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Intelligent GUI design

I was checking the apps on ios and i was impressed by the intelligent design in the gui. If the app needs the internet, it will notify or it will grey out the buttons which wont work and every time you press, the notifications prompts you to check your settings to make the app work.

Usually i just give real feedback for devices which give feedback on the panels but i wanted to do something more like the following

1. pop up when ever the panel goes offline. Even if the user has a system connectivity indicator, they usually keep pressing and don't know if its really working or not. I was thinking of doing all the page flips and pop up flips from the code and all the touch panel buttons does the popup flip to connectivity alert notification.

2. Grey out all the buttons of a device when ever the devices goes offline.

Has anyone given any other options so that the user who may even be a child can just start using the touch panel .


  • a_riot42a_riot42 Posts: 1,624
    I'm sure many have thought of this handy feature, but once the panel has gone offline, you don't have control of it. They should have put a feature in the panel firmware that gets run when the panel goes offline so you can do some clean up, or warning etc. In industrial applications, it can be dangerous to have a panel look like its live when it isn't so those types of things are often built in. But I haven't found anything similar in AMX land. I use the online/offline indicator to display to the user what's going on but that isn't always noticed right away.
  • PhreaKPhreaK Posts: 966
    For the panel lockout a technique that I use is to place a button sized to fit the full panel size as the uppermost element on all pages. Set the off state to a bitmap that fills the screen, the on state to transparent and the touch style to passthru. I then assign this a channel which has its state linked to the online state of the modules for what a define as 'core devices' in the system - devices that when offline will reduce functionality to the point where the system is unusable. If the touch panel looses connectivity with the master (network failure etc) this will also show.

    For all other components of the interface you can either lock out, hide or even modify them live to match the functionality available depending on what components of your system are operational. Be careful with this approach though as for standalone systems that rely on faults being visible so that they are reported and can be rectified this may cause some issues. However if the system is monitored by RMS it has the effect of removing the visibility of faults to the end user whilst providing more uptime than if a full lockout, even if available functionality is reduced.

    @John Paul
    If you're interested in interface and interaction design (which IMHO every single AMX programmer and integrator should be - its your job, the technology is simply a means to create the interface or desired interaction) have a look through the AMX User Interface Design Guide (pdf). If does a great job at summarizing a lot of the theory and techniques of effective interface design.
  • Thanks a lot for the inputs. I will go thro the links and come back if any queries.
  • champchamp Posts: 261
    I have done projects where there is a help mode that pops up dialogues explaining the functionality of each button when you press it. It was too much work to maintain so i would only do it again if the client insisted and payed for the extra development tme.

    I have done the slide to unlock as well but don't personally like it for a control system.

    I have done different skins and pages for different users.
    In my home system the defualt ui only has a few buttons with macros for the kids to get to disney jr and doesn't let the volume go all the way up, i have password protected the full control for myself and wifey mainly because the little buggers play with the lights if they have access to them.
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