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elementary OS Juno's New Welcome Screen: getting even user friendlier

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Published on Aug 6, 2019

It's no secret I'm partial to elementary OS. These guys bring their own vision of the Linux desktop, which you might not like, but no one can fault them for attention to detail and UX consistency. Now, they bring a new onboarding experience to Juno, their latest release.

elementary OS blog post: https://blog.elementary.io/get-settle...

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This process is basically the welcome screen you'll see on elementary OS after an install. It will allow you not only to set a few preferences, but also help you discover some features you might not have been aware of, like night light ot housekeeping. When you create a new user, at first login, you'll get a series of screens to help you set up your system. This process is optional, and you can skip it, obviously, but for new users, it's a good way to get to grips with their system, and elementary OS is perfectly geared toward newcomers, so it makes sense.

THe first screen you'll see is the welcome page. It just greets you with a logo and a few helpful links to get some help or get involved with elementary's development. THe second screen lets you enable or disable location services. elementary OS apps will ask you for permission to use your location if that toggle is on, if not, they'll take it as a sign they shouldn't bother you.

Next is Night Light. It's a very useful feature thtat's a bit hidden in the settings, so it's good that it gets ome exposure here. If you don't know what Night Light is, it's basically a toggle allowing you to turn the color temperature of your screen to a warmer orange, to reduce blue light and help you sleep better. You can even elect to toggle it automatically when the sun sets.

Housekeeping is another feature that helps you reclaim some disk space and get rid of the trashed and temporary files. It's a bit hidden in the settings as well, so having it here makes it more prominent.

Finally, you get a nice little page telling you about the AppCenter, the app store of elementayr OS, which hosts a ton of great apps following the elementary OS guidelines. Once you go to the next step, you're all done, with a link to the system settings if you need to tweak some more stuff.

I've always liked thiese kind of onboarding screens, they really make the experience of using a new OS easier and more discoverable.

The elementary team also has iterated a lot on the design, playing with colors, various designs and buttons, and really thinking this through. They published a blog post on that design process, where you can learn how they built this nice little welcome screen. What's interesting, is that they plan to use this for new features as well: once an update brings a major new feature, this onboarding screen will pop-up, explaining what this thing does, and allowing you to turn it on or off.

This new experience should be available right now for new elementary OS installs, and I think it's a great addition to an already well polished and beautiful distro. GNOME has had something like this for a while now , and it's nice to see pantheon shipping this as well. Now all they need is their new installer (which you can already get a taste of in Pop OS) and flatpak support out of the box, which should be shipping in the near future if all goes well, and elementary OS will cement its place as one of the best desktop distros out there.

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