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tips for gui, please.

Mihai Radulescu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 18, 2003
Posts: 918

Hi, people

Here are my three main UIs.

The server window :


The Client :

for the tabele
white : available record - this record can be booked.
gray : unavailable records

The configuration(for standalone) dialog :


I try to keep them as simple as possible.
What , you guys think about it ? To simplistic ? I need a tootbar ?

Comments, critics, tips are welcome.


Thanx M.
[ July 07, 2006: Message edited by: Mihai Radulescu ]

SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, OCPJBCD
Jason Moors
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 04, 2001
Posts: 188
Hi Mihai,

Looks good... my only comment and this more a personal preference, is that I think it's more user friendly for the search criteria fields to be displayed in a panel on the screen rather than a dialog box, using a dialog box means that I have to perform additional clicks to perform a search and not every user knows how to use short cuts.

Just my opinion, feel free to ignore... Like most of this assignment I think it's important to keep it simple and put most of the effort into the design thereby ensuring you have a flexible interface that will allow for future enhancement.

regards
Jason
Jeroen T Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 21, 2006
Posts: 1847
That's personal preference.
Myself I prefer to have one screen for each functionality and searching is definitely a different functionality than displaying data.

You do make me think about showing the filter used to determine the displayed recordset somehow in the main screen though.

Darn, will this thing ever be done or will every other post here lead to me add yet another something or refactor yet another piece of functionality


42
Thirumurugan Mylrajan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 26, 2006
Posts: 64
Its good and I dont think any changes are reqired. But I would like to ask some questions..

Reg Server Window,
I presume you show this when you start the server. Is it possible to
change the hostname of the servername in which you are running?.
After you stop the server, is it possible to change the database and start
the server again?.


The Client,
I use an MDI frame and a Menu for the user to choose the database.
Scheme to highlight only the available records is excellent. But how
do you do the search functionality?. What is the screen resolution you are using.

The Config..
Is it needed?. Since we would be using a file that is already present will these
things change?. Also these are too low level details to be displayed to the end user.

Thanks.


SCJP , SCJD. (IBM 142 in progress).
Mihai Radulescu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 18, 2003
Posts: 918

Hi people


Jeroen & Jason, I show the search criteria in the message area(at bottom) but after the search is done the criteria message is gone, replaced by the search results.
My be I need to split the message area in two ? I'll think about it.


Thirumurugan,
Server : Yes I can change the host name, port (only if the server is stop) database file file, database cookie, etc, all with an UI.

Client : I have a simple search dialog only with two text fields and two radio buttons, the UI was to simple thats why is not attached to the post.
The screen resolution ? Good question because sometime I use a sub-notebook with a 12,1 inch display and sometime a desktop with a really wilde screen. What I try to say is that the resolution does not count - the client window si 0.75 from the screen size (and this is configurable but not with the configuration UI).

Configuration : the configuration is needed because may be the user want to change the current configuration. I am not about the :

Since we would be using a file that is already present will these ...

The file can be missing or corrupted (or both a corrupted missing file ), in this case a default is generated and the user can use the Configuration UI to adjust it.


How about a toolbox ?


Regards M
Zhaozhe Ruan
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 06, 2006
Posts: 17
Hey,Mihai Radulescu

could you tell me in the configuration window, how do you make the file browser for choosing the database path,thanks a lot
Mihai Radulescu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 18, 2003
Posts: 918

Zhaozhe,

try JFileChooser.

Regards M.
Zhaozhe Ruan
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 06, 2006
Posts: 17
thanks
TREVOR Kenton
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 23, 2006
Posts: 4
Well done, this post is useful as I am a bit worried about what is expected from the booking screen as the URLBird brief is vague (I'm sure intentionally).

I was thinking of displaying not only the bookings straight from the data file but also showing all unbooked days that are free for the CSR to make new bookings from. To do this I would have to work out the earliest booking date in the database file, then show each and every date from that point to the current date plus two days in the future (brief says, all bookings for the customer/location must be searchable).

This layout creates a space problem: the earlist date in my file is in 2003, the number of dates on display would be large and awkward to display.

Another problem generally with regard to the data file is: what is the current date? All of the dates are in the past and months apart. Is the senerio that the current date is set to the earliest available booking then incremented until another available slot is reached while testing the 48 hour ruile?

The Client above is impractical for a real booking appication but satisfies the requirements for this assignment. I would appreciate some guidelines about the concept behind the data file. Anyone?


All feedback welcomed.
[ August 24, 2006: Message edited by: TREVOR Kenton ]
Ken Krebs
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 27, 2002
Posts: 451
That's personal preference.
Myself I prefer to have one screen for each functionality and searching is definitely a different functionality than displaying data.


From a developer's perspective this makes sense but users hate having to navigate to another screen even if it's just a simple popup, if it's not really necessary. It also makes a lot of sense for the user to be able to see the search criteria with the data.


kktec<br />SCJP, SCWCD, SCJD<br />"What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning." - Werner Heisenberg
Jeremy Botha
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 16, 2005
Posts: 125
I would agree with Ken; my experience with fielding user requests has been that they want a single screen on which absolutely everything is displayed :/

Obviously, this isn't always possible, but extra dialogs is (to me) undesirable clutter.

Jeremy


McFinnigan? Never heard of him. Nobody here but us chickens...<br /> <br />SCJP for Java 1.4<br />SCJD for Java 5.0
Ed Tse
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 18, 2003
Posts: 183
That's why firefox has its incremental search at the bottom vs IE6's pop up search. I personally prefer firefox.


SCJP, Pre-SCJD (URLyBird 1.3.1), Teradata Cert'd Prof
Ed Tse
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 18, 2003
Posts: 183
I am working on URLyBird 1.3.1 and I didn't see the requiement of a "Release" button. Is yours different or am I missing the requirment?
Bhavik Patel
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 12, 2004
Posts: 155
which look & feel you have set... or is it because of the unix environment..i mean the system look & feel.. it looks good..


SCJP 1.4<br />SCWCD 1.4(91%)<br />Working on SCJD -Bodgitt & Scrapper Constructions...<br /> <br />"It takes 43 muscles to frown & 17 to smile but it doen't take any to just sit there with a dumb look on your face .. Keep Smiling "
Jeroen T Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 21, 2006
Posts: 1847
That's Metal.
Petr Hejl
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 26, 2006
Posts: 68
Nope, it is Ocean look and feel (new and default in java5).
Mihai Radulescu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 18, 2003
Posts: 918

Hi guys,

Thanks for your interest.

Trevor, what you mean by :

I was thinking of displaying not only the bookings straight from the data file but also showing all unbooked days that are free for the CSR to make new bookings from.


In this version the available ("unbooked days that are free for the CSR to make new bookings from") are the white rows. Is this not enough ?

Trevor & Ken,
you are both right, I need to show more information about search/availability criteria.
For this I have a new version(I hope the last one) in the meantime, in this new version I provide more information about the search criteria, the available criteria(the 48 H rule - on my is configurable) and the connection state(like connected, disconnected, stand alone). I'll provide some screen shots as soon as possible.

Regards, Mihai
Mark Smyth
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 04, 2004
Posts: 288
Originally posted by Mihai Radulescu:
Hi people


Thirumurugan,
Server : Yes I can change the host name, port (only if the server is stop) database file file, database cookie, etc, all with an UI.

Regards M


Hi Mihai,

UI looks very nice to me, my personal preference also would be to keep the search fields on display at all times.

I agree with Thirumurugan about the host field as the host refers to machine that your server is started on. While I assume you use this property when starting the network client, this property makes no sense when displayed in the context of the server startup, as it implies that the server can magically jump onto another host and start running on that machine.

The host only a property for the network client that tells the client which machine that your server is running on, so this property should only show when you start the network gui.

Regards,
Mark.
[ November 24, 2006: Message edited by: Mark Smyth ]

SCJP<br />SCJD
Chulwoo Choi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 11, 2005
Posts: 65
GUI looks good

I have a suggestion for the table.
You can consider overriding the getColumnClass(int c) method of the table model so that
  • numbers are aligned right in the column for numbers (the Maximum column) and
  • check boxes are used for the boolean column (the Smoking column).

  • With this, the table would look more professional and would be a little easier to use (e.g., clicking on check box vs. entering Y/N).
    In addition, there would be less chances for invalid inputs to make it to the table model. For example, if you enter "abc" into the Maximum field, the table won't accept it (the cell boundary will turn red).

    Regards,
    Chulwoo
    Liviu Carausu
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Oct 07, 2004
    Posts: 158
    Originally posted by Mark Smyth:

    While I assume you use this property when starting the network client, this property makes no sense when displayed in the context of the server startup, as it implies that the server can magically jump onto another host and start running on that machine.

    The host only a property for the network client that tells the client which machine that your server is running on, so this property should only show when you start the network gui.

    Regards,
    Mark.

    [ November 24, 2006: Message edited by: Mark Smyth ]


    Hi Mark,

    I still find that allowing configuring the host useful for the case when

    the server machine has more ip addresses . What do you think ?

    Regards,

    Liviu


    Oracle Certified Master Java SE6 Developer(SCJD),
    OCE JEE 6 JSP and Servlets Developer.
    Jeroen T Wenting
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Apr 21, 2006
    Posts: 1847
    That's the problem with users, they never know what they want

    First they ask for a separate search screen, then when you've made it they want it integrated into every other window.
    When you're done doing that they complain that the other windows are now too cluttered

    P.S. Just figured out about that Firefox search thingy last week. For months I thought the search function was broken because I didn't get a search dialog like in every decent browser I ever used
    Mihai Radulescu
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Sep 18, 2003
    Posts: 918

    Hi

    Thanks to all for the interest on my post.


    Mark,

    I agree with Thirumurugan about the host field as the host refers to machine that your server is started on. While I assume you use this property when starting the network client, this property makes no sense whe
    n displayed in the context of the server startup, as it implies that the server can magically jump onto another host and start running on that machine.


    you are right but if you have a machine with more than one network card(this is often on the servers) you'll have more than one IP, you'll get one ip per card. I deal often with this kind of machines. Thats the
    reason why I choose to show the server ip/port information.


    Chulwoo,
    Thanks for the suggestions.


    And now the reason why I use a dialog box for the search function.
    In the actual phase the search criteria is really small so I can pack it easily somewhere but in the future if the search criteria definition increase in complexity it UI representation increase also making the c
    lient UI looking different for each new search criteria.
    I also get it out how to build a pop up panel like in FireFox but this will increase the code complexity (and lose the Junior Programmer). Thats why I think that the search dialog is the best compromise in this case.
    What you guys think about ?

    Regards M.
    Mark Smyth
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Feb 04, 2004
    Posts: 288
    Originally posted by Mihai Radulescu:
    Hi

    Thanks to all for the interest on my post.


    Mark,


    you are right but if you have a machine with more than one network card(this is often on the servers) you'll have more than one IP, you'll get one ip per card. I deal often with this kind of machines. Thats the
    reason why I choose to show the server ip/port information.


    Chulwoo,
    Thanks for the suggestions.



    Ah forgot about that posibility. You are very thorough indeed.

    Mark
     
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    subject: tips for gui, please.