Xfce Wiki

Sub domains

This is an old revision of the document!

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

Accepted, Completed and Active 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

  • 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
  • Display Settings: Improve handling of multiple displaysSimon Steinbeiß 2012/08/31 18:14
  • xfce4-networkmanagerLeo Unglaub 2012/10/31

Smaller Tasks and UI Improvements

  • Thunar: Show free-space-status of devices in sidebar
  • Parole
  • Terminal: Make tabs look the same as in other programs.
  • Notifications: inconsistency in xfce4-powermanager good or bad?* — Simon Steinbeiß 2011/05/31 22:11
    • Xfce's brightness-notifications (which come from power-manager) have a different style than all other notifications. They're in the center of the screen, pretty much Mac-like. To be honest I like the looks and feel of it, but I'd suggest to make xfce4-volumed use the same style. These two types of notifications seem kinda different from the rest since they involve progressbars and change/appear on user-input (so in fact they're more “visual feedback” than “notification” imo), so a different style for them wouldn't break consistency. Obviously you can disagree as well and say xfce4-powermanager should use default notification bubbles like everything else. Either way, this could/should be resolved somehow. Screenshot illustrating the two different notification stylesSimon Steinbeiß 2011/05/31 22:11
      • I think we should pass these all through the notification daemon (ie what xfce4-volumed does). — Nick Schermer 2011/06/01 09:06
      • I like the idea of having a few notifications displayed differently, like the screen brightness and the volume level. We could still implement this in xfce4-notifyd and extend the notification spec by a special message hint for this (similar to what Ubuntu introduced with notify-osd). Preferably, this style would look the same as the new xfwm4 tab window. (I think that's kinda important to maintain consistency). — Jannis Pohlmann 2011/06/02 14:26
  • 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
  • Simplify Thunar toolbar removing some shortcut menupops 2011/06/05 14:08
    • Thunar with toolbar have 4 different shortcut menu or button. I propose to remove 2 of them to simplify the toolbar.See herepops 2011/06/05 14:08
    • I agree that some elements in the toolbar are redundant or require too much space. I would like to keep the completion popup button but maybe we can move it into the entry as a secondary icon. Another idea I have for simplifying the toolbar is to drop the history popup buttons and simply show the history menus after pressing the back/forward buttons for a certain amount of time. — Jannis Pohlmann 2011/06/09 17:15
      • I second the idea of dropping the home-shortcut and moving the arrow inside the entry, this makes total sense to me. I also agree with the history-popup-buttons, but maybe the different options to show the dropdown (e.g. firefox uses right-click) should be discussed. — Simon Steinbeiß 2011/06/23 15:55
  • 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
  • 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