Do you remember the TV show Father Knows Best? You know, the 1950’s TV series with Robert Young and Jane Wyatt? If anyone had a problem (I don’t think they used the term "issue" until the 1980’s) you could go to Father because he… well… he knew best. Of course, any parent worth their salt will tell you that 90% of the time your just winging it and praying your kids won’t turn with too many bumps, bruises, and issues. Oops, I meant "problems."
So why am I bringing this up? Because we have a modern variant of this called Designer Knows Best or perhaps Photographer Knows Best. Perhaps you have seen this show where the designer/photographer presents you with a white browser window and an "Enter" button (usually red and done in Flash which really needs its own ranting). Push that enter button and instantly you browser window jumps to full screen so they can "showcase" their wares (images, designs, etc).
I have a 23" Apple Cinema HD connected to my 15" MacBook Pro which means I have a fair amount of real estate on my desktop. Any given browser window is usually only about 30% of the screen. And when I visit a site like Sarah K’s The Blog or perhaps Vincent Laforet’s or Joe McNally’s photo sites, I get really annoyed when my browser window explodes to cover 100% of my display.
Creatives (or artists to use the old school tem) have this vision they are trying to communicate and it usually includes some sense of background to frame that vision. But is it really necessary to completely take over my screen to show it? How about letting me, the viewer of your art, to be a part of the process. If my screen is too cluttered to allow me to focus on your image, I can take care of the problem myself! You don’t need to usurp control of my computer and help me!
It kind of reminds me of the old days when you would stumble across a porn site and suddenly your browser window when to 100% and you had 800 pop-up and pop-under adds and you just couldn’t kill things fast enough! The whole thing screamed look at me! (Yeah, I know, that’s the point of porn.)
And of course, no disrespect intended or implied to Sarah K, Vincent Laforet, or Joe McNally, all of whom produce amazing work.