Sometimes, I notice that when people use the computer, they do this fidgeting thing. Knees are throbbing up and down. Head scanning side to side. Compulsively selecting the copy then zooming in and out. It’s not exactly the perfectly calm end-user imagined by UX1 designers. Because most people are alone when they’re on the computer, they don’t consciously check their appearance, and these weird habits build up quickly.
Not completely unrelated, people in movies always look awesome when they’re using the computer. They’re all doing important stuff and shooting people, when some guy sits down and brings up these nice translucent terminal windows and monochromatic data visualizations with units on a battlefield and mission strategists working around. It’s always the same thing, and it makes normal people feel inferior with their boring desktops and the ridiculously small amount of work they do during the week. It takes a particular set of circumstances for this fantasy computer-superhero thing to affect people. But say, you’re handy with computers, you watch action and sci-fi, and you feel like your work is insignificant. These few people end up trying to mimic those TV and movie computer heroes, by doing all sorts of desktop hacks, RainMeter, icon docks, Linux, and feeding the insatiable craving for a new wallpaper.
Considering both observations, perhaps it would be healthier, both physically and mentally, if people were more self-conscious when they’re using the computer. Ah, see, it would alleviate problems associated with sitting at a desk for hours, and you could start keeping a wallpaper for more than a couple of days.
- User Experience. ↩