Usually people are concerned with too much data/interface, and not enough screen real estate, but I'm in the opposite situation.
The desktop application I'm working on has several tabs for entering data and selecting options, and the final tab gives a summary of the data after it's been through some calculations.
One of my tabs is fairly complex, so I've set the application window size to 1024x768, in order to fit all the required GUI elements in. The problem is that a couple of other tabs are quite simple, and I'm left with too much blank space. I've tried two approaches so far:
- Initially the elements were clustered towards the top of the screen, but I didn't like the look of a huge blank space below it. Additionally, every tab has Save and Reset buttons at the very bottom of it, for consistency, and these buttons became too easy to miss when everything else was right at the top.
- I now have the elements spaced across the entire height of the window, but I don't like how spread out everything is.
I also still have a big space to the right. I've considered centering things, but I think that would look a bit odd for a desktop application.
Here is a screenshot of what I have at the moment:
One of my other tabs has essentially the same problem.
So my question is: How can I approach GUI layout when I have too much blank space and not enough elements to fill it?