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Java Look-and-Feel Design Guidelines Application Graphics Behavior Cross-Platform Color Problem: your graphics/color schemes/ etc. may be displayed on a number of platforms, configs bit depth determines number of available colors: 8 bits -> 256 colors 16 bits ->64K colors

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Java Look-and-Feel Design Guidelines

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Java look and feel design guidelines l.jpg

Java Look-and-Feel Design Guidelines

Application Graphics

Behavior


Cross platform color l.jpg

Cross-Platform Color

  • Problem:

    • your graphics/color schemes/ etc. may be displayed on a number of platforms, configs

    • bit depth determines number of available colors:

      • 8 bits -> 256 colors

      • 16 bits ->64K colors

      • 24 bits -> 16 million + colors


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Problem, continued

  • Specific colors available depend on way target platform allocates colors.

  • Different systems have different “standard palettes”, don’t necessarily overlap from one platform to another.

  • System may “dither” colors to try to get close match to specified color – can cause strong patterned appearance.


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Solutions

  • for web applications, choose from palette of 216 “web-safe” colors

  • design with possibility of dithering in mind (more on this later)


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Graphics File formats

  • GIF (Graphics Interchange Format)

    • common format for application graphics in the Java look and feel.

    • tend to be smaller on disk and in memory than JPEG files.

    • includes a color table (or palette) of up to 256 colors.

    • lossless

  • JPEG (named after its developers, the Joint Photographic Experts Group).

    • generally better suited for photographs than for the more symbolic style of icons, button graphics, and corporate type and logos.

    • uses a lossy compression algorithm


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  • On 8-bit systems, some of the colors specified in a GIF file will be unavailable if they are not part of the system's current color palette. These unavailable colors will be dithered by the system.

  • On 16-bit and 24-bit systems, more colors are available and different sets of colors can be used in different GIF files.


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To avoid coarse dithering patterns:

add gradient / pattern to reduced perception of dithering ....


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Still, result varies with platform


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Icon design, step by step

  • See ch. 5 “Drawing icons”


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Also of interest in Ch. 5

  • Designing:

    • button graphics

    • symbols

    • splash screens

    • About boxes


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Behavior: the “feel” part of L&F

  • Mouse operations:

    • assume a two-button mouse.

    • Use mouse button 1 (usually the left button) for selection, activation of components, dragging, and the display of drop-down menus.

    • Use mouse button 2 (usually the right button) to display contextual menus.

    • Do not use the middle mouse button; it is not available on most target platforms.


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Mouse operations, continued

  •  Provide keyboard equivalents for all mouse operations, including multiple selections.

  •  Be aware:

    • Macintosh systems usually have a one-button mouse

    • Other personal computers and network computers usually have a two-button mouse

    • UNIX systems usually have a three-button mouse.

    • Macintosh users can simulate mouse button 2 by holding down the Control key while mousing.


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