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DENIM A Brief Tutorial By Philip Luedke Introduction An Informal Tool For Early Stage Web Site and UI Design

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Denim l.jpg

DENIM

A Brief Tutorial

By Philip Luedke


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Introduction

An Informal Tool For

Early Stage Web Site and UI Design

DENIM is an informal pen-based system that helps web site designers in the early stages of design. Using DENIM, designers can quickly sketch web pages, create links among them, and interact with them in a run mode.


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History

Denim was developed by a group of people that conducted a study of web site designers and the practices they use. They found that designers conceptualize and plan sites at different levels of construction. They found that designers sketch at all levels during the early stages of design. They developed DENIM to aide in this process.

Release History

Version 1.1 - March 31, 2003

Version 1.0 - November 21, 2001

Release Candidate 1 - March 29, 2001

Developed by:

Group for User Interface Research, Computer Science Division

University of California, Berkeley

Mark W. Newman, James Lin, Jason I. Hong, and James A. Landay,


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Availability and Cost

Download it FREE at

http://guir.berkeley.edu/projects/denim/download/

FREE!

Let’s Download it Now!


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CompatibilityVersion 1.1

Denim Will Run On These Operating Systems

  • Windows 95, 98, Me, NT 4.0, 2000, or XP, including the Tablet PCreleased March 31, 2003

  • Mac OS X 10.2released June 5, 2003

  • Solaris, Linux, and other Unix-like operating systems

    DENIM runs on any platform supported by Java 2 version 1.4. If your system can untar files, download the Solaris or Linux version.

    However

  • DENIM does not integrate with other tools


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System Requirements

  • Java 2 version 1.4 (can be downloaded with DENIM for Windows)

  • Any operating system that supports Java 2 version 1.4, such as Windows, Mac OS X, Solaris, or Linux

  • At least 256 MB RAM

  • A mouse

    Recommended System Specifications

  • Java 2 version 1.4.1_02 or later (can be downloaded with DENIM for Windows)

  • Any operating system that supports Java 2 version 1.4, such as Windows, Mac OS X, Solaris, or Linux

  • At least 384 MB RAM (on the Mac, 512 MB is recommended)

  • A pen tablet that can emulate a mouse


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DENIM Window

  • The DENIM Window has three areas:

  • Zoom Slider that allows the designer to zoom in and out in detail on the site.

  • The Toolbox that contains the editing tools

  • The Canvas which is where the site is sketched out


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Zoom Slider

  • The Zoom Slider allows the designer to switch views easily

  • DENIM has five main zoom levels:

    Overview

    Site Map

    Storyboard

    Page

    Detail

  • The default view is the Site Map view

  • Switch between zoom levels in two ways

    • Press Page Up or Page Down on your keyboard to zoom out or in

    • Click on the zoom level you want


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The Tool Box

  • The Tool Box has four tools:

    • Hand - for dragging the canvas around

    • Pencil – for drawing and creating links

    • Text Field Stamp – for adding Text Fields

    • Eraser – for removing unwanted elements

  • The Broom in the bottom right corner re-arranges the tools neatly

  • Click on a tool to pick it up and click on the toolbox to drop the tool there


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Using DENIM

  • Denim was created with a pen interface in mind. It is possible to use a mouse interface but not as friendly. For the purposes of this tutorial, I will only present commands available thru mouse interaction.

  • There are two basic ways to issue commands to DENIM.

    1. Access a command through pie menus

  • To open a pie menu:

    right click on the canvas, or click on the menu button in the upper left-hand corner of the DENIM window.

    2. Gesturing, Gesturing means clicking and drawing a symbol that stands for a command.


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Pie Menu

  • Right clicking on the canvas will open the Pie Menu

  • All Commands are available thru this menu.


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  • Gesture Commands –

  • Drawing these Gestures with the arrow will cause the corresponding actions.

  • Insert a Page on your canvas


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Adding a Page

  • Gesture a Carat on the Canvas, Type in the Page Label in the opened text box.

  • Add another page by writing a word with the Pencil Tool.


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Creating Links Between Pages

  • Two types of Relationships between Pages

    • Organizational Arrows – (Grey Arrows) created by drawing lines from a label of a page to another page.

      This just denotes a relationship and is not a navigational link.

    • Navigational Arrow – (Green Arrows) created by drawing an arrow from a phrase, word or scribble to another page. This creates an active link which will navigate to that page when in “Run Mode”

    • Changing Link behaviors – Right clickin on the “dot” at the base of a navigational arrow will bring up a Pie Menu that will have an option for arrows. This will let you change the action to activate the link to mouse over or other choices.

      Create a Link between the two pages you created.

      Add some Text to one of the pages and create a link from that text to the other page by drawing a line from the word to the other page.


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Run Mode

  • DENIM also allows designers to interact with their site designs through a “run mode” .

  • Right click on a selected page and choose Run.

  • This will open a DENIM Browser Window

  • This Browser functions as a normal Browser would by navigating between links and it allows the designer to test the pages.

  • Test the link you created by opening that page in run mode.



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Personal Experiences

  • I found DENIM to be a novel idea and think it could be very beneficial in the beginning stages of development if one had a Tablet PC to run it on. I found the mouse interaction to be cumbersome. I also found that some of the tools were ineffective at times. Sometimes the eraser would work and sometimes it would not. Usually the same process could be achieved using the menu pie, but this was cumbersome as well.

  • The system locked up several times causing me to lose work I had done and forcing a reboot to get back in to it.


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Resources

  • DENIM Reference Page – http://guir.berkeley.edu/projects/denim/docs/quick_ref/quick_ref.html

  • DENIM - Documentation - http://guir.berkeley.edu/projects/denim/docs/

  • James Lin, Mark W. Newman, Jason I. Hong, James A. Landay, "DENIM: An Informal Tool for Early Stage Web Site Design." Video poster in Extended Abstracts of Human Factors in Computing Systems: CHI 2001, Seattle, WA, March 31-April 5, 2001, pp. 205-206.PDF (144 K) | Video


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