Resizing of Application Windows and Data, OK or not?

20 Feb 2007 - 4:04pm
7 years ago
1 reply
781 reads
Jeff Axup
2006

Hi all,

Question concerning standards for resizing of application windows:

I'm working on a Java application which has a variety of graphs shown in a
main application window. The widgets are fairly complex and spatial
arrangement of their features, and the graphs relative to each other are
necessary for rapid comprehension of the data. Currently when this window is
resized (say across multiple monitors) it stretches all of the content the
full 100% width, which distorts the interface and spreads out widgets which
should be grouped more tightly.

So, bearing in mind that Web UI standards and Application UI standards are
starting to merge, I have heard a number of arguments for screen resizing
from both the application/web camps:
1) always resize to user's choice in width. This gives the user control over
presentation, supports small screen widths, enhances accessibility?)
2) always hard-code in a width so that widgets are sized in an aesthetically
pleasing and usable manner, and are properly positioned on the page. The
width should not be too large so that smaller screen resolutions can still
see the whole page without scrolling. (usually 800 pixels I think, maybe
1000)
3) there seems to be a compromise here which is: set a hard-minimum and
hard-maximum width. Screen elements resize within that, but not past it.
This means there is some movement and "play" in the layout, but it doesn't
allow the interface to be distorted into an unusable layout.

I did find an MSDN page on this, but it doesn't seem to set any specific
guidelines... are there more recent MS guidelines on this?
http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/UxGuide/UXGuide/Windows/WindowManagement/WindowManagement.asp

Best Regards,
Jeff
____________________________________________________________________________
Jeff Axup Ph.D. Candidate - University of Queensland, Brisbane,
Australia
Principal Consultant, Mobile Community Design Consulting

Research: Mobile Group Research Methods, Social Networks, Group Usability
E-mail: axup <at> userdesign.com
Blog: http://mobilecommunitydesign.com
Moblog: http://memeaddict.blogspot.com
Academic: http://www.infenv.itee.uq.edu.au
____________________________________________________________________________

Comments

22 Feb 2007 - 10:17am
DrWex
2006

Thanks for the URL, Jeff. This topic is of great interest to me as I
work on an application (PC desktop) that uses the same window to show
list and detail views, with a button to let people toggle between
views. There is often a significant difference in the amount of data
shown in each view. Currently we do not resize windows and this leads
to numerous screens with lots of blank space or with unpleasant
scrollbars.

Anyone have advice they'd like to offer on this?

On 2/20/07, Jeff Axup <axup at userdesign.com> wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> Question concerning standards for resizing of application windows:
>
> I'm working on a Java application which has a variety of graphs shown in a
> main application window. The widgets are fairly complex and spatial
> arrangement of their features, and the graphs relative to each other are
> necessary for rapid comprehension of the data. Currently when this window is
> resized (say across multiple monitors) it stretches all of the content the
> full 100% width, which distorts the interface and spreads out widgets which
> should be grouped more tightly.
>
> So, bearing in mind that Web UI standards and Application UI standards are
> starting to merge, I have heard a number of arguments for screen resizing
> from both the application/web camps:
> 1) always resize to user's choice in width. This gives the user control over
> presentation, supports small screen widths, enhances accessibility?)
> 2) always hard-code in a width so that widgets are sized in an aesthetically
> pleasing and usable manner, and are properly positioned on the page. The
> width should not be too large so that smaller screen resolutions can still
> see the whole page without scrolling. (usually 800 pixels I think, maybe
> 1000)
> 3) there seems to be a compromise here which is: set a hard-minimum and
> hard-maximum width. Screen elements resize within that, but not past it.
> This means there is some movement and "play" in the layout, but it doesn't
> allow the interface to be distorted into an unusable layout.
>
> I did find an MSDN page on this, but it doesn't seem to set any specific
> guidelines... are there more recent MS guidelines on this?
> http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/UxGuide/UXGuide/Windows/WindowManagement/WindowManagement.asp
>
>
> Best Regards,
> Jeff

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