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Why do so many computer programs have such poorly designed user
interfaces? The most likely reason is that most developers have no training in
how to design good graphical user interfaces (GUIs.) Microsoft has included
many helpful tools in the .NET Framework for interface design. Many books
on .NET have a few pages or at most a chapter on these tools. But until now
there has not been a book that shows how to use these tools in detail in the
context of sound UI design principles. This book is intended for experienced
programmers with a basic knowledge of application development and database
systems, but no formal training in the basics of interface design. Acknowledged
database design expert Rebecca Riordan calls upon her years of experience in
the field to give developers just the right combination of theory and practical
information to help them design interfaces that will be easy to use. She includes
lots of sample code that readers can take and insert into their own programs,
saving them time and money. All code in the book is written in Visual Basic
.NET; C# versions are available on the book's companion web site.
The first comprehensive guide to building successful User Interfaces using the .NET Framework
° User Interface (UI) design is one of the most important parts of application development, yet it is one of the least understood
° Gives detailed, practical information on how to use .NET's UI tools, but also places that in the context of sound UI design theory
° Author is a well-known expert on database design and development
I. THE BASICS.
1. Interface Design.
The Principle of Interface Design.
2. .NET Graphic Objects.
Pens and Brushes.
Using the Graphics Object.
The ControlPaint Class.
The Architecture of Type.
Families and Faces and Fonts (oh my).
Color in the .NET Framework.
5. Images in the .NET Framework.
Images in the .NET Framework.
6. ADO .NET Data Binding.
Binding Control Properties.
II. REPRESENTING ENTITIES.
7. Entity Types.
The Entity-Relationship Model.
Displaying Multiple Entities.
8. Simple Layouts.
9. Complex Layouts.
Complex Form Design.
10. Displaying Forms.
Laying Out Forms.
Anchoring and Docking Controls.
III. REPRESENTING ATTRIBUTES.
11. Complex Attributes.
Get it Right.
Date and Time Values.
12. Numbers and Text.
Numeric and Monetary Values.
13. List Controls.
Using List Controls.
ListBox and CheckedListBox Controls.
The ComboBox Control.
The DomainUpDown Control.
14. Grid Controls.
Using Grid Controls.
The ListView Control.
The DataGrid Control.
IV. INTERACTING WITH THE USER.
15. Managing Data Display.
Navigating through Data.
Managing Data Entry.
Managing Data Persistence.
16. Command Widgets.
17. User Assistance.
Types of User Assistance.
Providing Passive Assistance.
Providing Reactive Assistance.
Providing Proactive Assistance.
18. Database Integrity.
Implementing Constraints and Rules.
Using the ErrorProvider Control.
19. Sorting, Searching, and Filtering.
V. BUILDING APPLICATIONS.
21. Interface Architectures.
22. User Customization.
Using Control Panel Settings.
Persisting Application States.
Visual Studio Setup Projects.
“Rebecca provides an invaluable resource to help developers focus on a commonly overlooked but vital part of an application-the user experience.”
-David Sceppa, Program Manager, Microsoft Corporation
“Rebecca Riordan takes UI programming and practices to new heights. She has gone byond simply explaining the theory behind UI programming practices, providing code samples that are practical, well-documented, and can be immediately incorporated into a development project.”
-Wendy Chun, AVP/Product Development, SunGard Insurance Systems
“Riordan has produced what is THE reference guide on user interface design in .NET. Serious developers and beginners alike will learn both design techniques that can put applications over the top and pitfalls to avoid.”
-Kelly J. Martens, Manager, Information Systems and Development, JJ Koepsell Company
Nowadays, users and clients demand exceptionally usable software. But few developers are trained to create high-quality user interfaces, and few .NET books offer much help-until now.
In Seeing Data, Microsoft MVP Rebecca M. Riordan shows how to use .NET's advanced UI tools to build applications that reflect today's interface design best practices. She offers visual examples, code, and techniques for every .NET project.
Writing for experienced .NET developers, Riordan introduces core principles of effective interface design-including focus, flow, alignment, proximity, contrast, and consistency. She demonstrates how to architect databases for better usability, and how to build more effective form layouts. Next, she systematically tackles user interaction, showing how to:
Riordan covers essential technical underpinnings ranging from GDI+ Managed Classes to ADO.NET data binding. She presents dozens of Visual Basic .NET examples-all designed for easy, quick reuse, and downloadable from the book's companion Web site, along with C# equivalents.
Rebecca M. Riordan has more than fifteen years of experience designing and developing databases and other applications. She is a Microsoft MVP and a frequent speaker at conferences, including Microsoft TechEd. She is the author of many books, including Seeing Data: Designing User Interfaces for Database Systems Using .NET (Addison-Wesley, 2005). Her other highly respected books include Designing Relational Database Systems (1999), Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Programming Step by Step (2000), and ADO.NET Step by Step (2002), all published by Microsoft Press.