(There's some interesting things happening at Carnegie Mellon University as far as preparing Graphic Designers for UI thinking and design. Too bad I don't have the money for it. Biola, where I'm going, isn't too bad though. )
Programmers need to realize that they can't naturally design a good UI and that it should be given to a designer. All major open source projects should look for a UI guy for everything.
Let the hackers code. That's what they do best. Let the designers design. Or at the very least, O'Reilly should release a UI book. Make it under the GPL and release it to all the hackers so Linux wouldn't be such an eyesore as far as UI. This isn't flamebait but, my honest opinion.
I book would help but, Linux will still be lacking until every major project has at least one person just for UI (if not a whole team on this). User Interface is just another variable to think about. Coders already have enough work. You know all of Microsofts products must have some UI people. You know Apple is packed to the gills with UI people.
Consistancy would also be nice. Consistancy beyond just a set of icons to use as buttons. Consistancy in dialog size, composition and location. Things should work the same. Most normal people can't grasp computer concepts that fast so, if we make dialogs and menus that work similarly across all (or most) major
This is badly need in KDE, GNOME and all of Open Source.
Could someone rate me above Observer? It's pretty annoying.