Think Like an Environmentalist

One of the quickest ways an application can annoy or alienate a user is by operating like a toxic manufacturing factory located in Yellowstone National Park. Like a contemptible website that spawns countless pop-up windows, these programs go about rearranging options, menus, shortcut keys, and other aspects of Excel with reckless abandon.

Programs should respect the environment that they operate in and respect the settings and preferences of the user. A conscientious program should

♦ Leave things as it finds them including menus and Excel option settings.

♦ Not reassign existing shortcut keys or mouse actions unless it gives the user the opportunity to turn this functionality on/off.

♦ Provide the user with reasonable preference/configuration options.

♦ Keep the user informed as to what is going on in an unobtrusive way such as by using the status bar.

NOTE User interface coverage begins in Chapter 18.

The goal is that when a user closes the application's workbook (or turns off the add-in), the Excel user interface should look exactly like it did before the application started—down to the last setting.

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  • Rowan
    How to think like an environmentalist?
    8 years ago

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