We are going to put the principles we just investigated into practice in addition to the guide design and application development process. Often as a project is moving it becomes difficult to elicit good and correct requirements from end users. You are asking them to visualize something that has not been created yet. More likely than not, you are forced to create any number of the following:
StoryboardsThe process for which screen layout and flow are designed without focus on any of the underlying details of the form.
Screen mock-upsThe process for which a requirements gather may use something like Microsoft's Visio or similar tool to mock up a screen.
Screen prototypeThe process for which a developer analyzes and designs a nonfunctional but viable user interface for an application. This adds the clarity and accuracy of the collected requirements.
You might ask why these are important. Designing your application before you start developing is extremely important. Often, designing a screen aids in the solicitation of requirements. For the ChalkTalk application, we are going to create screen prototypes. The ChalkTalk application allows us to schedule and register students and facilities for a set of courses. Because we are creating prototypes to elicit requirements, we will build a more detailed design in Chapter 4, "Modeling." When we build this application, we want to make sure that we use an appropriate prototyping process. The rules we are going to use are simple:
The application will be discarded after the requirements collection is completed.
Naming standards and other programming techniques are simply ignored to focus on one item: the correct implementation of the user interface to aid in the elicitation of requirements.
Creating the Application Framework
First, we need to create the shell of the user interface to gain consensus among the users of the ChalkTalk application.
Choose File, New Project and fill in the following information. Use the name ChalkTalk for the project.
Choose File, New and select the Application tab.
Change the class name using a name standard, such as Hungarian Notation, which would change the name of the class to aplctnChalkTalk.
Change the frame name to frmMain and the title to ChalkTalk Administrator.
Start laying out the frame using ideas of how you think the application should look.
Compile and run your application.