Ubuntu

update-manager: no branding. Is it legit?

Reported by Kevin Hunter on 2010-01-20
96
This bug affects 19 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
update-manager (Ubuntu)
Medium
Matthieu James

Bug Description

The Update Manager program has no branding to say that it's legit. There's not even an Ubuntu logo.

My advisor called me in the other day to ask "What is this program? Why did it pop up? I thought Linux didn't have viruses."

After explaining that it was legit, he told me his reasoning: there was little in the help he could /quickly/ find referencing this "Update Manager", and there was no branding or logo, or any helpful-to-his-level-of-skill explanation. He's no dummy, just a born-and-bred Windows user until about 2 months ago.

<https://wiki.ubuntu.com/SoftwareUpdates#alert>

Kevin Hunter (hunteke) wrote :
description: updated
Montel Edwards (montel) wrote :

Yes, the update-manager software is legit. Update manager has nothing to do with viruses or anything, it just is a graphical application for Ubuntu's package manager. If you do not like for the application to bother you, you could always change it by going to Applcations > Administration > Software Sources > And go under the updates tab.

Thanks!
 -Montel Edwards

Kevin Hunter (hunteke) wrote :

No no, that's missing the point. *I* know it's legit. But it needs some extra branding so as to be more transparent for folks who aren't as "in the know." Asking folks to change the updates setting is not reasonable. The bothering isn't the point.

Branding is the issue. It's the look and feel for the end-user, for folks like my advisor.

Kevin Hunter (hunteke) wrote :

I believe this to be paper-cut worthy, as a simple branding could be just applying an obviously Ubuntu type icon for the application, or adding a "What's this?" button somewhere in the application. The "What's this?" button could direct to either a webpage or some installed help explaining about the update manager.

Lex (lexdave) wrote :

I agree. Ubuntu should have branding on the Update Manager and it should have a help button. Throw some style on this essantial application. There are updates almost every day, why not make this a visually appeling program to use? Makes sense to add some branding and to make is more theme centric. Also, make it into a panel icon once the download begins, with status bars on hover.

Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

In <https://wiki.ubuntu.com/SoftwareUpdateHandling> I've specified that the Update Manager window should feature the Ubuntu logo.

Changed in update-manager (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Medium
status: New → Triaged
Kevin Hunter (hunteke) wrote :

Thank you Matthew. I don't see any "logo" text on that page, but I see that the mockup images you've made appear to now include an Ubuntu logo in them. Good deal.

May I suggest a couple things further?

- How about a window icon? Such that when an update window is minimized to the bottom panel ("taskbar"?), it doesn't have the (what *I* consider to be ugly) brown box, but a clearly Ubuntu icon?

- The title "Software Updater" is, I think, better text than "Update Manager". Good deal.

I had others, but I just finished with a distraction, and now can't remember. Oh well. Thanks for your hard work, Matthew!

Vish (vish) wrote :

Thanks mpt!

Kevin , one bug per issue! ;-) For renaming update manager, we have : Bug #618723

Changed in hundredpapercuts:
importance: Undecided → Medium
status: New → Triaged
Kevin Hunter (hunteke) wrote :

Vish: Heh. It's /already/ changed in MPT's mockup images. Twas a compliment!

This would be even better if it said something like "Ubuntu Software Updater".

Changing the name to include the brand would insure it's legitimate even before we look at the logo.

Greg Bair (gregbair) wrote :

One problem I see of using an Ubuntu-branded icon instead of the usual brown box is that it uses the "update-manager" icon in the gtk icon cache. So, depending on what icon theme a user uses (eg, the Ubuntu default or Faenza or whatever), the image on the main window will change. The only way to avoid that would be to hard-code an image, which is usually not a good idea, uniformity-wise.

Vish (vish) on 2010-12-16
Changed in hundredpapercuts:
assignee: nobody → Papercuts Ninja (papercuts-ninja)
milestone: none → nt7-potpourri
John Gilmore (gnu-gilmore) wrote :

The problem (as reported) seems to be that it pops up without warning, but doesn't identify itself as a part of the Ubuntu system. To anyone who's used to annoying or harmful Windows or Web pop-ups, it looks like another one of those, trying to scam the user into something. "Upgrade the system for important security updates" -- right!

How can the program clearly indicate that it isn't malware? (In a way that real malware would find hard to replicate.)

Perhaps it shouldn't do unprovoked pop-ups at all? Merely putting something in the panel (and in a notification that shows up periodically?) that shows how many packages can be upgraded (and the maximum severity of the issues that provoked the updates) might be a good fix. If the user clicks on the panel item, THEN they would get a window popping up -- when they expect to see one.

Paul Sladen (sladen) wrote :

I think in the past Ubuntu has generally tried to "debrand" software because it can also used across Debian, other distributions and other derivatives (Kubuntu, Xubuntu, ...). Things like the Ubuntu Software Centre are starting to get branded to help enforce to the user that they are official, and the same should probably apply to the security updates.

mpt: rather than a direct pop-up, would a modal, "stylesheet" overlay similar to that being proposed for the non-responsive application interface work better? (See bug #698031).

Kevin Hunter (hunteke) wrote :

That's a good analysis, John. And a good suggestion. The stylesheet is another good suggestion. I don't have all the details in mind to definitively say "Yeah! That's the ticket," but both thrusts have merit, and they aren't mutually exclusive.

Chris Wilson (notgary) wrote :

I thought I heard somewhere that the update manager would be rolled into the Software Centre at some point in the future. Am I right there, or am I making it up.

description: updated
Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

Paul, modal to what? The updates-available alert has no parent window. And on a large screen, system-modal dialogs are crack.

Vish (vish) on 2011-01-15
Changed in hundredpapercuts:
assignee: Papercuts Ninja (papercuts-ninja) → nobody
assignee: nobody → Papercuts Ninja (papercuts-ninja)
Alex (chewytree) wrote :

Ubuntu Update Manager is a good name. And I agree with a new UI design, just to make it more appealing....you do almost interact with that every day

Taowa (taowa4) on 2011-11-13
visibility: public → private
visibility: private → public
Changed in hundredpapercuts:
milestone: nt7-potpourri → quantal-8-administration
assignee: Papercuts Ninja (papercuts-ninja) → nobody
Changed in update-manager (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt)
Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

I have requested a new icon for update-manager, that strikes a balance between incorporating the Ubuntu logo to reassure people that updates are legitimate, vs. avoiding prominent branding on something that will sometimes seem boring or irritating.

Changed in update-manager (Ubuntu):
status: Triaged → In Progress
Chris Wilson (notgary) on 2012-06-14
Changed in hundredpapercuts:
status: Triaged → In Progress
Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

I'm not sure this is appropriate for the Papercuts project, unless the Papercutters include icon artists willing to work on a replacement icon. :-) I've attached the design brief in case anyone would like to get involved.

Chris Wilson (notgary) wrote :

You're probably right :)

Changed in hundredpapercuts:
status: In Progress → Invalid
milestone: quantal-8-administration → none
importance: Medium → Undecided
Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

There's nothing else I can do while waiting for the new icon.

Changed in update-manager (Ubuntu):
status: In Progress → Triaged
assignee: Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) → Nick Tait (jnick-tait)
Luis Alvarado (luisalvarado) wrote :

I love the new icons proposed. They give the feeling that they are similar (Oriented towards software packages/sources).

Paul Sladen (sladen) wrote :

Re: Luis' comment #22; the context is that Sam Hewitt posted to the Unity Design list the following summary:

  https://docs.google.com/document/d/10WyeoBHMY-FmiEuGnKf8PSAGZ9GVMUQsh9-l8g8oSSI/view

and along with that Sam has also posted a precise tarball of highly suitable vector SVG icons (also attached here, so that they don't get lost).

Sam: I'm wondering if the abstract 'globe' would work as an abstract downwards arrow instead (nominally flipped version of the up arrow). This would tie in with the trend to use a downwards arrow for "get" or "download" call-to-actions, and would also be a close mirror to the upwards arrow for "update". The subtle difference between 'up' and 'down' would be there for those who notice, but I suspect many people would simply see a reassuring "shopping bag with big arrow" and this would nicely gloss over the difference for them, as the three tasks/actions covered here are interrelated.

mpt: how do these compare with your original specifications/wishes? Do they carry enough reassurance-branding, or is more required.

Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

I discussed these icons with Sam yesterday. While a shopping bag is the existing metaphor for USC, it would not be appropriate for Software Sources or Software Updater. The latter two have very little to do with shopping.

And while it would be good for the icons to look like a family of three, that does not require using the same overall shape. That might actually be undesirable, if they become hard to distinguish in a small or folded Launcher. They could share the same color scheme, texture, and/or symbols, without sharing the same overall shape.

I suggested experimenting with the box metaphor currently used for Software Sources and Software Updater, with things that make the overall shape distinct. For example:
- USC could be a magic box, with applications flying out like they do from the current USC icon. <http://www.google.com/search?q=magic+box&tbm=isch>
- Software Sources could be the same box, but closed, with gearwheels or a spanner.
- Software Updater could be an airdrop, the box with a parachute.

Changed in update-manager (Ubuntu):
assignee: Nick Tait (jnick-tait) → Matthieu James (tiheum)
Chris Wilson (notgary) on 2013-02-05
no longer affects: hundredpapercuts
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