Need a pattern - Window models for multiple screens???

19 Mar 2007 - 12:15pm
7 years ago
1 reply
677 reads
carl myhill
2006

Hi All,

I'm working on something where our typical users are evolving. They seem to
be getting 2 screens and even saying that they'd really like 3 screens.
Screens are so cheap that I think that too may be a reality by the time we
release the product .

So, I need some ideas for window models that work well across multiple
screens, and yet still work on systems with just one screen.

I like the idea of tear-off panes but there are some issues with those. For
example, in a CAD-like application, would you really want the tools on one
pane on screen A, and the thing you are working on shown on screen B?
Perhaps that would be ok. I think mainly that our users value flexibility
and being in control (don't they all!).

So, has anyone seen any funky modern Window models that work well on
multiple screens? PowerPoint springs to mind as something that you can use
on one screen but which works pretty nicely on 2 screens too. I guess
Outlook does too. Any other ideas?

Huge thanks

Carl

PS I'm getting a new laptop this week. I used my own dollars to buy it so it
means I can get to see Vista and Office 2007 for the first time. Perhaps
I'll find some ideas there.

Comments

19 Mar 2007 - 12:55pm
Antoine Valot
2007

Go gawk at a design studio, and you'll find that people will put all
of Photoshop's tools and palettes on one screen, and the image on the
other. I do that for flash work too (canvas on one screen, tools on
another). It works well to have a "tools" screen, not only so you can
have a lot of palettes open at all times, but also because the
"cleanliness" of the canvas keeps the mind clear and inspires better
work.

I've seen developers keep a full screen of code, with another screen
for GUI. I've seen business folks dedicate a screen to Outlook only.
One of my favorite arrangements for Flash development was to have the
canvas screen *above* the tools screen, instead of next to it: Less
travel with the mouse and eyes, and a very slight head movement that
was akin to "rising above" the computer, to focus on the work.

As much as you can, observe users in situ. There's much to learn, but
I doubt there's a lot of literature on multi-screens yet.

Good luck!

Antoine Valot
http://valot.com

On Mar 19, 2007, at 12:15 PM, carl myhill wrote:

> Hi All,
>
> I'm working on something where our typical users are evolving. They
> seem to
> be getting 2 screens and even saying that they'd really like 3
> screens.
> Screens are so cheap that I think that too may be a reality by the
> time we
> release the product .
>
> So, I need some ideas for window models that work well across multiple
> screens, and yet still work on systems with just one screen.
>
> I like the idea of tear-off panes but there are some issues with
> those. For
> example, in a CAD-like application, would you really want the tools
> on one
> pane on screen A, and the thing you are working on shown on screen B?
> Perhaps that would be ok. I think mainly that our users value
> flexibility
> and being in control (don't they all!).
>
> So, has anyone seen any funky modern Window models that work well on
> multiple screens? PowerPoint springs to mind as something that you
> can use
> on one screen but which works pretty nicely on 2 screens too. I guess
> Outlook does too. Any other ideas?
>
> Huge thanks
>
> Carl
>
> PS I'm getting a new laptop this week. I used my own dollars to buy
> it so it
> means I can get to see Vista and Office 2007 for the first time.
> Perhaps
> I'll find some ideas there.
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