Desktop application menus

30 Apr 2008 - 8:23am
5 years ago
5 replies
941 reads
Pankaj Chawla
2008

Hi

I am looking for pointers on how to design desktop menus for a typical
windows
desktop application. My problem is that in our application we have around
170
menu items and its getting difficult to accomodate all without compromising
on either extending it horizontally (by having more top level menu heads or
by cascading under sub menus) or vertically. I read though Jeniffer
Tidwell's UI
patterns book and also the chapter on menus iin About Face 3.0 but didnt
get too much help. Any pointers in terms of heuristics, design principles,
innovative new designs etc to consider while accomodating large menus in
desktop applications will be helpful.

--
Cheers
Pankaj
---------------------------------------------
http://13degree.wordpress.com
Do your dreams!

Comments

30 Apr 2008 - 10:40am
Troy Gardner
2008

- Office style Collapse and hide entries that aren't being used, and
especially those that can't be used at the time.
- OSX style sliding scrollbanes
- Vista style autocomplete commands
- Use the frame around your app to create palettes, like nouns, actions, etc.
- separate into panels that can be docked.

Troy

On Wed, Apr 30, 2008 at 6:23 AM, Pankaj Chawla <pankaj013 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi
>
> I am looking for pointers on how to design desktop menus for a typical
> windows
> desktop application. My problem is that in our application we have around
> 170
> menu items and its getting difficult to accomodate all without compromising
> on either extending it horizontally (by having more top level menu heads or
> by cascading under sub menus) or vertically. I read though Jeniffer
> Tidwell's UI
> patterns book and also the chapter on menus iin About Face 3.0 but didnt
> get too much help. Any pointers in terms of heuristics, design principles,
> innovative new designs etc to consider while accomodating large menus in
> desktop applications will be helpful.
>
> --
> Cheers
> Pankaj
> ---------------------------------------------
> http://13degree.wordpress.com
> Do your dreams!
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>
>

30 Apr 2008 - 9:14am
Paul Eisen
2007

> I am looking for pointers on how to design desktop menus for a typical
Windows desktop application.

Pankaj,

Love it or hate it, Microsoft has defined guidelines for menus that have
formed de facto patterns by their pervasiveness. Check out
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa511502.aspx for details.

Paul Eisen
Principal User Experience Architect
tandemseven

416.840.4447 office/mobile
peisen at tandemseven.com
http://www.tandemseven.com

30 Apr 2008 - 11:24am
Benjamin Ho
2007

It sounds like you need to do some card-sorting to handle all these
items..to reorganize them.

You may also want to explore what kind of mental models each of these
tasks have so they can be grouped accordingly.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=28567

30 Apr 2008 - 10:51am
Jennifer Vignone
2008

Hi Panjak:

I frequently have to accommodate many options and types of navigations
depending on the business and client and the need to align the application
with a specific usage and therefore sometimes the navigation structure.
This may also be affected by the technology used, and the ramifications of
what the widgets offered by a third party may be able to provide.

For example, if the development is using Infragistics and there isn't
going to be alot (or any) customization to the behaviors, then the
Infragistics package will offer an array of options that I can work with
and play off of. For a navigation system that works horizontally, you
might consider tabs that are managed in the same way that FireFox allows
them to be managed, with a widget at the end of the tab that allows the
user to add or remove or reorder the tabs quickly.

Or, if the navigation is left-hand, a tree structure or the Outlook
drawers approach may be considered. However, you may want a widget where
more than one "drawer" may be left open (not the typical Outlook
behavior).

The looks of these may be controlled via the AppStylist, so when I say it
is like something, I do not mean to compromise the design because of the
package, but I am trying to show how the technology may offer as well as
limit some of the options.

Java-based is where I have gotten the best customization from the
developers.
The problem with customization is that it can take a good deal of
additional time and them it can weigh down the interface, depending on
what you designed. I typically avoid imagery and will work with style
sheets so that when a change is needed, I can make it on the style and
have it permeate an environment.

I hope this helps in some way.
Jennifer

===========================================

Hi

I am looking for pointers on how to design desktop menus for a typical
windows
desktop application. My problem is that in our application we have around
170
--
Cheers
Pankaj

Generally, this communication is for informational purposes only
and it is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase
or sale of any financial instrument or as an official confirmation
of any transaction. In the event you are receiving the offering
materials attached below related to your interest in hedge funds or
private equity, this communication may be intended as an offer or
solicitation for the purchase or sale of such fund(s). All market
prices, data and other information are not warranted as to
completeness or accuracy and are subject to change without notice.
Any comments or statements made herein do not necessarily reflect
those of JPMorgan Chase & Co., its subsidiaries and affiliates.

This transmission may contain information that is privileged,
confidential, legally privileged, and/or exempt from disclosure
under applicable law. If you are not the intended recipient, you
are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution, or
use of the information contained herein (including any reliance
thereon) is STRICTLY PROHIBITED. Although this transmission and any
attachments are believed to be free of any virus or other defect
that might affect any computer system into which it is received and
opened, it is the responsibility of the recipient to ensure that it
is virus free and no responsibility is accepted by JPMorgan Chase &
Co., its subsidiaries and affiliates, as applicable, for any loss
or damage arising in any way from its use. If you received this
transmission in error, please immediately contact the sender and
destroy the material in its entirety, whether in electronic or hard
copy format. Thank you.
Please refer to http://www.jpmorgan.com/pages/disclosures for
disclosures relating to UK legal entities.

30 Apr 2008 - 1:55pm
Evan K. Stone
2008

> Love it or hate it, Microsoft has defined guidelines for menus that
have
> formed de facto patterns by their pervasiveness. Check out
> http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa511502.aspx for details.

It's interesting that they didn't include the Ribbon in the guidelines,
but that would be another candidate for wrapping up a lot of
functionality in a more compact package (with automatic collapsing and
expanding).

evan k. stone | sr. ux developer | dragnet solutions, inc.

Syndicate content Get the feed