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The Essential Guide to User Interface Design: An Introduction to GUI Design Principles and Techniques, 3rd Edition by Wilbert O. Galitz

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STEP 5

Select the Proper Kinds of Windows

A window is an area of the screen, usually rectangular in shape, defined by a border that contains a particular view of some area of the computer or some portion of a person's dialog with the computer. It can be moved and rendered independently on the screen. A window may be small, containing a short message or a single field, or it may be large, consuming most or all of the available display space. A display may contain one, two, or more windows within its boundaries. In this step the following is addressed:

  • A window's characteristics.
  • A window's components.
  • A window's presentation styles.
  • The types of windows available.
  • Organizing window system functions.
  • A window's operations.
  • Web system frames and pop-up windows.

Window Characteristics

A window is seen to possess the following characteristics:

  • A name or title, allowing it to be identified.
  • A size in height and width (which can vary).
  • A state, accessible or active, or not accessible. (Only active windows can have their contents altered.)
  • Visibility — the portion that can be seen. (A window may be partially or fully hidden behind another window, or the information within a window may extend beyond the window's display area.)
  • A location, relative to the display boundary.
  • Presentation, that is, its arrangement in relation to other windows. It may be tiled, overlapping, or cascading.
  • Management capabilities, methods for manipulation of the window on the screen.
  • Its highlight, that is, ...

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