Re: GUI issues

Subject: Re: GUI issues
From: Chuck <writer -at- BEST -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 8 Jul 1999 19:40:25 -0700

I have done the same thing--only with Visual Basic, rather than Paint
Shop Pro.

With VB, most, if not all, of the standard GUI widgets are available to
place on a design. Those not in the out-or-the-box package are available
through third parties. I was able to leverage the BASIC class I took
soooo long ago to wire together a couple of pieces of the GUI so that
when I demostrated some of my ideas, I could actually show a workflow:
click a button and a dialog box appears, for example.

What makes VB nice for trying out different GUI ideas is that it was
developed with the idea that the user interface is at least as important
as the code behind it, so the paradigm behind the product is to develop
a GUI first. Unfortunately, without true user-centered design principles
in plave, many people have vreated horribly bad VB applications. Ah

Alan Cooper (known as "the father of Visual Basic"), speaks of
"interaction design," going a step beyond simple interface design. If it
wasn't such a #! -at- %#&! long commute, I'd want to join the Cooper
Interaction Design team in an instant. (They are in Palo Alto, CA; I am
in San Francisco. The 30-35 miles have become hellish, transit is
horrendous, and no way am I moving.)

Connie Giordano wrote:
> As I had free time between writing projects, I offered to assist the business
> analysts charged with writing functional and design specs. The developers
> had asked for visual mockups of the objects to be developed, and excel
> spreadsheets were just not sufficient. So I hauled out my Paint Shop Pro,
> took some screen captures, copied, pasted, added text, labels, group boxes,
> you name it. I discussed with the analysts what functionality was required,
> and I worked with end users to make sure the labels made sense and that
> things were placed in a logical order to arrive at the expected output.
"[Programmers] cannot successfully be asked to design for users
because...inevitably, they will make judgments based on the
difficult of coding and not on the user's real needs."
- Alan Cooper
"About Face: The Essentials of User Interface Design"

Chuck Martin


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