Windows Control - Status indicator

3 Aug 2004 - 11:41am
10 years ago
2 replies
636 reads
nspraker at com...
2004

All,
I am working on a development project for a Windows application (not web-based). The target audience is an average Windows user that will be using the application for 6-8 hours everyday. The application allows the user to perform many different business tasks. Each business task could contain several steps. I am looking for a Windows control that will allow the user to quickly see what step they are in within the business task. However, I do not want to go with a Wizard approach since it will slow down the user and speed is critical. An additional twist is that some of the steps might not be sequential. Depending on the business task, the user might have a need to bypass a step or perform the steps out of order.
Any thoughts or examples would be greatly appreciated.
Nancy
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://listserver.dreamhost.com/pipermail/discuss-interactiondesigners.com/attachments/20040803/c4cd581e/attachment.htm

Comments

3 Aug 2004 - 1:11pm
Schomer, Todd
2004

Hi Nancy,

Interesting UI situation.

I have seen a few variations on the standard wizard, which may or may not
help you...

1. Use tab panes for each step. Offer next/previous buttons to guide the
user through each tab. The user can use the buttons to step through each
part of the process, or jump between steps by clicking a tab.
2. Put a list in the left side of the dialog, which has each step listed in
it. Offer next/previous buttons for stepping down/up through the list (like
a wizard). The user can click on any item within the list to jump to that
page/screen. Options for each step appear to the right of the list.

Macromedia Dreamweaver has an interesting implementation. I don¹t know if
you have access to this program. If you do, when you create a new site, it
has a ³basic² and ³advanced² mode for the dialog. In the Basic mode, it¹s a
wizard that walks you through the steps, with some text on top that shows
you which step you¹re in. In the Advanced mode, you get a list of all the
steps along the left side of the dialog ­ which you can click on to jump to
each step.

A third option, which may sound a bit wacky, is something I did recently in
one of my products. This may sound kind of Mac-like, and it might not even
work for your case, but here you go...

I had a dialog that had tabs in it. Inside each tab, was a feature you could
enable/disable. You could step through all the tabs, configure the settings
in each one, then proceed ­ and it would perform each of the enabled
features. The problem was I couldn¹t tell which features were enabled, so I
was forced to look through all the tabs before proceeding ­ which was a real
time/brain waster, and just plain bad UI.

What I did in the next version was get rid of the tabs. All the features now
appear in a single dialog, with a checkbox next to each one ­ which
communicates which ones are enabled, and which are disabled (checked or
unchecked). When an item is checked, the section expands downward to show
the settings for the feature. So, the more options that are enabled, the
taller the dialog gets.

This seems to work pretty well, but has the risk that it won¹t fit
vertically on your monitor if you have too many options displayed. In fact,
I am most likely adding options to this dialog in the next version, so I
have started to mock-up some UI that shows the same thing, but with a list
of these features inside the dialog. So far, it¹s a bit odd to look at, but
I will test its usefulness to see how it feels.

BTW, I also have a ³presets² menu at the top, which allows the user to save
the setup of the dialog, so they can call the settings back up quickly
later. Something else to maybe think about...

I don¹t know if this helps at all, but here you go...

Schomer

From: <nspraker at comcast.net>
Date: Tue, 03 Aug 2004 16:41:27 +0000
To: <discuss at interactiondesigners.com>
Subject: [ID Discuss] Windows Control - Status indicator

All,

I am working on a development project for a Windows application (not
web-based). The target audience is an average Windows user that will be
using the application for 6-8 hours everyday. The application allows the
user to perform many different business tasks. Each business task could
contain several steps. I am looking for a Windows control that will allow
the user to quickly see what step they are in within the business task.
However, I do not want to go with a Wizard approach since it will slow down
the user and speed is critical. An additional twist is that some of the
steps might not be sequential. Depending on the business task, the user
might have a need to bypass a step or perform the steps out of order.

Any thoughts or examples would be greatly appreciated.

Nancy

_______________________________________________
Interaction Design Discussion List
discuss at interactiondesigners.com
--
to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest):
http://discuss.interactiondesigners.com
--
Questions: lists at interactiondesigners.com
--
Announcement Online List (discussion list members get announcements already)
http://interactiondesigners.com/announceList/
--
http://interactiondesigners.com/

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://listserver.dreamhost.com/pipermail/discuss-interactiondesigners.com/attachments/20040803/063b2b57/attachment.htm

3 Aug 2004 - 1:26pm
Beth Osnato
2004

Schomer, Todd [schomer at extensis.com] wrote:

1. Use tab panes for each step. Offer next/previous buttons to guide
the user through each tab. The user can use the buttons to step through each
part of the process, or jump between steps by clicking a tab.

2. Put a list in the left side of the dialog, which has each step
listed in it. Offer next/previous buttons for stepping down/up through the
list (like a wizard). The user can click on any item within the list to jump
to that page/screen. Options for each step appear to the right of the list.

A nice example of this is Turbo Tax's web version. http://www.turbotax.com/
<http://www.turbotax.com/> The great thing is, you don't pay until you're
ready to file, so you can check out the interface for free :)

Cheers,
Beth

Beth Osnato | Information Architect
WeightWatchers.com
bosnato at weightwatchers.com <mailto:bosnato at weightwatchers.com>
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://listserver.dreamhost.com/pipermail/discuss-interactiondesigners.com/attachments/20040803/1d452a93/attachment.htm

Syndicate content Get the feed