It’s always interesting to read about design opinions. But I would say, as being a professional in this field, it’s not about an idea such as “material design” solving everything. Design is not about putting a skin on top of something, or following a certain formula — not even Google manages to use its “material design” throughout its products. And for Google it took years to transform much of its more legacy products.
Design is much less about what you see, and much more how things work and why.
This is like me discussing what I think designers of speakers or hifi gear should do. I know more and more about it, but I’m still an observer standing in the side lines.
One of my colleagues from before did work with Roon a couple of years ago (at least he told me so, and I have not any reason to doubt this). I second the opinion that not much has happened design wise the past couple of years. Hopefully there is an initiative rethinking Roon from a design point of view.
If you read previous posts from the roon team you will see that they have already acknowledged that the UI needs work and have a long term goal to improve the experience, making the mobile client a first class experience etc. Etc.
Again I go back to GNOME, they have been around for 20 years…they are experts at desktops environments. Why not integrate Roon into a GNOME environment, if it can be done. In the long run it would be less work to maintain and you would benefit from continuous improvement.
The more this discussion continues (and I guess we’re only at the very beginning) the less it makes sense. What started as a question/suggestion about a face lift did some turns around flame wars, as always, and now is awfully scattered and highly subjective with little substance.
I’m still looking for the “why” here. Find me the “why” and you may also be able to giv the Roon team some substance.
That wasn’t the point - at least it wasn’t my point. What I like about the approach Roon took is the consistent look across devices without preferring a particular (OS) style. It seems to work well and probably also defines a part of the brand image.
And I’m not saying the Roon UI should not evolve either nor that it’s a bad idea to get inspired by well thought out design guides.
I have no interest in playing in flame wars. Given the threads I’ve seen in other discussions about how Roon is already too complex, I’m a big believer that endless customization options based on looks is a road best left untraveled.
I like the quote from user Dave_Green on the dinosaur thread…
“Then a friend explained that Roon was like an OS for music that could run on a wide variety of hardware, freeing you from the limitations of a single hardware vendor or app.”
THAT is some deep insight there and something that sums up Roon better than anything I’ve read about it thus far. You want a tag line? THAT’S a tag line. “An OS for music”
I’d also vote for an improved UI. The value I’d like to get from that is that Roon should feel like an extension of my device, rather than a “guest” on the device that behaves differently to other apps.
Material would be a good starting point with its cards etc. It would still need adapting to each platform. E.g. for iOS, I’d expect to see native styles on switches, rather than material switches. And native screen transitions during navigation. And also implementing standard gestures such as the “swipe right edge to go back”.
I sure hope they do not go down the rabbit hole of skinning. It’s one thing with examples such as “dark mode” a complete different thing with the messiness of skinning. Readability, coherence and understanding visual cues — or most things “UX” — tend to fly out the window with skinning. And nothing gets simpler or easier to understand
(unlike with “Material Design” that you started this thread with. The whole point of the Material Design initiative was visual readability and delivering on the promise of connecting the dots. For example explaining transitions in a visually logical way)
Let’s remember that Roon isn’t art, home decoration or fashion. It’s a product that creates value in the way it performs, what it delivers and how it functions.
Well, 99% of the time skinning is left up to the individual to create on his own from what I can see. For example with JRiver, they package their product with a standard skin and users create skins and upload them.
Here are a couple of skins I made for JRiver years ago…
Have you ever created a skin for a ‘product’? Again usually you must stay within the parameters of the framework so going overboard and creating odd things is not possible. Also, the whole purpose of having a ‘skin’ is to create variety, they are not mandatory. Therefore is a user likes the factory look, they can leave it be, if someone doesn’t they must navigate to a web page and download the skin to install.
As far as the myth of Roon being a product that creates value by the way it performs…well try to explain that to Roon, its obvious they want visual appeal. Roon as an ‘eye-candy’ appeal that makes it stand out…its obvious in every aspect.
Another skin I made for Foobar.
Back in the days i did design skins. Now I only design products.
I know the limitations user customisability brings to the table. I also know that catering to that is catering to the 1% at tops. It’s a huge cost for a chosen few. It’s resources better spent elsewhere and in the end, if the customisations makes the product better it was flawed at the beginning …