How Consistency Helps Me Be More Productive On Elementary OS

I've tried many Linux distributions before settling on elementary OS; there's just something special about it that I can't find on other distributions. In this article, I will explain how consistency and design choices affect my workflow in elementary OS.

elementary OS

The strangest thing about Linux distributions is how similar yet how different they are. Some distributions even implement each other's features, and yet their existence is aimed at a distinct user base.

Before going to university to study computer science, I was a young and passionate graphic designer. I spend most of my teenage years working as a freelance designer, so I suppose I know a fair share about design.

I see elementary OS as one of the most user-friendly distributions. The OS offers a clear design language that is more or less coherent through the user interface. Many things make sense, like the auto-hiding dock, when some UI element starts to cover it. Small things like that have a significant impact on user experience and how productive users can be.


When something is intuitive, there's almost no learning curve; you can start using the product at the maximum capacity from the start. The time saved from learning a sophisticated software can be reinvested in your actual work. There are some things you need to learn when using the elementary OS, like shortcuts. There's also no minimize button, but clicking on the icon in the dock works like a charm. Small little changes that some people find strange are, in my opinion, a big selling point for elementary OS.


Some elements and color choices on elementary OS might look a bit outdated, but the consistent icon design allows me to remember what a particular button does quickly. Some non-native apps, like LibreOffice, maintain the same layout and icon theme thanks to the GTK configuration. In this case, elementary OS is a perfect example where the OS's consistency improves your ability to be more productive.

I could talk about the elementary OS, and it's design language all day, but I want to focus on my settings to get an even more unified look. Since the dock is the most engaged component of the OS, I decided to unify the look. I use a lot of different, non-native apps that have their branded icons. These branded icons don't fit with the rest of the default apps, and it makes the dock look odd and incoherent, it bothered me. So I decided to switch them with the system icons thanks to an AppEditor, a simple application for editing app's metadata. Now my dock looks more consistent with Spotify having the default music icon, Signal having the default conversation icon, and so on.

#elementaryOS #linux #FOSS #design

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