Desktops as of late have been getting noisier and noisier. From cartoonish callouts (Windows and Gnome) to sliding dialogs (KDE), the Desktop as of late seems bound and determined to tell us things. I really wish it would just shut up. We have Windows telling us (and, especially in Vista, selling us) everything under the sun. KDE is telling me things about its Phonon backends. Who cares? Unlike the typical user (who is supposed to be the audience in usability), I actually know what Phonon is and what its backens are--and I STILL DON'T CARE! How much less would someone who doesn't know? The Desktop needs to be a little less interesting. Appealing and functional, yes, but it should not be trying to draw attention to itself. It should fade softly into the background unless I ask it for something. It should always be supporting, but never running the show.
The Desktop should be seen and never heard.