Many applications today take on various themes/skins. Skins come in several flavors ranging from sports team to operating systems and a myriad of colors. I use a couple of skinnable applications. Once I select a skin, I stick to it almost forever until I come across one that is better than what I currently use.
My criteria to select a skin is
- Easy on the eyes – This is the number one priority. The skin should have the least amount of strain on the eyes. Skins with subtle colors help in this regard.
- Features of the app are easily visible – I hate to use a skin that make the interface too small and makes it very difficult to use the application
- Consume less Memory – Though this might not be a concern on most modern computers, it does help when you have several programs running simultaneously.
- Real Estate – A skin should not occupy valuable screen space more than required. This allows to user more productive
Over the years when I search for new skins for my apps, I find the watery (aqua) skins are particularly preferred and have the highest downloads. I don’t see a valid reason why. Maybe it resembles MacOS or its ease of use is great.
Personally I have used the following skins for a while – more than a year that is 😉
- Winamp – Default skin. Satisfies all my criteria
- Opera – Emil. Clean and easy on the eyes. Blends Well with Windows XP and Clearlooks theme on Linux
- Firefox – iFox. My favorite aqua theme.
Almost every other application in Linux is skinnable or wholly customizable. So I am not going to discuss about them. GAIM, Kopete, Firefox, Opera, Amarok, XMMS and even the splash screen, login screen are customizable.
There could be several other apps that are skinnable, like Yahoo messenger, MSN messenger for which I retain the default skin for the sake of less memory consumption. Load fancy skins on all your favorite apps and you could end up slowing your computer to unimaginable levels.
Pour in your thoughts!!!