Over at arstechnica there is a glimpse at the new Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex. A few screenshots show that Ubuntu is still going dark. The direction they are headed is not very clear. Even by scanning other user’s comments it appears its not a very popular idea, and I agree 100%! Here are 5 reasons a dark theme will only hurt Ubuntu:

  1. If they’re trying to prove a point that dark themes are pretty, I think they’re just going to satisfy the ones who already love dark themes,.. in which case those users probably have a custom theme they enjoy already. They’re not going to get the votes of mom, dad, grandma, and grandpa, who until they satisfy, Linux in general will always be an underachiever.
  2. The darker theme, no matter how great the graphics, will only be eye-popping on higher end machines, thus going back to number one, only satisfying those true computer nerds who they’ve already captured their vote.
  3. Its a proven fact that dark colors are more depressing. Although it may be easier on the eyes, after a while people want to see vibrant colors.
  4. Dark colors are not suitable for the work environment. Businesses and schools will be hesitant to adopt such dark themes, partly because it appears “Unbusiness like” and also back to number 3, depressing workers.
  5. It hurts the visual integrity of applications and websites running within it. Applications need colors that make them stand out, not so dark and smooth that they all blend in.

I think other approaches should be taken first to improve desktop appeal before the theme, take a look at OSX for instance, they’ve done really well with they’re organization of the desktop, and more linux distributions are starting to reflect what they’ve done because it works so well.

Its understandable that brownish/orange is Ubuntu’s color, but there’s no need to be obsessive with it, for god’s sake make it vibrant and beautiful!