1 2 Previous Next 23 Replies Latest reply on Oct 11, 2015 7:53 AM by richardsrussell

    What are the most common developer UI mistakes you encounter?

    HammerOz

      but have obviously never made ...

        • 1. Re: What are the most common developer UI mistakes you encounter?
          colins

          It begins with the orientation of the screen - and creating layouts that work with different sized screens (devices) without the need to scroll in form view. When upgrading from FM9 to 10 and above, all my layouts required redesign to accommodate the toolbar moving from the left to the top. Took up vertical space, which is always at a premium on vertically challenged computer screens. Okay for ipads - your simply rotate - but try doing that with an iMac.

           

          In list view ensuring that when vertically scrolled, the next batch of records fit neatly into the space - i.e. no part records.

           

          Buttons that don't necessarily do what you intend. Even with labels explaining their function, people click them and are surprised by the result.

           

          Fields in an illogical order. Especially address fields. Oh and e-mails fields where people want to include a number of e-mail addresses, where only one should be included.

           

          As new fields are added to an existing layout knowing when the time is right to go for a complete redesign.

           

          Anything that allows for (unintended) record deletion.

           

          I shall gloss over my own ineptitude...

          • 2. Re: What are the most common developer UI mistakes you encounter?
            ninja

            IMO

             

            "Angry Fruit Salad"...I see it over and over again...from folks who "should know better"

            http://www.foundationdbs.com/Downloads/WhitePaperForFMPNovices.pdf

            Page 9

             

            Followed by screen clutter...They gave us tab panels for a reason...

             

            Followed by naming of tabs to be intuitive (or lack thereof)

            • 3. Re: What are the most common developer UI mistakes you encounter?
              intex

              The use of every available color, font, font size and font style in one layout plus a thousand fields splattered around the screen without any obvious order.

              • 4. Re: What are the most common developer UI mistakes you encounter?
                ErikWegweiser

                Incorrect context (especially when the relationship graph is extensive or complex, even using 'anchor-buoy')

                 

                For instance, using the wrong table occurrence when placing a field on a layout.

                 

                Or when defining a field calculation, not making sure the table occurrence context of the formula is correct (Usually, that's the base table of the field. Usually, the default is correct. However, I have worked with databases where the "first" table occurrence of a base table is not used as such, whereas if that initial TO still exists, is the default used by FileMaker. Yes, this happens a lot when restructuring a legacy relationship graph to 'anchor-buoy' format).

                • 5. Re: What are the most common developer UI mistakes you encounter?
                  siplus

                  A vague question (although well meant) deserves a vague answer (well meant):

                   

                  If your solution needs a manual, then it has UI mistakes.

                   

                  To be more specific, IMHO the most deadly UI error is the lack of consistency. Which has many ugly faces, like use of color, placement, wording, symbology, modifier keys, etc.

                   

                  A very good compilation can be found by reading THIS.

                  • 6. Re: What are the most common developer UI mistakes you encounter?
                    FileKraft

                    clicking into a field placed in a portal and it jumps somewhere else due to cascading triggered triggers.

                    so a second click for the user is required.

                    !

                    very hard to fix

                    • 7. Re: What are the most common developer UI mistakes you encounter?
                      jormond

                      Reinventing the wheel: Users are often already used to certain UI/UX workflows. Find out what they use. What they are familiar with greatly affect their cognitive load. Do they use Gmail, do they use Outlook, do they use Mail ( OS X ), do they use Excel, Word, Photoshop, InDesign, Chrome, FIrefox, IE, Safari, a lot of iPad/iPhone apps, Android apps, etc...

                       

                      Example, if they use certain apps on their where swiping a line item left deletes it and swiping right saves it as a favorite...don't create an experience where swiping left saves a record and swiping right deletes it.

                       

                      Also, don't hijack shortcuts. I used to constantly get Excel spreadsheets from our management team where they would record macros to perform tasks for us. For many sales reps, that's necessary. But the author of the document would use shortcuts for ctrl+a, ctrl+s for macros that would sort, delete, replace data on the visible worksheet. The HUGE problem, is that those macros will run on ANY file you are working on. So if you flip to your MainReportThatYouSpent12HoursOn.xlsm and hit ctrl+s to save the file so you don't lose 12 hours of work...that macro from the file you have in the background that has hijacked the shortcut will now run...and destroy your report. With no undo. ( but at least I'm not bitter about it )

                      • 8. Re: What are the most common developer UI mistakes you encounter?
                        HammerOz

                        Thanks for the replies. Some good tips. Starting some new projects, so good to have a fresh take.


                        • Go easy on the icon only buttons ( only the most familiar functions )
                        • Use SVG icons only
                        • Develop from an iPad first view. It then looks extra clean (white space) on desktop & web.
                        • Most of my form layouts include one large slider rather than multiple portals on a layout. Buttons themselves reveal key summary data.
                        • Start with the minimalist touch theme ( or custom minimalist theme). Do not add colour until last build stages.
                        • Popovers. Use shadows, but flat and borderless
                        • White background for mobile (Dark does not work in bright environments)
                        • Blogs on UI, Buy book (to sit beside javascript , php, SQL books)
                        • Refer current core software UI (thanks Josh)
                        • Consider current corporate branding and fonts. But if they are terrible, politely mention that "they are terrible" and suggest designer.
                        • Go fruit salad if you are artistic and it fits the bill. I like colour and art. I have seen some pretty sweet FM dashboards
                        • 9. Re: What are the most common developer UI mistakes you encounter?
                          taylorsharpe

                          One of my pet peeves are navigation controls that are different on each layout.  They should be consistent on all layouts in function, location, and design. 

                          • 10. Re: What are the most common developer UI mistakes you encounter?
                            ninja

                            "Develop from an iPad first view. It then looks extra clean (white space) on desktop & web."

                             

                            Might be good...but be careful about applying it across the board.

                            I build dbases that will never conceivably be on an ipad...there is no reason to develop from and iPad first view...

                             

                            IMO, you should build to fit the intended and reasonably expected usage...plus a little.

                            • 11. Re: What are the most common developer UI mistakes you encounter?
                              beverly

                              yes! and I think that's what many are saying. Those of use that had to move to web and iPad for clients have learned to start that way of thinking for all solutions rather than trying to recreate after the face. Just take the advice of many who had to start over...

                               

                              beverly

                              On Oct 8, 2015, at 9:25 AM, Eric Twiname wrote

                               

                              IMO, you should build to fit the intended and reasonably expected usage...plus a little.

                               

                              • 12. Re: What are the most common developer UI mistakes you encounter?
                                Extensitech

                                Along the same lines, although I haven't seen this one very recently, are layouts you can get to multiple ways, but which has a "back" button that always goes to the same place.

                                 

                                Chris Cain

                                Extensitech

                                • 13. Re: What are the most common developer UI mistakes you encounter?
                                  ninja

                                  Hi Beverly,

                                   

                                  Not sure if you are agreeing or disagreeing (either is fine )

                                   

                                  If the solution can go either way in the future, I totally agree with planning primarily for mobile...folks are used to mobile and having the same "look" is no issue even when stationary.

                                   

                                  All the same...if it'll be a cold day *somewhere* when the solution would ever go mobile, then it doesn't make a ton of sense to spend time making it easy to go mobile.  That's usually where I live, being an in-house developer with no other "clients".

                                   

                                  At the end of the day, I suppose it's really about understanding and applying 'how the solution will be used' and building accordingly...an important consideration on every level, from design, to workflow, to speed considerations.

                                  • 14. Re: What are the most common developer UI mistakes you encounter?
                                    jormond

                                    I think it's partially about how the solution will be used. But also, it's important to factor in what the users are already accustomed to. If they use a lot of mobile apps or web apps, that will affect what they recognize as familiar UI, and expected actions.

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