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Design standards... Menu Bars, Backgrounds, looky-feely

Question asked by deadboltsecurity on Jun 12, 2010


Design standards... Menu Bars, Backgrounds, looky-feely


Over the past 15 years (yep, really 15) of working with FileMaker, I've done a number of utilitarian databases. Now, I'm working on something that has a commercial resale intent to it. I've been looking at other sample databases and the look and feel can be just all over the place. A few "Best Practices" elements pop up... sort of.


Been trying to chase down any white papers on design guidelines and haven't found quite what I'm looking for. Anyone out able to point a direction? If there's a good commercial book or resource that anyone really likes, I'd be interested in hearing about it.


Specifically, where I'm running into my first design question is on the look and feel. My design has 3 or 4 layouts that all use a common menu bar or ribbon across the top. I've got it laid out so the basic navigation, reports, find/find constraints are in the same place on all those layouts. I may be doing this the kludgy way but I have one layout that I store all my button, scripts, menu bars, etc. and then I just copy and paste them to the appropriate layout whenever I change them.


Now this is starting to get to be a pain. If I make a change to the master menu bar, I then have to "copy and paste" it to each of the 3-4 layouts that I have. I toyed with opening up a second FM Window that opens up just the menu bar. It winds up looking like kind of a floating menu bar but then you're always hunting for that window, you have to program it so when you click the menu bar that you don't really mean that bar but the "other" window, etc.


That problem dovetails into the other GUI dilemma... the age old "naw, I don't really like that color scheme (tweak, tweak, tweak). I sure don't see anything that lets you globally change colors. I already started off the first screen with some arcane color that's off a custom palate. So everytime I need to get that color I have to drill down and farm it out. Ergh!


FMP has no shortage of tweaking fonts and colors and alignment, conditional formatting and on and on... but it's the same thing that just sucks up the clock!


TIPS... TRICKS.... that's what I need! HELP!!! Any of you more experienced folks, heh, I don't need a blow by blow just a few sign posts that will actually keep on the yellow brick road to Oz.