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Improving the usability of TSW WebCoder 2013 part 1: Inline feature help

May 5, 2012

In WebCoder, there are quite a few Tool windows, which are the dockable/floatable areas to the left, the right and in the bottom of the screen. The most of them are pretty self-explanatory, like "FTP", which are for working with your FTP servers, "Projects" for dealing with your projects and so on. These have toolbars in the top that allows you to connect to an FTP server or create a new project. However, a couple of the Tool windows might not be that obvious, a good example being the "Database result" Tool window. It's connected to the "Database" Tool window, but that might not be obvious if you're new to WebCoder. Here's what it looks like in WebCoder 2010:

database_result_2010

I got to thinking that if you meet this Tool window for the first time, it might not be very obvious what to do. Therefore, I decided to replace the grey area (where the results are shown once a query is executed) with a short but helpful introduction. It looks like this:

database_result_2012

The blue links that you see are actually interactive - click them, and WebCoder will show you the area of interest using animations and arrows! Hopefully this will make it easier for new users to get started with some of the less-obvious, but very useful features of WebCoder.

Another example is the WebDebug Tool window, which is nothing but a toolbar and some empty windows until you actually activate the function - but how exactly is that even done? WebCoder 2012 will help you get started with this very powerful feature as soon as you gain an interest in that Tool window marked "WebDebug":

webdebug_window_2012

Hopefully this will help even more people get a great start with WebCoder. As always, let me know what you think and stay tuned for even more usability improvements :)

 

Disclaimer: WebCoder 2012 is still far from being done. These blog posts are merely to show you what this new version will be like and to give you an impression of the development process. I hope to have the final version of WebCoder 2012 ready in the third quarter of 2012, but nothing is certain yet!

Kasper (TSW) @ 2:46 pm in TSW,WebCoder

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