A Call For KDE To Fully Embrace Simplicity By Default, Appeal To More Novice Users

Written by Michael Larabel in KDE on 30 November 2021 at 05:35 AM EST. 89 Comments
KDE developer Nate Graham is known for his weekly (excellent) development summaries and driving many usability improvements and other refinements to the KDE desktop in recent years. Nate has written a new opinion piece arguing for more simplicity by default to broaden the desktop's appeal to more novice computer users with limited skills.

Citing prior survey results around computer skills in developed countries, he argues that around 40% of adults in high-income countries have very limited computer skills and another 30% or so of adults have computer skills that aren't too great. In order for KDE to achieve "world domination", Nate Graham believes KDE should better cater to more of these users with limited but some computer skills.

Nate commented, "To broaden our appeal, we need to make our software usable by at least the people in the next level down (one dot in Computers), which doubles the potential to 60% of the market–going from a minority to a solid majority...Essentially we need to fully embrace Plasma’s motto of “Simple by default, powerful when needed” all KDE software, not just Plasma."

Nate believes in the ability to further simplify the KDE desktop but without alienating the advanced/power users of KDE. Building on KDE's great customizability, he believes well-designed software can cover much of the appeal from novice to advanced computer users.

"I see a lot of this already happening via our simple-by-default Kirigami apps gaining power and customization opportunities, and our powerful-by-default QtWidgets apps gaining better default settings and a streamlined appearance. So let’s keep it up!" Read more on Nate's blog.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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