Design Element
Comment on "Excellence in Preference Windows"
by Scott Stevenson — Jun 08
@Danny Greg: I, however, think that the wallpaper choice is not so spectacular. Its neat but maybe remove the hearts and go with something a bit more standard.

I think the heart wallpaper is fantastic. Not necessarily because I feel there's a lack of hearts in UI design, but because it's a personal touch. It adds culture and character to the thing. It takes guts to go off and do something different.

The approach is clever because the hearts are very small (literally 9x9) and are chiseled out of a dark gray background. I doubt most people would even notice the pattern at first glance.

In any case, I think some may have missed the point here. You may agree or disagree with the particular design decisions in CoverSutra, but there was clearly a lot of care put into it. I'm not necessarily saying everyone should go add hearts to their Preference windows.

@Matt: often times people (including myself) seem to interpret nice icon/graphic eye candy as good 'design' when in fact a closer look reveals that the design of the UI itself might be quite ordinary

Graphic design isn't separate from user interface. If we're talking about visual user interfaces, then the visuals are a part of the overall design. Sometimes the interaction model stands out more than the graphics, sometimes it's the other way around. Clever visual elements combined with standard interactions can, in my opinion, absolutely be called "great design".

If the visual elements are somehow an obstruction to using the thing, than I agree with what you say. I don't think that's the case here.

@Guy: I think the confusion comes from the "Album Cover on desktop" for me. I honestly don't know what the "right way" would be

We're into extremely fine areas of language. As you say, it's not always clear in software if something is a proper noun or just a noun. In a lot of cases, the developer is the only true authority on which things are generic terms and which refer to specific features.

In this case, "Desktop Cover" seems to point to an element specific to CoverSutra, whereas "desktop" is a generic concept. The Leopard page for this topic uses desktop in the lower-case form, except when in a title.

Take a look at the Exposť tab/group in the "Expose & Spaces" section of System Preferences

It's used correctly there. As Sophia pointed out, only proper nouns are capitalized in complete sentences, but the "Show Desktop" is actually the title of a menu item, so nearly everything is capitalized.
Back to "Excellence in Preference Windows"
Design Element

Copyright © Scott Stevenson 2004-2015