ch13 - 13 Designing the Graphical User Interface...

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13 Designing the Graphical User Interface CERTIFICATION OBJECTIVE Creating a Usable and Extensible GUI
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2 Chapter 13: Designing the Graphical User Interface CERTIFICATION OBJECTIVE Creating a Usable and Extensible GUI There are several key aspects of GUI design that you need to consider when designing and implementing the GUI for your project. At a high level, they can be broken down into two main areas of focus: 1. Designing the GUI to be usable and friendly from the end user’s perspective. 2. Designing and implementing the GUI to be reliable, and maintainable from the programmer’s perspective. This chapter will focus almost entirely on the first point—ease of use for the end user. We start with a very brief overview of the technical issues you probably want to address in implementing your GUI for this project. After that brief overview, we dive into the topic of usability. An Overview of Technical Considerations for Your GUI Most of your GUI work on the exam assignment will be focused on usability. But for the final review, you might be asked to justify not just the user-friendliness, but also the technical considerations you took into account when designing and building your GUI. This section gives you a brief overview of some of the technical issues you need to keep in mind. Required Technologies Your instruction packet will probably require you to use certain technologies to implement your GUI for this project. If, for instance, your instructions indicate that you are to use Java Swing components and specifically the JTable component, not only do you have to use them, but you also need to use them appropriately. Before jumping in to implementing your GUI, you need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the technologies you are using. In addition, each of the required technologies is meant to be used in a certain fashion—for instance, if you’re going to use a JTable, you’ll want to use the appropriate models and listeners. The bottom line is, don’t use a widget until you really understand how Sun intended for you to use it.
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Creating a Usable and Extensible GUI 3 Model–View–Controller Your exam instructions will probably say that the GUI you build should be flexible and relatively easy to extend. If so, you’ll probably end up considering the Model–View–Controller (MVC) design pattern. We recommend that you do consider the MVC approach. If you are familiar with it, so much the better. If you are not, this is a good opportunity to study it. The MVC pattern has plenty of benefits: It’s very popular, and you’re bound to run into it sooner or later. It anticipates that end users will ask for iteration after iteration of changes to the GUI design, and it reduces the development impact of those iterations. (You
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This note was uploaded on 09/17/2009 for the course CMPE 126 taught by Professor Gpour during the Fall '07 term at San Jose State University .

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ch13 - 13 Designing the Graphical User Interface...

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