Mockup KDE 4 screenshots using the Etched Glass style for the panel and menus.
1) Etched Glass: translucent and blurred (fuzzy)
2) Menu Indicator: Translucent pyramids under expandable menus will replace the itsy-bitsy black triangle that currently appears in the upper left corner. This will restore symmetry in the icon and be more visible yet less intrusive since it is in the background. The pointed end of the pyramid will direct the user to where the menu will slide out.
3) Variable Opacity: Area surrounding an item (which consists of icon and text) will smoothly/gradually become more opaque when the user moves the mouse over the icon, comparable to the Plastik theme way of changing the background color of window buttons when the mouse is hovering over them.
4) Upright Icons: For neatness and to resemble reality (where there is gravity), icons that stand up and that are not pointing every which way will be used as much as possible.
1) Tabbed Sub-menus: A submenu can either appear as a tab (with its contents listed under the tab) or to the right (as in KDE 3.4). A triangle on the left side of the tab allows the user to switch between modes on a per-tab basis, in order to maximize space and minimize clicks.
2) No K(Start)-menu: K(Start)-menu just adds an extra click. Instead, apps are classified into 4 or 5 major categories that show up directly on Kicker.
3) Labels under Kicker icons
4) Description of Apps: Brief description of menu items will appear when the user moves the mouse over the item. The application name will be resized to make room for the description.
Special thanks to the creators of the icons and images I used:
Crystal Clear (http://www.kde-look.org/content/show.php?content=25668)
Lanthys Icon Set (http://www.kde-look.org/content/show.php?content=25846)
Black + White Icons (http://www.kde-look.org/content/show.php?content=24645)
Cezanne Icon Theme (http://gnome-look.org/content/show.php?content=16479)
Flower Power (http://www.kde-look.org/content/show.php?content=25479)
Jimmac Cursor Theme (http://kde-look.org/content/show.php?content=6550)