program installed on user's machine as opposed to a program that runs remotely and is accessed via an internet browser.

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9
votes
5answers
7k views

Desktop software design patterns

There are a lot of resources on the web about web applications design patterns, but only a few about desktop applications. And this is quite strange as most of the business targeted software is ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Responsive web design technique in desktop application?

What do you think about using responsive web design techniques in a desktop application? We need more space for large data and since all monitors today are widescreen, it could be good practice I ...
-1
votes
5answers
436 views

Appropriate Icon for “Load” Button? [closed]

I'm tasked with redoing part of the UI in one of our desktop applications. I've specifically been asked to replace a "Load" button with an icon. Are there any conventions for this style of icon? ...
1
vote
2answers
213 views

Authentication pop up on a desktop app: what if it is much bigger than main app window?

I am working on a desktop app that requires authentication. It allows federated authentication using different services, Google among them. Most probably, we'll use a pop up with a browser window to ...
3
votes
1answer
133 views

Best Practise for contextual properties at Desktop App

I'm working on a desktop application - a photovoltaic planner - where you can layout your solar panels on a roof very similar to graphic programs like InDesign or Illustrator. Actually, its quite ...
3
votes
3answers
615 views

Should I redesign my desktop application so it looks and acts like a website?

I'm in the process of redesigning one of my older desktop applications. The original design I did was based on a 640 X 480 screen. Times have changed and there several different screen resolutions ...
3
votes
3answers
312 views

Ask to show tutorial on first start?

The help system of my desktop application contains a "first steps" tutorial to introduce the general workflow and some terms. The tutorial can be found directly in the main menu and in the help ...
1
vote
2answers
356 views

Dialog asking to save changes when doing a selection change?

In our desktop application we have a viewer which shows the content of a selected item (both, viewer and list, are located in the same window). When the user selects a different item, its content will ...
1
vote
2answers
102 views

Which input layout for choosing between Option1, Option2 and (Option1 or Option2, dynamically)

One setting in our app has to be as follows: For a certain scenario, the user select whether he wants: Always use option X Or always use option Y Or, depending on a dynamic flag, use X or Y (he ...
56
votes
9answers
8k views

Undo History - Why limit it?

Why do most applications have fairly limited 'undo' history functionality? I've been caught out on multiple occasions (granted its technically my fault) where I've needed to undo a number of changes ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the ideal height of a button in regular desktop applications?

On most GUI creator (I just checked Qt Creator and Flex Builder), it seems the default button height is about 22 pixels. This is what I use for most desktop applications I create except those I make ...
5
votes
1answer
421 views

What is the best way to display per-tab commands or actions?

I am working on a multiple document interface Windows application. We're using tabs to represent open documents for editing. I have three levels of possible commands: Global Per-tab Per-sub-tab ...
2
votes
5answers
951 views

Select item from a list to be added to another list

I have an application implemented with Java Swing. The main view of the applications is divided in a left side and a right side. The top of the right side contains a SearchField, and a list of search ...
1
vote
2answers
124 views

Should our application ask for users master password when needed or at application start?

Our application may contact different servers using background processes to update local data. Some servers require authentication, others don't. When accessing the first time a server, our ...
1
vote
2answers
489 views

User Interface for Product Catalog

I am trying to figure out which is the best way to implement a product catalog editor for desktop application. The products arent too many about max 100 i believe. I have figured out this model.At ...
1
vote
1answer
422 views

Select/unselect list items using checkbox or button [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Check all / uncheck all checkboxes with regards to usability For a couple of applications one can find a checkbox to select/unselect all items in a list. As soon as you ...
11
votes
6answers
512 views

What to put in the About box?

I wonder what useful stuff one can put in an About box in a Mac OS X program. Most basic the About box displays Program icon Program name Version number Copyright More sophisticated ones ...
3
votes
2answers
551 views

How should I design an MS Access application for Excel users?

I work for a public health study, and I have been asked to help manage the workflow for an upcoming project. We will be choosing subjects, tracking our contact with them, interviewing them, placing ...
5
votes
2answers
724 views

What affords scrolling?

Besides the obvious: Scrollbar Touch interfaces (especially mobile ones) A sign saying "You can scroll here you know!" This for a desktop application.
1
vote
3answers
286 views

An intuitive way to present a Login interface

I'm designing a windowed application. When the application starts up the user needs to be presented with a Login interface. The initial (and minimum) window size is 800x600. A header of height 42 ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Alternate to nested tab controls for a windows desktop application

I develop a complex LOB windows desktop application. Right now it has only one feature say A. All menu and toolbar is for A. You can open multiple document related to feature A, each within a Tab ...
5
votes
6answers
480 views

Rough and fine adjustments with horizontal slider

I'm used to scrolling being thrice as effective as arrowkeys in Firefox. I want to give the ability to quickly and roughly adjust values by hovering over the slider and using the scrollwheel. Finest ...
26
votes
6answers
1k views

What is the best way to get users to discover and learn keyboard shortcuts

In a mouse driven desktop application, with a ribbon style interface and which has no menubar, what is the best way for users to learn about the shortcuts and accelerators which can help a user work ...
5
votes
3answers
372 views

Menu organization : conventional or domain-specific?

I'm building a desktop application that is a tool to mount some very domain-specific graphic structures that in the tool's context are called "sequences" (it's not important here I guess). To help ...
11
votes
5answers
661 views

What's the best way to get reliable user feedback on a desktop application?

Lately my company has been trying to figure out the best way to get reliable feedback from a our users. It seems that we hear things from our power users and mostly from those who have trouble, but ...
2
votes
2answers
171 views

With straighten, do we really need rotate?

Related to Combining rotation and straightening of images. Rotate: Grab a corner, drag it to its new location, rest of image follows. Straighten: Either click-drag-drop a line on a horizon, or click ...
1
vote
2answers
111 views

Combining rotation and straightening of images

Topic may seem weird as the two terms seem to mean the same. Clarification: Rotation: The typical way of grabbing a corner and pulling in the direction you want the image to rotate. Straightening: ...
2
votes
3answers
271 views

how to control user focus?

i am currently developing a prototype for a piece of software. One of the most important things is to show the client, how the UI will look like, so I am making real wpf windows with no real data ...
5
votes
2answers
764 views

User interface for a “mapping” table

I have the following problem. I need to provide an interface for users inserting/editing "mappings" in a database. A mapping is a record as such: [Field A, Field B, Field C] --maps to--> [Field X, ...
5
votes
3answers
366 views

Managing multiple windows in one application

I am developing a desktop application to create, arrange and read blocs of sounds, via a grid interface like this : Each bloc of sound is of different nature and has its own panel to control its ...
2
votes
3answers
317 views

In a desktop application, what are best practise methods to provide a menu of functions

I have a .NET Winforms application that hosts controls to provide different areas of functionality. My normal method in providing a menu to switch between these controls has been a TreeView or a List ...
17
votes
3answers
716 views

How to indicate a table is missing rows that have been filtered out?

Do you know of any aesthetically-pleasing and effective ways of indicating that a table's contents have been filtered, without the filter information getting in the way? Some background on my ...
8
votes
5answers
594 views

What factors should I consider when [re]designing a home page / home screen?

I've been considering redesigning the home screen for the next release in a desktop application I'm responsible for. This could probably be thought of as a brand-new design, since I have virtually no ...
4
votes
4answers
174 views

Why do programs ask the user to configure auto-update when first run?

Yesterday, I was installing F.lux on my Mac (cool-looking program by the way), and when I ran it, it asked me if I wanted the program to automatically update. How am I (or any average user) supposed ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Should Dialogs be avoided in modern applications?

I have used a few dialogs on the last system I designed. The application was a business application with many database tables and I used many datagrids to show data. It was common that I placed a ...
4
votes
3answers
419 views

Multiple instances of a Property Editor

I am designing an application in which several kind of user objects have properties. When clicking an object, the properties of the object would be shown in a pane similar to the Properties pane in ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

CRUD Desktop Best Practice

I always use this design for CRUD Desktop Form: Is it a good design for a CRUD Form? Do you have any suggestions for a better crud desktop form?
1
vote
1answer
381 views

does this design have a good usability?

i asked this question on stackoverflow and has been redirected here. sorry about cross-posting. i am writing a financial application and i need to write a specialized file open dialog for the user to ...
3
votes
2answers
116 views

How can I make a preference window that is good at tweaking theming settings?

I'm working on a file manager where the user can change text properties, the same way as in programming editors: font-family, font-size, antialiasing, background-color, foreground-color. Currently I ...
6
votes
7answers
504 views

Why do most websites have a custom skin where as most desktop applications don't?

You rarely ever see websites with a UI that has the same skin as the operating system. But, desktop application rarely ever change skins. Why do custom-skins work so well for webpages but not for ...
5
votes
2answers
556 views

Best layout for lots of user input elements?

I have an application that presents a question/answer form to the user. It was mandated that the form look as close to the paper form as possible. The paper form was built in a spreadsheet as two ...