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User Interface
Features Summary
DeepEnd is designed with a clean, uncluttered user interface that is consistent and easy to understand. It employs several common screen objects and interface design features that are intended to maximize usability and shorten the learning curve.
  • Large, Easy-to-Read Fonts
    As more people get larger computer monitors, many windows programs are being designed for higher resolution screen settings - 1024 x 768 pixels or higher.
    We feel that these settings require excessive effort to read what's on the screen and may require you to get closer to the screen to read it comfortably. This is not good for your eyes, particularly with older, higher radiation CRT displays that are still commonly used.

    DeepEnd is designed for a screen setting of 600 x 800 pixels with a 9-point font. The text is easily readable even from 3 feet away. Most of the buttons have words such as "Print" or "Save" rather than images so that there's no mistaking what the button does. This also tends to cause the buttons to be larger and easier to find.

  • Adequate Use of Color
    Color can be a very effective way of drawing attention to important items on the screen. But some software designers get carried away with it in an apparent effort to make the display "prettier" and, as a result, the colors really have no significant meaning to the user.
    DeepEnd makes relatively modest, but consistent, use of color to highlight key elements without making the display too "loud". All color schemes are designed for comfortable readability.
  • Modeless Design
    "Modal" interface designs enable you to work with only one part of the program, such as Purchasing or Billing, at one time. Such a design requires you to "go into" each part of the program and exit that part before you can go into another part. This design reduces productivity.

    DeepEnd employs a "Modeless" design which, while more complicated to develop, provides far more capability by enabling several windows, each accessing a different part of the program, to be open at once. You can easily switch between windows and also open new windows at any time.
    Many of the data maintenance forms can have several instances open in the same session. For example, you can have 3 different Service Jobs open at the same time and switch back and forth between them.

  • Data Maintenance Forms
    Data Maintenance Forms.

    • Standard Forms
      These forms are typically used for simple data tables and picklist maintenance. The navigation grid lists all of the records in the data table and provides sort and search capability. As the record pointer is moved in the grid, the textboxes and other data objects on the form are refreshed with the data from the selected record.

    • Multi-Page Forms
      These froms are similar to Standard Forms but are designed to handle larger, more complex data sets. They have at least 2 pages and the navigation grid is located on Page 1.
      These forms also provide the abilty to filter the records displayed by enabling you to define specific selection criteria. This Record Filtering feature is described in more detail below.


Click for an Enlarged View  




Click for an Enlarged View

  • Record Filtering
    DeepEnd provides a very powerful, yet simple, Selection Criteia form that enables you to filter the records that are displayed in multi-page data maintenance forms.
    Simply select the field to search, enter the value to search for and select the relational operator to specify how to search for the value in the selected field.
    You can select up to 4 fields to search and also specify AND/OR conditions between those fields to make the search a more refined.
Click for an Enlarged View
  • Pick List Forms
    Pick List Forms are used extensively throughout DeepEnd to make data entry easier, faster and more consistent by enabling you to select a value from a list without having to type it in.
    Some picklists allow one item to be selected while some others allow several items to be selected. Some picklists also provide "Add-on-the-Fly" capability.
Click for an Enlarged View
  • Special Form Controls
    There are several form controls used throughout DeepEnd that provide special functionality.

    • Pick List Textbox
      This textbox validates your input against a lookup table and automatically fills itself in with the table value found that matches what you have typed so far. It also displays a Pick List if an invalid entry is made. The Pick List can also be summoned by pressing a "hot key" or by clicking the pick list button.
      It is designed to provide consistent data entry and save key strokes.

    • Auto-Fill Textbox
      This is the same as the Pick List Textbox except that entries not found in the lookup table are allowed.

    • Date Textbox
      This text box is formatted specifically for dates. It also displays a pop-up calendar from which you can pick the date rather than type it in.

    • Additional Notes Button
      DeepEnd provides an Additional Notes field for every significant data table. This Notes button displays an edit window in which to display/edit the text contained in the notes field.
      If there is any text in the notes field, the Notes button caption color is set to blue to indicate that the notes field is not empty.

    • User-Defined Field Labels
      There are several User-Defined fields throughout DeepEnd that can be easily identified by their dark blue colored labels. The label text can be changed by double-clicking the label and entering the new text.

    • Required Fields
      During data entry, some information must be entered to assure data integrity. Form controls that contain required information are colored Cyan to make it easier to identify them as being required fields.

Key Features Summary Back to Top
  • Large, easy-to-read fonts
  • Non-offensive color schemes
  • Standard style menus and toolbars
  • Modeless user interface. No need to exit the current task to perform another
  • Standardized data maintenance forms with consistent behavior designed for minimal mouse movement
  • Record drilldown capability throughout for easy "fact-finding"
  • Powerful, flexible record filtering
  • Extensive use of picklists with "Add-on-the-Fly" capability for ease of use and consistent data entry
  • Convenient custom form controls for increased productivity
Cardol Data Systems Inc. P.O. Box 58, Hampton, ON, Canada L0B 1J0 905-263-1161