The UX of Windows 7 Background Slideshow

Windows 7 has the capability to point the desktop wallpaper at a folder and it will change the background like a slide show.  You can set it to change frequently up to once every ten seconds.  This sounded nice to me, so I gave it a try.

Clearly, no one on the Windows 7 design team has alot of photos because when I tried to point it at my collection, it started eating system resources until it crashed.  (I have thousands of photos since 1999.  However, this brings to mind a perfectly good UX opportunity.

I want to show my pictures like a slideshow as my desktop wallpaper.

I remember years ago, I was using a NeXT terminal at a friends college around 1992.  What surprised me was that the background was animated.  I loved it.  Why couldn’t all desktops be animated or a slide show.

People buy these electronic frames to show pictures in an animated way for hundreds of dollars.  Why can’t my computer do this basic task?  My screen saver from Google does a nice collage.  I want it on the desktop.

Anyway, this shouldn’t be a rant.  All I am saying is that small little features sometimes scratch the right itch and delight people.  Make sure you don’t mess up that feature.

2 Replies to “The UX of Windows 7 Background Slideshow”

  1. I’m a Windows guy, so I don’t know how this works on Mac. But a friend of mine has a slide show on his Mac desktop. Not sure how well it handles under load?

  2. I like a unobtrusive desktop background so I don’t use that particular feature of Leopard.

    However, for a test I switched it on and set it to refresh every 5 seconds. System resources maxed at around 28% and fell back down to about 5% between photo loads.

    My MBP is pretty beefy & has 4 GB RAM so system resource load might be higher on other setups.

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