Some thoughts about Gemini UX

Luke Emmet luke at
Mon Feb 22 22:40:31 GMT 2021

On 22-Feb-2021 20:32, Rohan Kumar wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 22, 2021 at 09:07:20PM +0100, Hans Gerwitz wrote:
>> It’s important for users to experience a sense of place as they 
>> navigate (as per Luke Emmet’s “cognitive aspects” thread from May 
>> 2020) but also important to give content creators some control over 
>> the presentation of their text.
>> Already we see extensive use of ASCII art. This is retro-cool but I 
>> would argue favicons or theme colors are actually *more* minimal, and 
>> also more attractive to 21st century users.
> I think that the lack of aesthetic branding is one of the best parts 
> of the Gemini space. Capsules should be distinguished by content, not 
> appearance. Presentation should be up to the user-agent, not the 
> authors. If branding is important for a site, then the Web is probably 
> a better fit for it than Gemini or Gopher.


This is not an either-or as I see it. We can have both a sense of place 
to assist navigation and memory AND at the same time avoid server side 
branding and attempts at aesthetic control.

My investigations in this direction led me to implement auto-theming in 
the client. The server has to specify nothing, but the client creates an 
automatic theme based on the site identity derived from the URL. For 
details see the auto "fabric" theme for GemiNaut client:


To my mind this is sufficient to demonstrate that there is no need for 
any server controlled colours, fonts, favicons or the like - and at the 
same time we can build attractive UI experiences for the end user that 
are content-focussed and can assist the user in finding their way around.

  - Luke

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