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FileMaker® Pro 9 Bible by Dennis R. Cohen, Ray Cologon

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Chapter 10. Building Advanced Interfaces

Computer software may be powerful and innovative but, with few exceptions, software is only as useful as its interface allows. The user's ability to understand what his computer is telling him and effectively interact with it is an essential measure of a solution's effectiveness. Thus, your solutions' success is determined as much by your command of interface technique and design as any other single factor.

In Chapter 6, we introduced many of the essential concepts supporting FileMaker's interface building environment—Layout mode—showing you how to use essential interface building tools. We also introduced a number of design concepts, helping you make interface design choices that will enhance the ergonomics and intuitiveness of your solutions.

The goals of good interface design are clarity and consistency, as well as ease and efficiency of use. However, you also have to consider aesthetics. If you expect users to spend lots of time working with your solution, you have to keep in mind that your interface design choices will have a significant impact on user fatigue. Don't underestimate the solutions' cumulative impact on the user's mood and morale.

In the following pages we delve into a series of deeper challenges, providing specific techniques and recommendations, enabling you to address a variety of challenges, remedy shortcomings, and lend increased professionalism to your solution interfaces.

Developing for Mac and Windows Users

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