Something that comes up a lot is that people think Plasma's settings are "disconnected", "disjointed", "fragmented", "hard to find", etc. I admit I've had some of the same thoughts, especially when I first switched to using Plasma, though it's a bit hard to put my finger on exactly how and why. When I give it a good long think, here's what I believe contributes:
- Widget configuration is tied to the widget itself and not available in any kind of centralized location. This requires a prior understanding that the Plasma desktop is made of widgets, which is not immediately obvious.
- Widget configuration currently relies on a variety of somewhat user-unfriendly discovery methods (right-click > configure; press-and-hold-to-expose-handle > click configure on widget's handle; open Desktop Toolbox > click configure on widget's handle; enter panel configuration mode, mouse-over widget > click configure). Especially on touch, all of these methods are not very discoverable and slow and awkward to invoke.
- Wallpaper settings are technically a part of the containment (which itself is per-screen and per-activity) and exposed there rather than in System Settings, where it is in every other desktop environment/OS.
- KCMs opened from KRunner, Kickoff, or a widget context menu (etc) open in KCMshell rather than in the System Settings app, so it appears disconnected from all other settings.
I'd like to propose two changes that I think would solve these issues:
- Add a new category to System Settings that displays all widgets visible in the current screen and activity; clicking on them shows their settings, just like present KCMs in System Settings. This would work fine for Activities since only one can be active at once, but for multi-screen setups maybe we could open a System Settings child window on each other screen that only holds the settings for the widgets on that screen. macOS does this for their equivalent of the KScreen KCM for per-screen display management and it works all right.
- When a KCM is opened directly, open it in System Settings rather than in KCMshell. We've already gotten various requests for this, in fact: https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=402790
With these changes, there would always be a way for you to see all the settings for all your widgets in one place, and that place is the same place where you also find all your other systemwide settings: in the System Settings app. Also, any way you arrive at a settings window, it opens in some part of System Settings, helping you build a mental map of where the settings "live". Therefore discoverability is increased, and the System Settings app becomes a cohesive place to configure the whole plasma desktop, not just parts of it. You can also navigate there easily using only left-clicks and touch, so accessibility is improved especially for touch users for whom the current methods of accessing widget settings is non-ideal.