Posts tagged “DevCon”.
One of our demo files was featured at the 2012 FileMaker Developer Conference (DevCon), at Bob Shockey’s session “The Design Universe.” During the session folks requested a copy of that file, happily provided here. (Thank you Bruce R. & Kevin F. for the nudge to get this out!)
To recap, this file shows a UI proof-of-concept using the new button states in FMP12. The general idea was to explore how to streamline complex Finds (that usually are multi-step processes) in a way that was iOS-friendly. I also wanted to see if it made sense to use the same UI on the desktop, to provide a more seamless cross-device experience. To demonstrate one such solution we used a single global field, OnObjectEnter script triggers, and a couple short scripts. [9/13/2012: added a straight button-driven method. ~Lee]
The use scenario is a casual user browsing a movie database. They don’t quite know what they want to see (no specific find criteria) so they will be using the “browsing” links provided to get ideas. True to mobile’s minimalist style, users interact by clicking (or tapping) directly on the content; the data fields ARE the “buttons” that initiate action. Users click/tap on “action” to see the list of movies with that genre, the director’s name to see a list of his films, etc.
The “pivot” descriptor comes from how a user in discovery mode interacts with a database. After each “find” the user sees different information that may take them in a completely new direction (hence, pivot). The user is rewarded with immediate results, with no extraneous criterion entry or navigation. The inherent difficulty with this more natural approach, however, is in how to construct the UI/UX for multi-criteria and complex (AND/OR/NOT) finds.
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Web technologies have added functionality to FileMaker solutions since the Web Viewer layout object was introduced in version 8.5. The web viewer has proven especially useful for displaying Flash-generated charts from FusionCharts, Maani, AnyChart, and others.
FileMaker Pro v11 introduced a built-in chart layout object with 5 basic chart types. Charts suddenly became much easier to implement in FileMaker Pro!
However, with FileMaker Go for iPad and Phone (separate apps) built-in charting is not supported and Apple’s iOS doesn’t run Adobe Flash. The Google Charts API is popular, but for that you must be online.
Luckily, the potential of HTML5 for charting is huge, and the spec that affects charting functions (via the canvas tag) is fairly stable. Read more… »
This workshop provides hands-on opportunity to apply suggested tactics for embracing the new user interface. Whether you think it boon or bane, incorporating the modernized Status Toolbar (formerly Status Area) requires new thinking about layout design and user interaction options. Its re-location and newly available buttons and features change the rules, especially when upgrading existing solutions or in cross-version deployments.
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Built-in or Bolt-on? Ideally, only the developer knows for sure. Bring your powered up laptop to this hands-on workshop and leave with a context-aware Help system integrated with one of your own FileMaker Pro solutions. The techniques presented are plug-in free and platform independent. Step-by-step you’ll develop a functioning Help system. As a bonus, you’ll also receive generic Help content for common user actions, such as finds and navigation.
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Producing good user documentation isn’t trivial — but it is one key deliverable that can dramatically enhance a developer’s professional image while improving the usefulness of the solution. Developers often consider solution documentation a drudgery — or worse, a time-consuming activity with little return on effort. This session convincingly explains why including documentation as a standard practice is an asset rather than a liability, and that it doesn’t need to be a huge resource drain if it is planned for and executed during the development process.
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