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Copied Joel's font settings

Joel,

I liked your style sheet of this forum and JoS very much, I mean the font settings, so I copied them on my posts on Channel 9 and also in the help system for my latest app.

http://www.vbforums.com/attachment.php?s=&postid=1685130

Sathyaish Chakravarthy
Friday, May 07, 2004


I'm sure he must be proud.

A Dingo Ate My Baby
Friday, May 07, 2004

Yeah, we'll let all the people here think all great thoughts and pen them here, create nice things so we can then plagiarize them in our apps ;-)

Sathyaish Chakravarthy
Friday, May 07, 2004

Not sure about changing the font of the buttons to Georgia. We tend to steer clear of stylising buttons at all in our (web) apps because if you do, XP doesn't bother theming them. We decided that buttons should look exactly like what buttons are supposed to look like in the user's chosen browser/OS.

Duncan Smart
Friday, May 07, 2004

No, the buttons aren't Georgia. I set the font of all the thingies in my app - list boxes, forms, options, et al to Book Antiqua 12pt. That's one of my favourites.

And I made a departure from using WinHelp or HTML Workshop this time. I'd be writing the help after two months of the users using the app and givin me feedback, so I'll know the app's features are freezed. For now, I just created some HTML pages with enough info for them to get started using it. Besides, its a very small app for mostly first time users and their kinds. Took 4-5 days planning out the spec, 2.5 days coding, and about 10 days thinking about and writing the FAQ.

And there's no button there. That's a bitmap. :-)

Sathyaish Chakravarthy
Friday, May 07, 2004

"That's one of my favourites."

hmmmnn not sure everyone would agree with your taste. Reminds me of the many property-selling programes we have on in the UK at the moment where people who are building houses to sell are continuously told "Just paint it white... don't stamp your personality on it! -- you may like it, but buyers likely won't"

Duncan Smart
Friday, May 07, 2004

I fully agree with you. I won't walk nine yards trying to embellish the UI. I just wanted it to be more readable. If it were an ordinary app, I would've used Verdana 8 pt, but since it is for beginner kinds, I've taken a more <I>long hand</I> kinda font with a larger size. Normally, I don't do that. But I don't quite like the MS Sans Serif default 8pt there in VB apps. I think users also dont quite like that. That is probably the reason they made a departure in Win 2000 onwards to switch to Tahoma for all system controls.

Here look at a screen.

http://www.vbforums.com/attachment.php?s=&postid=1685186

Sathyaish Chakravarthy
Friday, May 07, 2004

So, now you have a Windows app that doesn't look anything like other Windows apps.

This is the way to go - if you want to say "An amateur did this app, be prepared for the worst".


Friday, May 07, 2004

Oh yes, it is 'more readable' - again, if your users don't find the differences between your app and *every other* app on their system confusing.

Again - a good sign that an amateur wrote the app.


Friday, May 07, 2004

You mean it would look like every other app only if it had gray background? There were concious decisions I made:

(1) Let the fonts be slightly bigger than normal for this app.
(2) Let the controls be larger than you normally have.
(3) Let it <B>not</B> look very formal.

Sathyaish Chakravarthy
Friday, May 07, 2004

Sathyaish,

I don't know if that's your real information, but just a warning that those screen shots could potentially contain some personal information that you wouldn't want revealed to the general public.  Just thought I'd mention it in case you were unaware of it.

-Elephant

Elephant
Friday, May 07, 2004

Most of the relevant details are fake. Thanks!

Sathyaish Chakravarthy
Friday, May 07, 2004


But as said before; it looks amateurish, sorry. Custom GUIs for regular apps (multimedia excepted) cheapens the feel.

If I wanted bigger, more readable fonts, I'd just set them in the display settings.

A Dingo Ate My Baby
Friday, May 07, 2004

What happens if a user likes __really__ large fonts and have it set in their display properties? Your font would be far too small then. Your best bet has to be to let users make their own choices about that sorta thing rather than force yours on them.

John C
Friday, May 07, 2004

I agree with the general opinion here: it looks amateurish.
But you have another option to choose from here, which I like most. And which is used by many apps that want to be easy to use or just different: make it fullscreen, and design a nice full-blown graphical complete UI.
The only thing is that maybe it doesn't fit your application. If the user is likely to need info from another app or the internet or whatever, fullscreen isn't the way to go.
But I saw this lately with a federal tax fill-in program, and it worked really nice. Also, I did a project myself last year, for children around the age of 6. Naturally, I wanted to make a children-friendly UI, so I stepped off the Windows look there. Many audio editors use this approach as well.

Jeyzer
Friday, May 07, 2004

"Reminds me of the many property-selling programes we have on in the UK at the moment where people who are building houses to sell are continuously told "Just paint it white... don't stamp your personality on it! -- you may like it, but buyers likely won't""

Just as a note most of those shows cater to the best interests of real-estate agents, not home sellers. A real-estate agent wants your house to flip as quickly as possibly, so they encourage you to expend your time and money to "homogenize" the house to ensure that it is acceptable to the largest group of buyers. Of course because home buying in most countries is a "as you come" non-competitive bidding process (in most cases), this additional interest doesn't yield a better price (often quite the opposite), but rather it ensures that the agent puts the least time in possible to sell the home.

Dennis Forbes
Friday, May 07, 2004

Just as an aside.

It would be wrong to think that following the Windows properties for fonts and colours necessarily means that the background is grey.  If the user chooses to change them, then they all change.  If  the user chooses a new theme then the theme  is applied everywhere.

If you don't follow the OS guidelines (and Windows isn't alone in doing this), then your app will stick out like a thumb with herpes.  No one will want to suck on it.

When you write an application for others to use, its going to live in their environment.  If you made furniture, you wouldn't send people round to redecorate the customer's front room because it went better with the light oak of your veneers.

This holds true for webapps as well as fatter clients.  CSS has a complete list of colour properties already set up so that webforms can inherit whatever the current system has.

Oh .NET developers should read the above paragraph continuously as a mantra.

Simon Lucy
Friday, May 07, 2004

I have to say that I really like what the app looks like.

Standards should not be slavishly followed if they don't make sense. My gut feeling here is that you should be following the standard unless you can justify a really good reason not to.

No, I'm not a beginner, just a contrarian.

MilesArcher
Friday, May 07, 2004

Simon has summed it up. If you follow the system colors, then users and not you get to choose what things look like.

You must also remember the difference between a utility and an application. The former is only used every now and again, and should have clear and large buttons and fonts. The latter is used all day, and things should be a lot more discrete. The reason you have a dark background in most Windows color schemes of to contrast with the white of the text boxes.

Stephen Jones
Friday, May 07, 2004

He might sue your ass!

Judas Priest
Saturday, May 08, 2004

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