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Xfce Design SIG (Special Interest Group)

The Xfce Design SIG aims at improving the usability and visual appearance of the Xfce desktop environment. Our goal is to bring interested users, designers and hackers together to ensure neither of them is working in a vacuum. By establishing a context in which they can collaborate on smaller and larger design-related projects we try to increase the chance of the proposed changes to be merged into the official Xfce repositories.


Members of the Design SIG are not appointed or elected. Everyone can participate! Feel free to add your name, interests and skills to the following list if you are striving for regular contributions to our ongoing design efforts.

Name IRC Nickname Interests (In the SIG Context) Skills (Applicable in the SIG Context)
Simon Steinbeiß ochosi GTK theming; UI improvements mockups, gtk-theming
Jannis Pohlmann JPohlmann Improve usability and visual appearance of Xfce Knows Xfce well, can code
Nick Schermer NSchermer Same as above Same as above
Pasi Lallinaho knome Any UI/graphical improvement, usability/clean approaches Mockups, artwork, CSS, …
Jon Masters jonmasters UI roadmap, usability/clean approaches Recent convert, can code
Steve Dodier-Lazaro sidi User studies, general UX roadmap User research (field, interviews, online studies), can code

Accepted and Active Projects

Completed Projects

Project Proposals

Here you can propose new UI-related projects for the Design SIG to work on. Please provide a title and a short description and maybe a link to mockups and related information.

Big Tasks

  • xfce4-settings: Merge some settings panels
  • Thunar: Improve the file operation progress dialogJannis Pohlmann 2011/05/26 19:15
  • Thunar: Add a persistent, editable UI to copy/move filesJannis Pohlmann 2011/09/20 15:40
    • I've seen something like this in OS X recently: whenever drag-and-drop is initiated in Finder, a black drop area pops up at th edge of the screen. Files can be dropped there and users can later drag them from the area back into another folder or application. We could do something similar. Here are some ideas:
      • Have a simple D-Bus service that allows to store/retrieve a list of URIs (potentially grouped by an application or task specific ID). Have a standalone application or a panel plugin implement this to visualize the files that are in memory. Maybe split up the visualization into a “copy” and a “cut” area. In Thunar, add URIs to this storage if Ctrl+C/Ctrl+X are pressed or whatever other methods there are to initiate a copy/cut operation. Heck, maybe even allow arbitrary objects to be stored instead of just URIs, perhaps using a semantic temporary storage. We could also think about defining standard storage group IDs for common purposes. — Jannis Pohlmann 2011/09/20 15:40
  • xfce4-session: Evaluate the session saving and resuming feature
  • xfce4-networkmanagerLeo Unglaub 2012/10/31

Smaller Tasks and UI Improvements

  • Thunar: Show free-space-status of devices in sidebar
  • Terminal: Make tabs look the same as in other programs.
  • Thunar and keyboardpops 2011/06/05 13:23
    • When you create a new folder or file, you type the name, press enter and then you want to open it by pressing enter a second time but you can't. Solution is to just make the file/folder selected after it was created. — pops 2011/06/05 13:23
  • xfwm4-tabwin nickl 2011/06/05
    • Users should have the option of only showing the outline of the window (which is currently the only option) or the actual window itself, when alt-tabbing. This is especially useful, for example, when you have many terminals open on a single desktop and what to see what's in each one.
      • Showing the window makes cycling slower and there is an option to cycle windows of the same application which helps with many terminals. See Bug 2701 for more information on this matter. — Peter de Ridder 2011/12/16 11:24
    • Would also be nice if the opacity of the window being shown could be selected.
  • Clean up the theme and wallpaper collection. Include Shimmer themes in the collection. — Pasi Lallinaho 2011/06/22 22:56
    • I think that this can by a good solution for the gtk3-engine-xfce and the theme in gtk3, since nobody care for these component nor the theming, I think is good simply and for all select a non engine-dependant theme and whit popper maintainance. And make it the default.
  • Design a good, default wallpaper for Xfce.Pasi Lallinaho 2011/06/23 11:47
  • Design a nicer mouse pointer, with curve borders
  • in the tasklist, group task according to the workspace (when you display task for all workspace)pops 2012/01/22 18:59
    • I second this propose. In my case every workspace has their own fuction (one for web, another for communication tools, third one for development tools and so on) and displaying applications according to the workspace makes it very fast and easy for me to find out the correct application. I'm currently using Tint2 (multi_desktop mode) instead of xfce-panel because of this feature. eyemonen 2012/12/04 12:46
  • Change default window shadows
    • Xfwm4 window shadows are almost symmetrical, which doesn't look right with most of the Gtk themes. Also, many themes needlessly override these settings, preventing users from setting their own values. See https://bugzilla.xfce.org/show_bug.cgi?id=8408 for more information. — Andrzej 2012/02/08 10:55
  • Xfce4-session: Add options for gpg and ssh agent startup
  • Menu bars: More consistency Simon Ochsenreither 2017/09/28 12:00
    • Introduce setting to show/hide menu bar by default (probably using Gtk/ShellShowsMenubar underneath)
    • Introduce common shortcut to temporarily display menu bar (many non-XFCE applications use Alt for this purpose)