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Designing and Programming CICS Applications by Members of the CICS Development Team at IBM Hursley, John Horswill

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Designing the Graphical User Interface

To the user (in this case, staff in the customer services department), the user interface is the application; first impressions are critical in determining whether or not the application will be a success. Therefore it is vital that its design is carefully thought out. The user interface designer needs to consider such things as whether to use a single document interface (SDI) or multiple document interface (MDI), how many forms will be required, the level of help needed by the user, and so on. The Programmer’s Guide provided with Visual Basic documents the different options available in detail.

There may also be company standards that you have to follow. For example there may be rules relating to the naming of windows, so that your helpdesk is able to identify a user’s problem more easily.

The design used for the GUI in this application is simply an example of what can be done. It is not meant to be a definitive guide, and it could no doubt benefit from further modifications. Design should be an ongoing, iterative process based on the needs, observations, and new demands of users.

Three forms are required for the KanDoIT application: a Log In panel, a Main Menu, and an Accounts Details form. Since only one form needs to be displayed at a time, the Visual Basic GUI makes use of an SDI design.

Where there are a limited set of options that the user can choose from it is useful to use either a list box (also known as a Selection menu) or combo box ...

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