Guide to very complicated dialogue

2 Nov 2005 - 4:30pm
9 years ago
4 replies
650 reads
Jostein Magnussen
2005

Guide

We are working on a web-based solution that triggers a windows dialogue
which is very complicated and impossible to change. The user then have
to finish this dialogue to download and install a Key so that they can
access certain services later on. So, as usual we have to come up with
the best possible solution knowing that it will not be very usable.

To guide the users through the dialogue, they need help. We want to give
them the possibility to print out an instruction, open a demo etc. But
context specific help is best. So we are thinking of providing some help
in a browserwindow in the background of the windows dialogue. Have any
of you seen this done before? Some issues: how do you make a good guide
in the backgorund? How do you show it when the dialogue covers some of
the screen? The user groups are varying in IT-knowledge so it has to be
simple..

Examples and tips would be appreciated!

Thanx!

Jostein
_________________
Jostein Magnussen
Tlf. +47 40 22 64 09
NetLife Research AS
www.netliferesearch.no <http://www.netliferesearch.no/>

Comments

2 Nov 2005 - 6:21pm
Juan Lanus
2005

Jostein,
> a windows dialogue which is very complicated and impossible to change
I guess your application is to be run in Windows, right?

The fact that the dialog is impossible to change doesn't mean you
can't do nothing.
I guess it's a dialog that belongs to another application but you have
control on the moment it opens (now I'd like to know more about this
bit)

There are things you can do with the proper programming, like for example:
+ set the dialog to be the top-most window in the user's desktop
+ know where the dialog is
+ move the dialog
+ know where the cursor is
+ ...
Given that you know where the dialog's window is and the actual cursor
position hovering the unmanageable dialog, then you could highlight
the appropriate help text according to the part of the dialog the
cursor is on.

It's possible also to feed data from a Windows application into other
window, even into a DOS window.
This is another approach: you ask questions to the user with your
application and when you have enough information then you let the
dialog open and feed the previously gathered data into it, leaving the
user to fill the rest of the fields.

Did you get the picture? Your hands are not as tied as it seems.
--
Juan Lanus
TECNOSOL
Argentina

3 Nov 2005 - 1:28am
Jostein Magnussen
2005

Thank you for your answer Juan!

I guess I did not give enough details. This is a public website. Users
have to download a key (PKI) from this website to get access to services
that demand login on other websites. First they download a file and then
they OPEN the file. This triggers a wizard from the users OS. First page
of the wizard look like this:
http://jitc.fhu.disa.mil/pki/faq/images/i18.gif . The dialogues are
somewhat different according to the specific OS.

So if we were to control the users dialogue in their OS I guess we have
to first get them to download and run some code that changes the wizard
OR control the wizard of their OS through the web. Is this possible?

Jostein

-----Original Message-----
From: Juan Lanus [mailto:juan.lanus at gmail.com]
Sent: 3. november 2005 01:21
To: Jostein Magnussen
Cc: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: [SPAM] Re: [IxDA Discuss] Guide to very complicated dialogue

Jostein,
> a windows dialogue which is very complicated and impossible to change
I guess your application is to be run in Windows, right?

The fact that the dialog is impossible to change doesn't mean you can't
do nothing.
I guess it's a dialog that belongs to another application but you have
control on the moment it opens (now I'd like to know more about this
bit)

There are things you can do with the proper programming, like for
example:
+ set the dialog to be the top-most window in the user's desktop know
+ where the dialog is move the dialog know where the cursor is ...
Given that you know where the dialog's window is and the actual cursor
position hovering the unmanageable dialog, then you could highlight the
appropriate help text according to the part of the dialog the cursor is
on.

It's possible also to feed data from a Windows application into other
window, even into a DOS window.
This is another approach: you ask questions to the user with your
application and when you have enough information then you let the dialog
open and feed the previously gathered data into it, leaving the user to
fill the rest of the fields.

Did you get the picture? Your hands are not as tied as it seems.
--
Juan Lanus
TECNOSOL
Argentina

3 Nov 2005 - 2:02am
Navneet Nair
2004

>
> So we are thinking of providing some help
> in a browserwindow in the background of the windows dialogue. Have any
> of you seen this done before?

The Yahoo! Messenger download screen comes quite close to what you're
looking at, I reckon...
http://messenger.yahoo.com/download.php;_ylt=Ag32CiD0LtqkFkA_1G4EYKhwMMIF
Cheers
Navneet
----------------------------------------------------
Navneet Nair
Interaction Architect
onClipEvent: form follows function();
----------------------------------------------------
Website: http://www.onclipevent.com
Blog: http://www.onclipevent.com/enterframe/

3 Nov 2005 - 3:03am
Barry Day
2004

Hi Jostein

""This is a public website....First they download a file and then they
OPEN the file. This triggers a wizard from the users OS.""
If you are providing instructional text on the site to support users
through the downloading and opening of the file, then continuing to
provide instructional text on use of the wizard in the same place on the
site would perhaps be consistent for the user. Also, could you structure
the instructional text such that the user reads it prior to going off
and opening the downloaded file?
Barry

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