Ideas to maybe replace the blue leaf

Other than wrinting “Menu” on the button, a “Hamburger” icon is another common pattern used in contemporary interface design for menus like this and would thus be recognized by many users.

But it might feel a bit like an anachronism inside the deliberately 90ies-style BeOS UI. If it’s put to the side next to a logo, it might also be mistaken for a drag handle.

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In same time, if you put “Menu” on a button, some may think it’s a shortcut for a food delivery service app. :grin:
Perhaps, the installer could ask people to define where they want the menu and the shape they want it to have? But, like an introduction, it doesn’t work if someone install the OS for you.
Whatever you do, there will always be someone who will see it wrong.

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This is more like an issue with the youtuber, than with Haiku.

“When you have trouble with things – whether it’s figuring out whether to push or pull a door or the arbitrary vagaries of the modern computer and electronics industries – it’s not your fault. Don’t blame yourself: blame the designer.”

– Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things (it’s a classic book on user-centered design, originally published back in 1988, which I highly recommend to read everyone on this forum).

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A quick search shows there’s also at least one UX designer on the forum, who most probably has an experience of conducting user researches.

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Don Norman had a brainfart once, but instead of saying, “ha ha, how silly I was” and going on with his life, he blamed all industrial designers everywhere and started a quasi-religion based on the idea that the customer is always right and should never have to read the manual, follow instructions, pay attention, or think.

It’s been said that unreasonable people drive the world forward, but often it’s right over a cliff.


People are provides as is, without warranty of any kind. It’s the user interface that can be changed. But having a manual is not a bad thing, especially if it’s an excellent manual.

This is not what Norman and Krug (“Don’t make me think”) promote. They don’t see the users as stupid monkeys who are not able to think, they just promote the concept of usability where the users are not obliged to think how to interact with the UI while focusing on being productive with it, instead.


The idea isn‘t bad, but any idea followed to it‘s extreme will be.

I think a good counterexample is something like vim: a huge learning curve. But much higher productivity once you get the hang of it.

Same with reverse polish notation calculator, somewhat harder at the start but much easier and faster after the initial learning period.


1: About the quick tour, I think the webpage makes most sense, Open NetPositive to the webpage with the guide. Easy to close if you don’t want to go through it. It’s a horrendous idea to hide the deskbar and tracker before they go through the quick tour. Why on Earth would you hide the main UI?

Also, to the comment about " ‘Checkbox: Show Quick Tour on boot’ Don’t leave it up to the user"… :expressionless: Actually do leave it up the user. This is not a good attitude to have about people who might like to use the operating system.

2: About the proposed changes, I don’t really care to change it. Not that the current icon is amazing, but what will we actually gain from changing it. It’s like the apple icon for the apple menu, or the windows icon for the start menu. If you were going to change it, it should just say “Haiku” in whatever the official stylization of Haiku is.


Or there is that demo too that shows Haiku. I forget what it looks like. No need for different fonts. Probably just Haiku in it’s current font, with or without leaves, and over a background color that is on-theme with Haiku or Deskbar.

Also, I am putting my two cents here. I would appreciate if nobody complained about me “necro-bumping”. I wish to talk about the subject and welcome further discussion, but I think we should keep the current icon.

The only issue with the leaf is, it in no way visually explains what it is or why it’s there. A rocketship would offer more natural self discover ability, and UI elements should always infer inherent self discover ability.

Back to writing machine tool code

I guess that’s on theme with BeOS/Haiku. I never had an issue with the leaf, but I don’t think an icon should be the alternative.

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The link to our excellent user guide is directly on the desktop (at least if they are using the recommended beta versions). If people so stubbornly refuse to at least glance over it, then there is nothing we can do for them.


The user might consult the user guide if they know they have a problem, but they don’t know they have a problem because they are unaware of the Deskbar menu.
If they know there is a Deskbar menu, they might consult the guide on finding it, but unaware of it’s existence, they may never look for it.

I don’t get it, what is so difficult in finding the Deskbar menu? I guess those never used anything but … and even then, on first launch you are presented with a Desktop, some icons, and a leaf with some icons underneath (systray). Can’t be that hard?? :wink:


We have already discussed this, Not even two month ago. See the hundreds of posts in that thread. Please let’s not re-do the whole discussion again.

Yes, there is a problem with discovering this button. The problem dates back from Windows 95, where they did the following:

  • Make the button look like a button.
  • Label the button with a very obvious “Start” label. People would not find and use the button.
  • Put an arrow next to the button with a “click here to begin” label. People would not find and use the button.
  • Animate that label and arrow at first boot, so that it would scroll on screen and bounce around, to make it impossible to miss. Maybe people still didn’t find and click the button, but I guess, at that point, the UX designers at Microsoft just gave up.

In Haiku we currently fail at the first step. The button does not look like a button. Of course people won’t find it!


A couple of years ago, I watched a Linux Youtuber go through the Haiku install process, and when visually scanning the Desktop, he proudly boasted “user guide, we don’t need that”, and then 5 minutes later struggled to do common tasks and was oblivious to Haiku strengths. You can never help these people who refuse to read a welcome page or read a user manual directly on the desktop.

Sticking to convention may help muscle memory for beginners coming from other OS’s, but at the cost of making tasks more convoluted for Pro users. I’d rather Haiku target pro users than absolute beginners (since by definition, you are a beginner only once on your journey).


You could do it manually by opening each app with file types and then clicking the icon which will open it in icon-o-matic and from icon-o-matic you can export it as .svg

I hate to prolong this thread any further, just quickly pointing out that our “blue feather” widget is indeed a menu, not a button. It therefore look perfectly fine like any other menu, not a button… :slight_smile:


Ok, that makes sense, but still, it has no label, and a leaf that doesn’t really look like a menu icon. And also no arrow as BPopUpMenu would have, for example.

So, it has the same background as a menu, but it lacks some other design elements.

I think just adding an arrow to the side of the button could work, while keeping the look not too busy?

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Let’s put a captcha on installer with the question “Click where is the menu” if user is wrong just end installer and say goodbye, if not let them continue. :stuck_out_tongue:

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