In 1986, I started work at Oracle doing data entry. I had a good strong background in computers, considering I was only 17 years old. However, my real strength was that I could type really fast. At the height of my typing speed, I could cruise along at 120 words per minute. My fingers would fly over the keyboardinputting information on potential sales contacts. Eventually, data entry became incredibly boring for me, but that job taught me a lot about one aspect of user interfaces: Sometimes it doesn't need to be pretty, just efficient.
As you sit down to plan out your user interface for the application you are about to build, you need to ask yourself some important questions. The first of which should be: "Who is going to use it?" This article will help you think about the answer to that question and also provide some user interface guidelines for working with Oracle Developer.
Who Is My Audience?
The first question a writer asks him or herself before embarking on creation of a manuscript is "Who is my audience?" The answer to that question will determine the entire tone, style, vocabulary, and character of what is to be put on paper. As an application developer, you should be asking the same question. The data entry application I first used at Oracle was built for typing in a lot of information in a short amount of time. It was built for speed. If your application is meant to be a card catalog lookup in a library, you will want to build it for ease-of-use. If it is to be used as a demo, it needs to show a lot of functionality with a lot of flash.
After you have determined your audience, there are several more considerations that need to be taken into account. If you are building an application to be used inside your company, you might want to consider other internal applications, and build yours with a similar look and feel. There is also the question of standardized colors, fonts, and logos. You may also want to enlist the help of a graphics designer to make sure the application is aesthetically pleasing in addition to being functional and usable.
Following is a list of guidelines for the two major types of applications: data entry and ease-of-use. Although it would be fun to talk about building demo applications, most demos are highly specific and will pull from guidelines outlined in the other two application types. There is also a section on general Oracle Developer guidelines.