My impressions and suggestions
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2014-09-25 15:34
Hello, everyone.

I have no idea if this is the correct section of the forum, but everywhere else is chinese, so I'll post here and hope that it gets to the right people. I do not have any specific issue with the system, just hoping to give some user feedback.
To give you a little background (you can skip this paragraph if tl;dr), I have recently decided to switch from Windows to Linux as my main operating system. I've been aware of the existence of Linux for a long time, and thinking "Yeah, I should probably switch to that", but the almost non-existent user-friendliness always kept me from doing so. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not afraid of the command line and I learn computer stuff pretty quickly, but when I have to spend hours searching through forums just to do the simplest of things - that's just not efficient, and I don't have time for that. It mainly boiled down to two things. First being the overly complicated process of installing new software, which, as I recently found out, has been almost-resolved with GUI-controlled repositories. So that leaves the last problem - the looks. Call me what you want, but I like when the software I use looks nice - because it feels better. And the majority of Linux distributions look just horrible. I know that KDE has some nice features, and Ubuntu's Unity, functionality aside, looks pretty nice, but Windows 7 is still far better. So that being said, when I recently had just about enough of Windows, I went on to find the best Linux distribution for me, hoping that there wolud be some hidden gems. A day of research resulted in a list of five viable options, Linux Deepin being the top one. I decided to give it a go and see how it feels.

So here are my impressions and a few suggestions for the developers.
First of all, I really like it. It not only doesn't look horrible, but most of the GUI is better than anything I have seen on Windows. I absolutely love what you did with the Control Center, gathering all those options in one place, instead of scattering it through a bazillion properties windows and managers is very nice indeed. The dock and the launcher are all slick and nice too, and the 3D window switching is just "Whoooa, I'm in space!". I also really appreciate the small touches like the icons that pop up when you press Caps or Num Lock. The overall design of things is very nice, simplistic, user-friendly and just... pretty.
There are, however, a few things that are not so perfect and can ruin the overall experience, but that look relatively easy to fix, so I would like to share my opinion on them.
First, the launcher looks very nice, but only on a dark wallpaper. You see, I like wallpapers that consist of a one-colour background and a drawing of a character in one corner. And a lot of those that I already have are white... aaaaand you see where I'm going with this - icons in the launcher are just plain invisible, and the text, while possible to read, looks nowhere near as nice as it did on the default wallpaper. A solution to this would be stripes of dark-transparent background in the icons and text areas, somenthing like the dock in "Efficient mode". Or customizable colour of the icons and text. Or customizable colour and brightness of the transparent background AND of the the icons and text.
Second, I love that the dock has three modes, but it still lacks the basic functionality of choosing which side of the screen it sticks to. I know that most users will be satisfied with having it on the bottom, but when you actually think about it, anything on the top or bottom of a 16:9 screen is a ridiculous waste of space, and I really would like to pin this awesome, pretty, functional dock on the left side of my screen.
Third, the scroll bars. You see, when using a scroll bar in a maximized window, you don't need to look at it, just drag the mouse to the right edge of the screen, press the left button and you have cought the scroll bar - because it's on the edge of the screen. It's a simple, yet marvelous feature that makes scrolling so easy. Except... it doesn't work on Linux Deepin. Your scroll bars are a few pixels away from the edge of the screen, which forces the user to switch their attention from the super-interesting stuff they're reading and to catching the scroll bar, which, if this wasn't enough, is ridiculously small and therefore harder to catch. You know, you really don't have to save space on the SIDES of the screen. 16:9, remember? No, seriously. Make it three times bigger. Make it all the way to the edge of the screen. Please. And while you're at it, add one to the launcher. Yes, I know, that normal people just use the scroll wheel, but mine is broken and I like my mouse a lot, aside from that little defect, and I don't want to buy a new one.
Four is the window frames. Or bars. Whatever they're called, the things on top of the windows. Yes, those things. They look pretty nice. Not super-nice, but in all other distributions, they're just horrible, so you're still doing good. But I would like to customize them a little more than those two skins that you have there. Doing new skins is a lot of work, I get it, but how about about simple colour customization, like in Windows. And transparency. It's there with the Deepin Store and Deepin Games, why not with other stuff? I mean, Windows does those things transparent by default since Vista and it looks pretty damn good. And maybe make the minimize, maximize and close icons a little bit bigger? You know, there's a hell lot of space on that bar, and who said those icons need to be perfectly square? It's kind of the same logic as with scroll bars - I don't want to have to display extreme mouse-precision skills to minimize my window, and when I'm closing it, i want to do it without looking (yes, make it to the edge of the screen). Seriously, look at Windows. Copy from them. They have it all figured out in the frame-bar-thingies department.
So that's about it when it comes to the big things, there are just a few little details that I think may be worth mentioning. Like the folders. Can somebody please tell me, why all the folder icons in Linux have to be so flat? I mean, yours look far better than any other, but there is still room for improvement. If you want them to be flat, get rid of the shading and make them like the icons in the laucher or Command Center. If not, make them 3D like those in Windows. In other things, when I change the system font size it doesn't exactly change everywhere - the text on the desktop icons, in the launcher and in the Command Center stays the same. Also, the launcher doesn't display on the whole screen, just on about 2/3. Is it supposed to do that? Is it a bug? I seriously don't know. It doesn't even look bad, just... I don't know. And speaking of the launcher, if you add the darker backgroud transparency you might consider showing the launcher over any windows open at the moment, not over the desktop. Just a thought, I think it might look cool that way. Also, a shortcut to desktop in the dock would be really nice.
This would be about it, though I used the system for only a few hours, so I might have missed a lot of things.
Lastly, let me tell you that I am a very lazy person and I normally don't do this sort of things, just hope other people will see the same things and do something with it. But Linux Deeping, seems, in my eyes, as the first distribution with the potential to be more nice-looking and user-friendly than Windows, which is huge. And of course, I'm just some guy rambling on about what he wants and half of the things I write about are much harder to do than I make them to be, while the other half is probably already in development. But like I said, this thing has a potential and I would really like to see it blossom, so I hope my rambling will be able to help in some way.
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2014-09-25 21:06
Thanks for your comments. I have reported your advice to the design team and we will continue our efforts to improve.
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2014-09-26 04:30
Thank you also. It's nice to know that my feedback has reached the right people and will be, in some way, taken into consideration. Keep up the good work.
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2014-09-26 19:31
My pleasure.
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