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  1. #1
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    Form Design guidelines (A97 SR2)

    A general question :

    Does anyone know of any good books/articles/web-sites which provide some specific guidelines on GUI design that would be applicable to Access ? I'm thinking of advice on colour schemes, fonts, font sizes, accelerator keys on command buttons, etc, etc

    Any advice gratefully received

    Nick

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    Re: Form Design guidelines (A97 SR2)

    There are 2 schools of thought on this. One side of this argument contends that you should use the Microsoft Windows Standard Colors (you can find more about this in help. Look under "colors"). This will make your applications use the same colors scheme (for background, command buttons, etc.) that the user has chosen for windows.

    The other side of the argument thinks that your application should have it's own color scheme. This way you can control the colors for your own purpose, plus it gives your application a unique look.

    Unfortunately, I know of no books that really delve into this topic.
    Mark Liquorman
    See my website for Tips & Downloads and for my Liquorman Utilities.

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    Re: Form Design guidelines (A97 SR2)

    I think this is also dependant on your target market. I prefer to stick to the colour scheme the user has chosen, after all they chose it because they like/can work with it.
    To make an interface 'yours' one can still design things to be both functional and individual.
    For me it must be functional first. I suspect your employer/customer would also prefer that to a visual overload of colour.

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    Re: Form Design guidelines (A97 SR2)

    >>to a visual overload of colour.<<

    I don't think you necessarily can equate an application-specific color scheme to a "visual overload". True, I've seen many applications that try to use every color imaginable; however, it is possible to devise a color scheme that relies on few colors, yet still gives flexibility to use colors to highlight specific information. For example, I prefer a grey-tone for my application. For the background on my forms, however, I don't want to use a solid color (as would be the case if I used the windows preferences). I have a .bmp image I use which can best be described as grey sand; I think it looks better and makes the form easier to read than the solid backgrounds. I want anyone to be able to look at my forms and easily pick-out the data, and not be confused by color.
    Mark Liquorman
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    Re: Form Design guidelines (A97 SR2)

    I was meaning rather more the case with applications trying to use too many colours that are different from other open applications. Eg. a normal edit field in one app with white background and black text and in another with dark blue background and yellow text. One app using blue to indecate highlight and red for error, the other highlighting with red.
    I've seen badly designed interfaces and well designed ones. In general the well designed ones used the standard, user-selected windows colours, the bad ones used their own colour scheme.
    Background bitmaps do create an individual air to an app. However then you do require your own colour scheme else someone, somewhere will have a colour scheme for controls that clashes horribly with your lovely bitmap.

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    Re: Form Design guidelines (A97 SR2)

    Oh, I forgot.

    I do agree completely with you that the important thing is the data in the form and not the form itself. I always try to go for functionality and usablitiy.

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    Re: Form Design guidelines (A97 SR2)

    >>In general the well designed ones
    used the standard, user-selected windows colours, the bad ones used their own colour scheme.<<

    In general I agree with you. But this is a very personal thing. For me, I spend alot of time on my form designs, so I can deliver an easy to use and easy to read form. I certainly don't want this ruined by some user who decides he likes pink and green!<g>
    Mark Liquorman
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    Re: Form Design guidelines (A97 SR2)

    I find most users will choose a colour scheme they can work with and as such whatever you come up with as a form will be usable with their own personal colour scheme.
    In reality most users I have seen accept the default windows settings from the windows installation. Only a few actually change these settings and then the point we are discussing is pretty moot.

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    Re: Form Design guidelines (A97 SR2)

    That's been my experience too, Andy. Although those who do change their colors tend to go in for some of the awful schemes like Valentine, and that changes things like the color of the menus and background colors, so using graphics to outwit them won't really work--it only makes *part* of the form retain the desired color.
    Charlotte

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    Re: Form Design guidelines (A97 SR2)

    You have said it better than I did. Thanks.

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