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User Proofing

seve7 is a ddba (dumb dba)


Are there any general guidlines or checklists, or things to keep in mind, for userproofing fmp7 files and user interfaces (this is not including fmServer or Web related issues)?


I'm just starting a large, multi-group multi-user project, and I'm looking to streamline everything as much as possible. Just to brainstorm about it, I need to lock the user to the layout interface, protect the variables table, etc ...

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I need to lock the user to the layout interface, protect the variables table


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In v7, there are extended possibilities to set access privileges, so specific users or groups can be allowed access to specific layouts only, limited menu bar commands etc. As a general guideline, if you use scripted record creation or deletion (for whatever reason), lock the user from the menu bar. Also, a general guideline is to never let them mess with your database setup, period. But you'd have guessed that yourself. Also, never ever let them make up their own ID keys, use fm generated IDs.


as for user interfaces, well... if you want general guides.... i'd say keep it clear, simple, don't overuse color, don't overdesign your buttons, don't overstuff the screen, don't mix features, don't design every layout from scratch but use a general floorplan and work from there (so that toolbars remain in the same place, portals don't wander about, etc (I learned this the hard way...). Do make sure the user can see at any time where he is and whether he's in a script or not. Make sure there are no dead ends... have scripts return to the same layout unless it's specifically intended to go somewhere the user wants to go.

specifically, you need to scrutinize your intended user group. General public, students, scientists, shoppers, surfers, hackers, children, generation-x-ers, babyboomers, mimeplayers... grin.gif

Look at other people's work. Look at the windows XP interface, then look at OSX-aqua, then look at windows again...and weep.... look at the samples provided with the FM cd.... look at websites... look at printed magazines, college textbooks, look at IRSforms (and weep some more), look and be critical and learn.


sorry bout this rant, but it's general enough you have to admit....




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