2008/1/3, Jeff Spaleta <jspaleta gmail com>:
The rest of the graphics (except maybe splash screens) I would agree
deserve refinement because they serve a more functional role. Users
interact with window borders and buttons and icons and whatnot. But
the desktop background itself is purely expressive.
No, the background is much more than purely expressive. It constituetes the background
for icons placed on the desktop. As such it can provide landmarks for finding
a certain icon. As many users use the desktop for storing files files it is also
of utter importance that it is not too conspicious, so that it disturbs the user.
In essence it should be there but not be noticed all that much. E.g it can be
a good idea to avoid figurative images. It is also important to make the smallest
detail in the image much larger than the icon size, or it could make it harder
for visually impaired people to differentiate between the background and icon
contours. i.e. it acts like camoflage.
Some kind of easy identifyable subtle pattern is good especially if it is a bit
unsymetric an unrepeated. That way it provides good landmarks to help the
user remember how his icons are placed.