WordPress is evolving at break neck speeds these days and every major release sees inclusion of some new feature or trinket that makes it easier for site owners to use and customize their sites. In the upcoming 3.4 release one of the new features is the Theme Customizer which allows an administrator to make theme customizations such as changing the background colour and image, changing the header, changing site title and description and assigning menus from one central location and see the results in a preview right away. This is a vast improvement from the previous in-admin solution that had multiple tabs and required you to jump to the actual front page to see the results.
There is a lot to say about this feature, and I’ve only started scratching at its surface thanks to Otto’s excellent tutorial, but as you can see from the grab this feature allows theme developers to add in their own theme options for even more customizability. I am hard at work building these features into my most recent theme Anaximander and will publish more on the topic when I have a clearer idea of how everything works.