With the exciting launch of ownCloud Community Edition 5, I wanted to take a few minutes to discuss some of the more exciting features.
In the next days I’ll write about the cool new simplified photo gallery, today, I’d like to talk about our new design.
Our goal is to make it very simple to work with the powerful functions of ownCloud and distract users as little as possible.
To this effect we reworked the main interface for ownCloud 5. In this iteration we started to put the focus more on the apps, or rather, the content itself. The main navigation was redesigned to clearly differentiate it from the in-app navigations. The app icons are bigger to allow for quick recognition, and the app name is still shown below the icon. We cut the width of the navigation more than half and redesigned it to be more subtle and elegant.
Previously Log Out was on the top right while Settings were on the bottom left. Since Settings was hard to find and Log Out was too present, we moved this to a combined user menu on the top right. This also shows the name of the currently logged-in user so you always know which account you are logged in with and so you can let your colleagues know what your username is for sharing.
The settings itself are further simplified as well. We always aim to keep settings to a minimum and decide on good defaults, but this is not always possible or feasible. To ease access to settings, we changed from the cumbersome model of having all app settings in the Personal section. All app-specific settings are moved to the apps themselves: Info such as CalDAV/CardDAV addresses, import/export functionality and more are now in the relevant app, usually in the bottom left, very unobtrusive but still easy to find. This allows you to quickly act from the app itself and not bother thinking whether something is an app function or a setting.
A new program is always difficult to start out with. To help people with that and get their data synchronized, there is a new first-run page linking the desktop and mobile apps as well as documentation on how to sync contacts and calendars. This info is also displayed in the personal settings and makes getting started with ownCloud even easier.In the future we will improve this even more and include more introductory help.
On top of that we worked on lots of small design improvements and issue fixes to make the ownCloud experience better.
Just try it out for yourself, you’ll see!