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Palm Programming: The Developer's Guide by Julie McKeehan, Neil Rhodes

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Developing a Prototype

Now that we’ve shown you the application in its final form, let’s back up and show you the process and decisions we made to get there. First, let’s look at how we prototyped it.

Clarify the Flow of Events

Our prototype design was a mock-up of the basic views that we wanted to have in the application. We came up with those views by listing the actions we wanted the user to be able to do and the order in which we thought they would occur; we discussed the flow of events. Our strategy was to optimize the application so that the more frequent the action the fewer steps it took to complete. We also wanted to emulate the design of the built-in applications wherever possible.

The Start Screen

The first and most important view to create well is the start screen—what your user sees when the application is launched. In the Sales application, the place to start seemed straightforward—with a list of the salesperson’s customers. This is a list that can be modified on the handheld, but ordinarily would be created on the desktop. The desktop application should be clever about culling customers from the list if the salesperson isn’t visiting them on this trip. It might also want to order the customers either alphabetically or by visit (as the salesperson prefers).

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