Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    20

    Unanswered: UI Design in MS ACCESS 2003

    Hi Guys,

    A few of my inside clients (in the company I work for) were a bit "rude" and complained about the dull ACCESS 2003 UI - they complained that although the programs work, they are very grey and dull.

    As the only alternative I know of is the Automatic designs that access comes with, I wondered if anyone has better design banks / design manuals / design tips/ design websites and so on he/she can share for the greater benefit of all of us.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    5,442
    Provided Answers: 14
    With a few skills you can do almost everything with Access forms. Personally I prefer to keep the interface as neutral as possible and only use features such as colours, pictures, fonts, etc. when it really adds something: to draw the attention on a special condition etc, but it's a matter of tastes.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Shaped forms.jpg  
    Have a nice day!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia USA
    Posts
    2,763
    Provided Answers: 19
    I agree with Sinndho! You're talking about a database here, a serious business application, not a video game! And you need to make your "rude" users understand this! The purpose of a database is not to amuse or entertain or pass the time for the users! It's to be used to further the business interests of your company in an orderly, business-like fashion!
    Hope this helps!

    The problem with making anything foolproof...is that fools are so darn ingenious!

    All posts/responses based on Access 2003/2007

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    601
    Quote Originally Posted by Adnaket View Post
    Hi Guys,

    A few of my inside clients (in the company I work for) were a bit "rude" and complained about the dull ACCESS 2003 UI - they complained that although the programs work, they are very grey and dull.

    As the only alternative I know of is the Automatic designs that access comes with, I wondered if anyone has better design banks / design manuals / design tips/ design websites and so on he/she can share for the greater benefit of all of us.
    I would agree with the users that most Access application have a boring and not very friend UI and look.

    When people first see my Access Apps, a common comment is that it is hard believe that it is an Access because it look so good.

    After 30+ years of creating databases and trying to make them user friendly, I would bet that your "rude" users are also wanting to tell you that it is not very user friendly and hard to navigate, but they are either afraid to or not sure how to say it.

    IMHO, if you do not spend about 80% f your development time on the UI, then you are probably neglecting the users.

    There is no reason the the UI of an Access application can not look good like most current Windows Applications.

    Access 2007 actually make it a lot easier to make your forms look good.

    Here is a great forum that will help you see the possibilities and learn how to do it yourself:

    Interface Design

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    The Bottom of The Barrel
    Posts
    6,102
    Provided Answers: 1
    I've "solved" this in the past by building some quick and dirty UI Preferences that each user could set for themselves. Assuming it's ultimately the color they're worried about, it's simple enough to store some color values in a table and associate them with user. You can then programmatically set the appearance of forms and reports as needed.


    Quote Originally Posted by HiTechCoach View Post
    ...tell you that it is not very user friendly and hard to navigate, but they are either afraid to or not sure how to say it.
    I think this is worth taking a look at. Are they really complaining about the look, or the function?

    IMHO, if you do not spend about 80% f your development time on the UI, then you are probably neglecting the users.
    I find this to be less and less true the more complicated the application becomes. Take that for what it's worth. HCI concerns are not trivial and often do not see the respect they deserve. That said, I don't think my clients would be very happy with me if I spent 9.5 months exclusively on interface work while putting 2.5 months in to actual functionality on a year-long project. Unless I were a UI developer, of course...
    oh yeah... documentation... I have heard of that.

    *** What Do You Want In The MS Access Forum? ***

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    3,926
    Look at this example to see some neat things you can do with the form looks:

    http://www.dbforums.com/6301669-post51.html

    including things such as making the form oval or translucent.

    Here's a screen snapshot of one example in the link.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails ExampleForm.bmp  
    Last edited by pkstormy; 05-03-10 at 20:36.
    Expert Database Programming
    MSAccess since 1.0, SQL Server since 6.5, Visual Basic (5.0, 6.0)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    3,926
    Here's another snapshot in the FormManipulation example.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails ExampleForm2.bmp  
    Expert Database Programming
    MSAccess since 1.0, SQL Server since 6.5, Visual Basic (5.0, 6.0)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    3,926
    If you want to get really colorful (such as having a left-hand side color blend to another right-hand side color), see this attachment.

    Note: I have code in this example to automatically recognize the user and have them enter their first/last name on startup so don't be alarmed when you get these prompts. It saves your loginID to a 'user' type table which then lets you customize your own left/right side colors (and will save those color settings in the 'user' table.)
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by pkstormy; 05-03-10 at 20:45.
    Expert Database Programming
    MSAccess since 1.0, SQL Server since 6.5, Visual Basic (5.0, 6.0)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    265
    I can't stand grey!

    I have a reputation of being a colourist however when you have to deal with art you end up with white backgrounds. Inadvertently, created a clean UI not to everyones' taste so whatever you use be consistent.

    Gallery Solutions Exhibitions Originals

    This works as well considering the diversity of images

    Trevor Sutton The Nineties Page 1

    Simon

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    3,926
    I agree with Simon! (nice example of colors Simon!) I hate grey yet most users don't really like a lot of different colors (as I found out when I put out a few colorful applications such as in the examples.) The best advice I can give you is to use colors very careful. The colortransition example I posted wowed a lot of users at first but I found most of them were changing their colors to grey on grey.

    You really have to be a good artist to design great looking applications. I really envy those who can do so as I'm not one of them (just look at any of my examples in the code bank - the colors are really bright.)

    To my defense though, MSAccess (prior to 2007) has some really poor basic colors to choose from (either red, light pink, or pink - yuch). Maybe 2007 has some newer color chooses - I'm not going to change to 2007 though just for the colors.

    I do get very picky though when I see other developers who don't align their fields or buttons. I see dozens of fields and buttons scattered anywhere on the form and don't blame users who just want grey type colors and as few buttons as possible.

    Also keep in mind that each user will have their own color preference (some of my users wanted pink backgrounds on all the data fields while others found this very difficult to read.)

    Now I actually set up each application so the user can select their own background/foreground color for key text type fields but the form color is either grey or white.
    Last edited by pkstormy; 05-05-10 at 00:30.
    Expert Database Programming
    MSAccess since 1.0, SQL Server since 6.5, Visual Basic (5.0, 6.0)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    15
    I'm not to keen on all gray myself... If your handy with photoshop tho its not too difficult to run up some backgrounds etc.

    This was based on the layout of the guys website
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails hughesdb1.jpg  

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    All over, Now in Missouri
    Posts
    73

    I like colors in my interfaces

    The interface in this capture uses a switchboard to open, then forms will open once you make a selection. Everything is ran with combo boxes and VBA (case select) in the background.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails pjhaction layout.JPG  
    We tend to look at Linear paths which can lead us to a path of resistance!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •