Micosoft and UI Standards
In my last post I talked about how school doesn't really teach "How to make a Windows Program". Microsoft has however done extensive usability testing over the years, and has laid down many documents explaining how to make Windows programs use those standards, so that anyone who uses a Windows application has a familiar feel.
Oddly, Microsoft's latest app, the Zune player, seems to copy a little too much from Apple. When Apple first started creating iTunes for Windows, they made it look and act like a Mac app (but not in a good way), and it was absolutely horrible and confusing to use on Windows. The first Zune player that came out was refreshingly easier to use then the early versions of iTunes. However, the latest incarnation, while pretty, doesn't seem to adhere to many standards of Windows:
Where's the title bar to click and drag here?
And don't get me started on IE7 with it's "Menu in the middle".
The point of this post is when it comes to Windows applications, don't put beauty over function. If you want your app to be accessable to all users, keep it simple, make it feel familiar, and then gussy up the things around it.
Here's the latest dev shot of BudgetSimple btw:
Hopefully it's starting to look a little better. The positioning isn't final at this point. The main screen is very specific in it's purpose. I don't expect to make help files for version 1.0, so I'm trying to make everything easy beyond explanation.
I've started using FogBugz OnDemand for this project. It's much easier to keep track of your thoughts and have a sense of accomplishment if you write down something in FogBugz as soon as you think it, and resolve the issue when you take care of it. My only complaint is FogBugz runs a little slow (don't know if its the connection or my slow old laptop choking on the ajax).