Skinning a FM solution? - 07-07-2004 , 01:43 AM
Has anyone ever tried to 'skin' their FM pro solution?
I tried an interesting experiment by accident, and now I want to
expand on the idea. I envision a set of buttons made out of images,
that get replaced based on a users preferences. I'm curious to know
how many controls can be changed or manipulated based on a 'theme' or
'skin'. Are there any tools that can skin controls already?
"we build applications to help
you keep your shorts!"
Re: Skinning a FM solution? - 07-07-2004 , 01:53 AM
Wes <wchester (AT) lostXXXpants (DOT) com> wrote:
repeating fields in a 1-record preferences file. I even built a system
whereby users could pick their own header and body colors (from a
limited selection) which were popped into container fields as the user
It's necessary to keep user records for this, track their prefs, give
them access to change their prefs, and put these fields onto every
layout. Then you need to make the fields non-printing or provide
separate printing layouts. Mostly, it's a lot of work for very little of
FUNCTIONAL value to the user. As for different icons for each user, it
makes it confusing and difficult to write documentation or training
docs, since one user may not SEE "the button with the little printer on
I've gone very minimalist and Zen with my interfaces, using soothing,
neutral colors, as much white space (or very light gray space) as I can
get on a screen, and mostly small text blocks instead of buttons or
icons. I may put in a Home icon, but lately, not. Just a small Verdana
9pt "HOME" in a mildly contrasting color. Looks amazingly good. Since
most icons have to be labelled anyway to make sense to new users, why
not just go for labels only? Pay good attention to consistent screen
position, and after a short time, words are as good as pictures.
Allen & Allen Semiotics www.semiotics.com
FSA Associate Filemaker Design & Consulting
Re: Skinning a FM solution? - 07-07-2004 , 04:22 AM
Lynn allen wrote:
Another significant issue that Lynn didn't mention at all is that when
moving from record to record on such a setup, the 'field' based layout
objects must be refreshed. On slower computers over a network this can
slow the application down significantly, and can cause irritating screen
colour. A screen shouldn't be garish, but it needs to be engaging and
interactive... you don't want your users eyes to slide right off it
respond faster to the icons. They aren't just 'eye-candy'. That said, I
minimize icon use myself, as in many applications coming up with
intuitive icons that are only one one layout is a nearly pointless pita.
But home, reports, print, delete, etc..using icons is a good thing.