Bug 391485 - Wallpaper chooser UI not very discoverable; consider making it into a KCM so we can expose it via System Settings
Summary: Wallpaper chooser UI not very discoverable; consider making it into a KCM so ...
Status: RESOLVED FIXED
Alias: None
Product: plasmashell
Classification: Plasma
Component: Desktop Containment (show other bugs)
Version: master
Platform: Other Linux
: NOR normal
Target Milestone: 1.0
Assignee: Sebastian Kügler
URL:
Keywords: usability
: 430268 (view as bug list)
Depends on:
Blocks:
 
Reported: 2018-03-06 21:48 UTC by Nate Graham
Modified: 2023-04-04 23:08 UTC (History)
9 users (show)

See Also:
Latest Commit:
Version Fixed In: 5.22


Attachments

Note You need to log in before you can comment on or make changes to this bug.
Description Nate Graham 2018-03-06 21:48:29 UTC
Right now, the only way to change the wallpaper is by right-clicking on the desktop and choosing "Configure Desktop".

This is a rather unintuitive method, because:
- It relies on a context menu, which is an expert UI; most users don't use context menus, especially on laptops
- The user needs to make the mental leap that the wallpaper is part of the desktop

The first place people go looking for the wallpaper chooser UI is in the System Settings app. Sadly, ours doesn't have it there, contrary to user expectations and consistency with every other platform.

Technically speaking, this is because it's a part of the Folder View widget, and not a KCM. But perhaps we should break it out into being a KCM so we can put it in System Settings.
Comment 1 David Edmundson 2018-03-06 22:20:08 UTC
>- It relies on a context menu,

That's not true. 
Burger menu -> configure desktop

>- The user needs to make the mental leap that the wallpaper is part of the desktop

It's not a particularly giant leap that the most visibly massive promintent thing on the desktop is part of the desktop.

>The first place people go looking for the wallpaper chooser UI is in the System Settings app.

That's a random guess.

From my anecodatal experience (which admittiedly is my random guess) the first thing people do if they want options is right click everywhere like a nutter.

>contrary to [..] every other platform.

I'll give you that. Though our goal was never to make a 1-1 clone of anything.

----

The problem with the KCM is it then becomes super complex.

You'd need a UI to choose which activity you're configuring
Then you need a UI to choose which monitor you're changing

That creates an n*m UI of settings that you don't need when you have implied context.
Comment 2 Nate Graham 2018-03-06 22:36:03 UTC
Fair enough about the Desktop Toolbox. Of course, I remember seeing a Plasma developer recently (can't remember who) comment that nobody uses it!


> the first thing people do if they want options is right click everywhere like a nutter.

Computer experts with a mouse, yes. :) Regular people look for a thing with the word "Settings" in its name.


> It's not a particularly giant leap that the most visibly massive prominent thing on the desktop is part of the desktop.

For you and me, no. But it still doesn't have the word "wallpaper" in it, so a large fraction of people are going to miss it. Besides, why should they have to make a mental leap in the first place? If we make it a KCM, we can have a menu item that says "Change wallpaper" and just open that KCM directly.


> The problem with the KCM is it then becomes super complex.
> You'd need a UI to choose which activity you're configuring
> Then you need a UI to choose which monitor you're changing

I think some creative UI design could work:
- For multi-screen setups, you could show a new window with the KCM on every screen (this is what macOS does)
- For activities, you could move the wallpaper configuration UI into the Activities KCM, making it explicit that 


One of our strengths is all this customizability and power, but we shouldn't let it get in the way of providing a polished user experience for the average user who has one screen and does not use activities.
Comment 3 David Edmundson 2018-03-06 23:19:22 UTC
Yeah, I'm of the thought that no-one uses the toolbox. 
But it's there because of designing round the idea that users never right click. 

>I think some creative UI design could work:

That can at most remove one level:
but it still leaves adding an activity chooser inside the multi-screen thing, or a monitor chooser inside the activity thing.

(and we're not making system settings contextually aware of only showing the current activity, because that would be so unlike any other settings page)

Frankly it seems incredibly arbitrary to put some desktop settings in a completely disjointed place to the desktop. 
I'm not against a discussion, but it needs some better justification than "others do it".
Comment 4 Eike Hein 2018-03-07 09:29:34 UTC
To me there's a lot of conjecture in this ticket I don't see metrics for.
Comment 5 Thomas Pfeiffer 2018-03-07 09:38:19 UTC
Having a shortcut to changing the background on the desktop's context menu (and in the hamburger menu) is definitely needed, but there is no argument from a user perspective for not having it in System Settings. From a user perspective it does belong there, together with all other settings.

I have brought this topic up in the past as well, but was told "Sorry, can't do it, because System Settings doesn't know about containments.", but that's a completely different argument.
Comment 6 David Edmundson 2018-03-07 10:55:59 UTC
>but there is no argument from a user perspective for not having it in System Settings.

I haven't seen a valid argument for having it either.

Why does this belong in systemsettings, but whether the batter applet on your second panel shows a percentage or an icon does not?
Comment 7 David Edmundson 2018-03-07 23:19:19 UTC
I'm closing this till someone gives a reason why it should be there.

Feel free to reopen if you can. Ideally with some solutions for the cardinality problem.
Comment 8 Nate Graham 2018-03-12 04:42:15 UTC
Here is an example of what I'm talking about:

https://www.reddit.com/r/gnome/comments/8360xr/gnome_is_design/dvh9reu/

> They also throw so many functionalities at your face, but basic things like right-click and set as wallpaper is not there. Kde was built by developers for developers. 

What!? It's right there, under "Configure Desktop"!

...Only the word "Wallpaper isn't used, so people don't find it, because making the connection between the Desktop and the Wallpaper is apparently something that regular users are having difficulty with.

Tentative trivial short-term fix: change the string to "Configure Wallpaper and Desktop": https://phabricator.kde.org/D11253

I think that would really help.
Comment 9 Eike Hein 2018-03-12 07:57:58 UTC
You misunderstood the comment you're quoting. "Right-click and Set As Wallpaper" refers to a context menu action for image-type files in file managers and the like.
Comment 10 Nate Graham 2018-03-27 22:27:33 UTC
Git commit d6bc5f35232a4f72a705bd68727c9ea0820b70ac by Nathaniel Graham.
Committed on 27/03/2018 at 22:27.
Pushed by ngraham into branch 'master'.

Slightly improve discoverability for changing the wallpaper

Summary:
Use an icon that looks like it might be related to changing the wallpaper for the {nav Configure Desktop} menu item. This slightly improves discoverability for changing the wallpaper.

Test Plan:
Desktop Toolbox menu:
{F5769965}

Context menu:
{F5769966}

Reviewers: #plasma, davidedmundson

Reviewed By: #plasma, davidedmundson

Subscribers: mart, hein, broulik, richardbowen, plasma-devel

Tags: #plasma

Differential Revision: https://phabricator.kde.org/D11253

M  +2    -1    containments/desktop/package/contents/ui/main.qml

https://commits.kde.org/plasma-desktop/d6bc5f35232a4f72a705bd68727c9ea0820b70ac
Comment 11 Claudius Ellsel 2020-09-01 16:47:52 UTC
(In reply to David Edmundson from comment #6)
> >but there is no argument from a user perspective for not having it in System Settings.
> 
> I haven't seen a valid argument for having it either.
> 
> Why does this belong in systemsettings, but whether the batter applet on
> your second panel shows a percentage or an icon does not?

I'd consider that also discussable and maybe desirable if one could come up with a good plan to make panels configurable through systemsettings.

(In reply to David Edmundson from comment #7)
> I'm closing this till someone gives a reason why it should be there.
> 
> Feel free to reopen if you can. Ideally with some solutions for the
> cardinality problem.

I will give some points:
- Users expect it to be in systemsettings. Partly because other desktop environments and operating systems handle it that way - GNOME and Windows for example. But that is not the only reason one would expect to have that setting there.
- Other design options are offered in systemsettings, so one kind of expects to also have wallpaper options there. Especially if one is not familiar with the technical details behind virtual desktops and activities.
- Users might not be familiar with the concept of "right clicks", one might debate whether we should consider those users, but just wanted to mention that.

I hope those points offer enough reason to reopen this.
Comment 12 Nate Graham 2020-09-01 18:42:38 UTC
At this point, we have a Phab task tracking the subject: https://phabricator.kde.org/T12622

So let's leave this ticket closed and keep the discussion there, or it will be very hard to follow the conversation.
Comment 13 Claudius Ellsel 2020-09-02 00:11:04 UTC
Alright.
Comment 14 Nate Graham 2020-12-17 17:19:02 UTC
*** Bug 430268 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 15 Nate Graham 2021-03-22 16:17:34 UTC
This has been effectively fixed by Marco Martin with https://invent.kde.org/plasma/plasma-desktop/-/commit/c79483c370e952d37ac563bc56700285fdac812e in Plasma 5.22; the new "Quick Settings" landing page has a button to show the wallpaper chooser for the current containment, so it's accessible from System Settings now even though technically it's still not a KCM.
Comment 16 `{third: "Beedell", first: "Roke"}`{.JSON5} 2023-04-04 22:39:23 UTC
(In reply to Nate Graham from comment #15)
> This has been effectively fixed by Marco Martin with
> https://invent.kde.org/plasma/plasma-desktop/-/commit/
> c79483c370e952d37ac563bc56700285fdac812e in Plasma 5.22; the new "Quick
> Settings" landing page has a button to show the wallpaper chooser for the
> current containment, so it's accessible from System Settings now even though
> technically it's still not a KCM.

That's quite different. It's a lot less discoverable. For me, I haven't ever used the start page in Settings because I assumed that all of the settings that it exposes are available in the KCMs themselves.
Comment 17 Nate Graham 2023-04-04 23:08:01 UTC
There are *significant* technical challenges involved in making an actual Wallpaper KCM, as opposed to what we have right not which is a simple link to the existing non-KCM wallpaper config window. It's something I want too, and it's not impossible, but it's also not something that could be done easily or quickly. Feel free to read through the comment history of this bug report as well as https://phabricator.kde.org/T12622 to find out why. So that's why we went with this approach for now.