Every week, we feature customized desktops and home screens submitted by readers that show off great customization tools and UI tweaks. Sometimes they’re fun, sometimes they’re functional, and sometimes they’re both, but 2013 was a great year for all of them. Here’s a look back at the most popular customizations you sent us.
It’s simple, minimal, and while it makes use of some good-looking Rainmeter skins, reader Sony Samuel Somar’s desktop is good-looking, clean, and functional.
We toss around the term “minimal” a lot, mostly to describe relatively spartan but still elegant desktops or workspaces, but strictly it’s all about removing the things you don’t need so you have plenty of room for the things you do—and to give yourself creative space. Reader unkn0wn did just that with this clean, minimal desktop
We’ve seen our share of stunning wallpapers, packed-in widgets and skins, and desktops brimming with tweaks and customizations, but sometimes it’s nice to see someone step back and say “these are the tools that work best for me, and that’s all I need.” Reader SARodrigues did just that with this desktop that’s both clean and useful.
When we highlighted The Wallpaper Wednesday Desktop, reader tmfk chimed into the discussions with his own alien-looking landscape and the HUD he built around it. It looks so good we couldn’t help but feature it on its own.
Not every featured desktop is on someone’s work computer in an office somewhere. This week’s, submitted to us by Flickr user Adam, is actually the desktop on his HTPC, and he has it loaded with useful at-a-glance information and quick access to his favorite applications.
Customizing your desktop is really about making it look and work the way that suits your workflow, or at least so it looks nice to you, as opposed to accepting its default look and feel. Reader Georgacus didn’t want to tweak his desktop too much, but he did want a few subtle changes, and once he made them, his Windows desktop felt much more personal, and a bit less like every other Windows system out there.
We’ve seen some relatively sparse desktops in recent weeks, but this week’s featured desktop, a Ubuntu system from reader technofhile, includes a wealth of useful information at the bottom of the screen, without getting in the way of the stylized and clean wallpaper.
A combination of well placed widgets, sharp use of Objectdock, text shortcuts, and an adorable wallpaper make this week’s featured desktop worth duplicating. Reader M. Adams built this two-toned setup with no icons on the desktop and an auto-hidden taskbar to keep organized and have a desktop that was a joy to look at even when he wasn’t using the system.
Drawing the line between useful on-screen information and space to work or play is a constant theme with our featured desktops. Some of them have widgets everywhere, others are open and clean. This week’s, from reader lionskingly, draws the line perfectly and reminds us of the days when sidebars and widgets were the norm.
Reader Raghken was so enamored with the teaser trailer for Supergiant Games’ upcoming title, Transistor, that he built this week’s featured desktop around it. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the game, the wallpaper is gorgeous.
Reader Thand shows off his clean, Holo Light-inspired home screen with lots of widgets and a bright, colorful aesthetic.
Reader LivingstonTheThird modeled his home screen around a minimal space-themed wallpaper, with plenty of widgets that blend in with the background as if they were there all along.
Android: It’s hard to pretend that Android isn’t a huge vehicle for Google services. My Color Screen user yihaomizhijia doesn’t bother hiding it with the Google Grid.
Reader Alex M put together this truly minimal home screen with a simple 3×3 grid of icons—and almost nothing else.
Reader Elysium1215 put together a neat home screen with a dock on the side and a very cool tiled set of icons. Here’s how to put it together.
Reader WharlsScreenName has a very minimal setup with two handy launchers for all the most important apps, justified to the right of the screen. Here’s what you need to recreate it.
Reader Ollie Terrance wanted to get the look and feel of Ubuntu phone on his Android device. With a little help from Buzz Launcher and Widget Locker, that’s exactly what he did.
Reader SPoZB gives the minimalist look a bit of extra style with some cool text widgets, one in each corner of his Android home screen.
Designer z3u5 has shown off this fantastic retro LCD home screen, complete with icon pack, digital font, and even a cracked display “dock.”
Reader Andreaslarsendk has shown off this super-simple, vector home screen for iOS with an inspirational reminder.
There you have it – the most popular home screens and featured desktops of 2013! If you want to see your customized desktop or your phone’s home screen in a post or list like this one, here’s what to do:
You never know, it may be the next one featured on the site!