i put some work in on digiKam's UI this week in prep for a piece i'm writing on it. they've done a really great job with the upcoming 0.7 version, but as with many Free / Open Source apps the UI was a bit loose. i'm not sure if all my patches will make it into v0.7 as its coming out Real Soon Now(TM). some of the digiKam hackers had planned on requesting a UI review down the road at some point, which is good. there's a lot more than can/should be done even taking into consideration the bits i did.
but really, this isn't something to do after a release. why not? because when we release software, the users that use it get used to the way things are and it becomes progressively harder to change things later no matter how bad of an idea the interface was in the first place! even more drastic, many users will stop using software that is clunky. functionality may be great, but a sleek interface, good workflow and sound usage patterns is one of the primary things keeps most users loyal.
this being the case, before releasing the next version of KFooBar, consider taking all the new dialogs, menu/toolbar items and other visible features and conducting a UI review on them. do this before writing documentation or releasing the translators on your software. give yourself enough time to look at each piece and if need be clean it up. enlisting your local friendly usability mechanic might even be an idea.
i've started a new weekly column aimed at third party developers called Spit 'n Polish. i even use my shift key! this week is about using the KDE trashcan. old issues will be archived and show up in the left sidebar. thanks to the peeps in #kde-devel for proof'ing it for me tonight (i was way too tired to be writing)!
if reaction is good, i'll announce it somewhere useful. and if there is enough demand, i'll start up a way for people to sub to that page via email.
oh, and i've been disturbing the peace again. i suppose i should watch what i say on irc more carefully. oh to be a pimply faced youth nobody listened to again! hrm. on second thought, i'll take my lumps.