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UI Explanative Document for End User

Hello All,

 

     I was recently training a new hire on a testbed I developed and it became clear that the nature of the individual controls isn't clear to everyone. For instance, the index display in the array below was meaningless to the uninitiated and it wasn't any more intuitive when I replaced it with a vertical scroll bar. My question is, does anyone no of a primer that is geared toward the end user to explain the visual language of the controls and indicators in LabVIEW? Thanks.

 

usrfrnly_0-1615565976857.png

 

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A finalized program should not even be identifiable as a LabVIEW program, so the right way is to make everything as self explanatory as possible. Yes, the "array index" control should typically be hidden. A scrollbar is more appropriate for arrays that can be of variable size. Do you really want the user to be able to change the array size by entering extra values at the end?  Don't forget the "tip strip" and "context help" to explain the function of controls, so fill in the related field in the "right-click...Description and tip".


LabVIEW Champion. It all comes together in GCentral GCentral
What does "Engineering Redefined" mean??
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I'm not familiar with what these controls are used for.  But if it is for setting an unknown number of values, then I'd suggest using a Single Column Listbox instead.  I've done this in the past with an Add and Remove button which prompts the user for the new value on add.  I've also added right click menus for Add Remove, Remove All, and allow for drag and drop to reorder if the order of the operations matters.

 

If I know the number of items isn't large I'll stick with the array, then I'll hide the index display, and I'll set the number of rows to the number of elements shown.  This way the user only sees the information they need which is the N number that have been added.  Only after there is more elements then rows will I add a scroll bar.  I have also in the past created a custom scroll bar that doesn't allow you to scroll past the number of elements that are there.

 

There's lots of UI options and it really just depends on the amount of time you want to invest in making the UI and UX better.

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Thank you for your comments. I do want the user to be able to add and delete elements to the array. I typically avoid scrollbars because they can be hard to increment making it easy to miss elements. The suggestion of "a custom scroll bar that doesn't allow you to scroll past the number of elements " is aces for that and that is a wonderful solution to the example of the general problem. 

 

My real concern is the general case of unfamiliarity with stock UI elements. To me, an index display just makes sense; to others it doesn't. I will continue to get better (hopefully) but will remain imperfect. I'm looking for any resource that can help bridge the gap between me and my operator. I know there are style guides for we the LabVIEW programmers, but is there anything targeted to the end user? 

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Hi usrfrnly,

 


@usrfrnly wrote:

My real concern is the general case of unfamiliarity with stock UI elements. To me, an index display just makes sense; to others it doesn't. 


Can you name any other "standard" Windows application using a "stock array" control? (If "Yes!" please show an image of its implementation.)

Why do you expect a default Windows user to be familiar with LabVIEW array controls?

 

I prefer listboxes as well, with some additional buttons like "Add", "Edit", "Delete" to manipulate the listbox items. Somewhere in the forum I had also posted images of such UI implementations…

Here's an example:

It's for a fixed-sized array, so no Add/Delete buttons. When you select an item in the listbox you can edit it's parameters with the controls to the right…

Best regards,
GerdW

using LV2011SP1 + LV2017 (+LV2020 sometimes) on Win10+cRIO
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I do *not* expect a default Windows user to be familiar with LabVIEW array controls or LabVIEW controls in general. That is exactly why I am asking if anyone knows of a guide to educate a default Windows user about LabVIEW controls. 

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Hi usrfrnly,

 


@usrfrnly wrote:

I do *not* expect a default Windows user to be familiar with LabVIEW array controls or LabVIEW controls in general. That is exactly why I am asking if anyone knows of a guide to educate a default Windows user about LabVIEW controls. 


I think you should reverse your point of view!

You should look for documents about teaching the programmer to create user interfaces according to Windows style guide, so all your default Windows users can use your programs as they are used to from other typical applications...

Best regards,
GerdW

using LV2011SP1 + LV2017 (+LV2020 sometimes) on Win10+cRIO
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