UI Design, User Friendliness as Goals

This morning I have made a decision about the development of GITI v2, I want it to be something that someone other than me would want to use, not that I expect anyone other than Guy to actually try to.
Version 2 – it looks so much less minute written out doesnt it? It should be. Version 2 of GITI is a major overhaul of the way GITI operates (thinks?). Everything is based on the command system now, which was originally developed as a way to lighten the work required for implementing navigation. One thing I have given consideration to is the way that everything just sort of flows together now in this version because of the implementation of the command system. I want to keep that fluidity and simplicity of design on the end-user side also. I have decided that GITI will no longer use static styles, an external style sheet will be broght in via the header document.
A few minutes ago I just really looked at version 2 for the first time, what started as a UI upgrade has turned into much more. The goal was to kill the framesets and move on to a more open space, well… that part is done, but it resulted in something unexpected, I now have space to play! I began noticing my newly found space a little while ago when I looked at the Add New page of the education module. That page doesn’t use a restriction on the table width like the other pages do, so it was just a wide document, then the new plan hit me. The next thing to go (after framesets), is visible tables. The document looks so much better without the need to be cramped, this gives me room to add a thing or two. One thing version 1 had been lacking in almost every aspect is the ability to do more than just add one item at a time and then return it to you. The complexity of the deprecated schedule module is an example of what can happen in GITI with a little imagination. The class schedule is automatically genereated for me when I enter the class information, I don’t have to propogate each day, or create an entry for every day of the semester, I just select the class days, choose the meeting times and submit it to GITI, everything else is taken care of. One thing about this particular module that is also very nice is that it doesn’t need to be given a database entry for every day that an event must occur, it is treated as a reoccuring event and GITI intelligently uses the information it has about the event to display it when appropriate and not when it isn’t. One more fine point which makes the schedule module an example of what GITI should be is the option to exclude days from a range of a reoccuring event without actually having to specify more than one range. Ain’t that cool? To the expert web developer/programmer this may seem like a trivial accomplishment, but because GITI is my first real project it pretty much thrills the hell out of me, and im proud of what it can do. Unforuntately, the other modules aren’t anywhere near that smart. The education module is about as close to as dumb as dirt as it can get, it cant even generate regularly scheduled assignments, a feature I have many times wished I had taken the time to write. I think a lot of this comes from the part where I actually need the education module functioning, but everything else is safe to let die. As I state that I must ask myself why I haven’t updated the To Do and Note modules, and even better… Why is Note and GITI Doc seperate? I should be able to combine the two and get GITI Doc to support independant documents that don’t need to be called from another module.
My simple modules remain simple, but they are too simple to be useful. In addition to their shortcomings, there is also the limit of usablity. What end user wants to write a date in the format 2005-09-01 when dating a note?

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