Build UIs the way you would want them to be built

A lesson I learned while building a module in the custom ERP I am working on at my job: build the UI the way you would want it to be built. What do I mean by this?

I’ll explain by sharing my experience. There was a piece of the application that had a textbox that the user used to enter a client number. They then click the Search button to bring back the results. When I launched the application to test it out, I found myself typing in the client number and hitting the Enter key. It kind of came naturally. The Command was not bound to the Enter key so nothing would happen. Also, the requirements did not say that the user will be able to use the Enter key to search. So what did I do?

I bound the command to the Enter key which is actually quite simple. Just add the following XAML to your view (a UserControl in my case):

 

   1:  <UserControl.InputBindings>   
   2:       <KeyBinding Key="Enter"   
   3:                   Command="{Binding SearchCommand}" />   
   4:  </UserControl.InputBindings>
   5:

Here is the moral of the story:

If an action feels natural to you, it will feel natural to your users. While you are building the application, your users will not immediately get to use it as much as you will. So when you notice that a feature just “makes sense” from a user experience standpoint, just do it. Your clients/users will appreciate the forethought.

Print | posted on Friday, September 2, 2011 8:45 PM

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