application Stores across various platforms.

Ubuntu Software Centre 5.0 - design 1

Revamp begins

Canonical’s Matthew Paul Thomas writing on the 2nd of June said: –

“…my design colleague Calum Pringle and I have been working on revising the design of Ubuntu Software Center. The objective is to make USC more interesting and attractive, both to Ubuntu users and to application developers.

Ubuntu Software Centre 4 in Ubuntu 11.04

For the competitor analysis, we looked at the Android Market, Mac and iPad App Stores, Blackberry App World, Bodega, and Chrome Web Store.

There are a few common elements we have noticed that we don’t have currently. Regardless of the final layout, it would be helpful to start thinking about how we might implement each of these.”

Some of these ideas include: –

  • Top rated applications
  • Context-specific recommendations
  • Top Rated
  • Most Popular
  • Preview videos
  • Multiple screenshots
  • Custom artwork for application screens

Ubuntu Software Centre 5.0 - design 2

He continues: “For layout ideas, we’ve considered metaphors like a convenience store, supermarket, department store, vending machine, museum, art gallery, and even a sushi bar. “

These latter analogies play heavily in this current spate of designs. current mock-up designs, particularly in this ‘notice board’ one: –

Ubuntu Software Centre 5.0 - design 3

Before you get too excited by the shiny shiny bling bling the mock-ups above are still subject to change, refinement, evaluation, user feedback and not all features shown will appear in Ubuntu 11.10.

But what you can get excited about is that the Ubuntu Software Centre – arguably one of Ubuntu’s strongest assets – is finally getting the level of design attention is so desperately needed.

Which design is your favourite? Let us know in the comments or byregisteringa vote below.

Thanks to Heiner

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