December 4, 2003

Playing Catchup in the Infostream

You leave your web connections and your struggling little page for a few days and it means a week of catchup.

It never fails. Take a little 1,400 mile ride down the west coast of America for four days and all hell breaks loose here in the 'virtual world.' Well, perhaps not "all hell" but more like "business as usual" in the lukewarm behavioral soup that has come to be known as 'contemporary American culture.' During my brief vacation away from the infostream, it turned out to be anything but a holiday for those whose primary aim in life is to aid our nation on its slow drift to oblivion.

Let's review some of the major and minor dubious and triumphant moments of the last few days:

Posted by Vanderleun at December 4, 2003 8:24 PM
Bookmark and Share

Comments:

HOME

"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

User Assistance. This is helping the user with the proper "next step" when performing a task. Less guesswork for the user on what to do next makes for a better experience.

Posted by: Edward at January 12, 2004 10:33 PM

Dock Animation. Sometimes animating icons in the dock can be useful in communicating the status of the system or application.

Posted by: Alan at January 12, 2004 10:33 PM

At WWDC, I listened to Apple representatives make some excellent points about taking the time to build a 100%-compliant Aqua application, and I think all developers need to look beyond the code and listen to what the folks at Apple have to say

Posted by: Joshua at January 12, 2004 10:33 PM

So far in these articles, I have only dipped a toe or two into Aqua's pool. I have covered basic aspects of building an Aqua-compliant application, including the building of photo-illustrative/3D application icons. Now it's time to address other components of our Mac OS X application.

Posted by: Francisca at January 12, 2004 10:33 PM

If an application is designed well, the reward for users is that they will learn it faster, accomplish their daily tasks more easily, and have fewer questions for the help desk. As a developer of a well-designed application, your returns on that investment are more upgrade revenue, reduced tech support, better reviews, less documentation, and higher customer satisfaction. The rewards of building a good-looking Aqua application are worth taking the extra time.

Posted by: Joseph at January 12, 2004 10:33 PM

Due to the positioning of the Dock, remember that when you build an application, you have to be sure that new document window sizes and positions do not violate the Dock's space. Dock is temperamental and Dock loves his space. If you default to a window size that expands behind the dock, users will have a difficult time reaching the navigation and resize areas at the bottom of the screen. I can personally say that more than once I have been rather peeved that I couldn't get to an area of the window to resize because the default window settings always pop up behind the Dock. In addition, the new Dock in 10.1 will allow users to position their Dock location on either side of the screen as well.

Posted by: Bennett at January 12, 2004 10:33 PM

Other examples of these animations might be to show the status of an FTP transfer, the progress of media being digitized, or an updated time signature. And don't forget that users may want to have some control over this, so give them plenty of options, including the ability to turn these functions off.

Posted by: Harry at January 12, 2004 10:33 PM

Adhere to File Locations. Make sure that when your users save documents, your application knows where to put them and also gives users flexibility.

Posted by: Cecily at January 12, 2004 10:34 PM

Drawers. Similar to Sheets, this is a "child" window that gives users access to items that do not always need to be present. But when do you use a drawer and when do you use a palette?

Posted by: Grace at January 12, 2004 10:34 PM

In building your amazing Aqua application, one of the most important things to consider is the Dock. There are three things your app needs to be "Dock Compliant." Now, I write this knowing that the Dock will be going through some major changes soon, but for the most part, these should still hold true.

Posted by: Elizabeth at January 12, 2004 10:34 PM