I work in a very large, established company with a consistent philosophy of, "If it's not broken, don't fix it." The (large) division of the company that is responsible for maintaining customer records uses a text-based mainframe interface from the 1980's. From my perspective, the bright side of this system is that we can hook into and control the mainframe session object via .NET for screen-reading, task automation, etc. The down side is that it's extremely user-unfriendly and the training cycle is extensive to teach everyone all the commands and what each of the fields mean. Months to proficiency and years to master.
What I'd like to do is create an adaptive wrapper -- something that processes each of the fields and input areas on the screen and presents it as something easy/quick to understand by the end user. A natural flow. The division is about to hire a few hundred people, more than usual, and getting them off the ground quick is very important.
Data Entry example: http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E13187_01/JAM/v51/cross/wwimages/CP72.gif
Customer Record example: http://seindal.com/ConsoleMVS38.jpg
These two images are examples of more-or-less similar systems. From a programming point of view, the screen is a grid and each character on the screen is accessible by (X,Y) coordinates. The tricky part will be that there are hundreds of mainframe screens, so rather than redo the interface for each one, I'll be using dynamic fields and reconstructing screens dynamically on the fly. I'm confident that I can handle the programming to read all the data and input areas and repaint it in a different shape.
I need some expert advice on exactly what shape that could be. I've been impressed with some of the examples of work that I've seen on this site, and it's an interesting challenge, so I thought I would ask for any tips? Thanks for any help.