Ubuntu 11.04, Natty Narwhal: Successes and Failures

[ Thanks to James
for this link. ]

“This concern has always loomed large in Ubuntu. However, it
became even stronger several years ago, when Shuttleworth decided
that usability and design were areas where Ubuntu and its corporate
arm Canonical could “make a significant contribution” to open
source software. Since then, Ubuntu has introduced such innovations
as the app indicators, the repositioning of title bar buttons, and
a new color-coded default theme reminiscent of Apple’s.

“In 11.04, this concern continues on all levels. At the level of
widgets — the pieces of windows used to manipulate them — you
might notice that Natty has done away with the traditional scroll

“Instead, Natty offers what its developers call “overlay
scrollbars”: a red gauge a few pixels thick to indicate the current
position in the window. When you need to change your position in
the window, running the cursor over the gauge summons a set of
arrows outside the window that you can drag upon.”