Maemo UI improvements blog.

February 18, 2009

Mer UI: Scalability

Filed under: Mer — Tags: , , — Andrew Zhilin @ 18:37

Hello everyone.

Today I’m not gonna show you new calculator faceplates (surprise!). Today I’ll show you the evolution of Mer UI design, that was inspired by Mer’s scalability.


Though Mer is targeted mostly to portable touchscreen platforms, such as MIDs, Pocket PCs and NITs, it still can be installed on variety of devices, including beagleboard and different notebooks. So we should make the UI that can look and act smooth on all types of screens from tiny PDA’s to large notebooks or even desktops.

So lets look how improved UI will work with portrait VGA screen (such as LOOX 720 or OpenMoko Freerunner).

Here’s the homescreen.


As you can see, portrait screen is not so good for our multifunctional bar, so we have to override the limitations without usability affection. So what we have now is 8 slots for statusbar and running application icons. If we’ll place some basic statusbar applets, such as time, battery and signal, we will have 2 slots for apps and 1 for notifications. Sounds nice, cause now we still can switch between IM, for example, and browser or book reader with one tap. But should user always go to the large task manager to see all other applications? Nope.

Welcome to the new Mer menu.


So, on the top of the Mer menu you can see scalable Tasks row, that helds all running applicatons. It acts pretty much as the desktop one. Here’s the example of different number of applications launched:


But that’s not all. “Tasks” is the button itself and it shows detailed application switcher:


Also current menu has a grid arrangement that helps to utilize space wisely and allows to make scalable menu, that will work fine on different devices with different screen sizes and resolutions.

Feel free to post your suggestions and request cause Mer is first of all Community project and everyone can participate!

Thank you.



  1. Very cool!!!
    I can’t wait this is ported to the lighter!!!

    Comment by pierluca — February 18, 2009 @ 20:05

  2. Nice work, but I think you should make it clear that these are mockups, or people might think this stuff is already implemented in Mer.

    Comment by ian — February 18, 2009 @ 23:54

  3. Great work, Andrew! One of the annoyances with Maemo + rotation was the lack of scalability, and this design seems to solve that problem quite well. I’m continually more impressessed with the artwork you produce (and the rate at which your produce it) – keep it up!

    Comment by Jeffery — February 19, 2009 @ 03:00

  4. Is that supposed to be Mer on a Tamagotchi on the lower right side?

    Comment by chatterbox — February 21, 2009 @ 00:32

  5. Just a thought, the top bar looks quite cluttered like that, so how about having maybe just the window title in the top bar (like it is in Maemo at the moment) but when you click it, it brings up the task switcher. Thats actually fewer clicks than your menu idea (which would still be there, AS WELL as this) and keeps a tidier looking interface.

    Im really interested in UI design so may get in touch with some ideas if thats okay with you?

    Comment by Joel — October 27, 2009 @ 21:36

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