Topic Idea: User Interfaces

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Susan Smith
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Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 4:24 am
Location: Southern California

Topic Idea: User Interfaces

Postby Susan Smith » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:17 pm

Hi all,

I want to plant a seed in your brains about something we might talk about at the conference: USER INTERFACES (now please don't groan and move on...keep reading)

I had a techie person tell me today that my software looks dated. Now, I'm using GUI and ScreenIO and other things that *I* consider modern. And I don't use 1980s colors or things like that. BUT...it got me to thinking.

What makes a modern-looking screen in today's software? Not modern as in the year 2000+, but modern like 2016. Many user interfaces we are familiar with run on the web. But there are certainly locally-installed applications that don't run in browsers. Can one emulate the other? Can they all share similar looks and can BR create those looks? SPECIFICALLY...what items give the impression of modern vs. vintage? Is it colors? (What colors?) Is it solid backgrounds for an entire window vs. different variations of color behind certain sections? Is it font choices? (What fonts?) Is it the shape of buttons? (What shapes are better and is there a way to create those?) Is it using current progress meter styles and a gear icon for the "settings" option? There are so many more things I can think of, but I want detailed examples to compare with.

To be clear, I'm not referring to really basic things (like avoiding yellow text on black backgrounds or SystemPC and Courier fonts, or using every color in the rainbow on one screen) like we talked about when we were first "going GUI" in BR years ago. I'm talking about for applications that are born TODAY. What kinds of features are they born with? Do Windows programs mimic Mac features more than they use to? (Or visa versa) Should we look to certain applications for trends? (Microsoft Office? Browsers?) WHAT features are trending? I would love to have a discussion and/or presentations about this at the conference. I would like to examine some of our screens and see what makes them look sophisticated and what dates them.

If you would like to lead a talk about this issue, or do a presentation of what YOU have done in your applications to make them look the most up-to-date that you can, I would look forward to that. As we have said many times, it's the user interface and the output (printing) that gives people the biggest impression of your applications. They don't know anything about what is under the hood or how great the file structure is. If it doesn't LOOK modern, it ISN'T modern, in the eyes of most observers.

-- Susan

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