Need experienced input on guiding newbie users through reports

Need experienced input on guiding newbie users through reports

Post by Pierre Lessar » Fri, 11 Jul 2003 00:03:06



developer 6.  xplat
I am creating a solution for runtime deployment and its time to generate
some summary reports.
I am most concerned with users getting lost and ease of use.
I am looking for suggestions on the most dummy proof ways to lead users
throught the process.
Good news is I love to write scripts.  :-)

So far I have a reports layout with buttons for particular reports.

Questions:
Do I have to break this into two.  Reports just for viewing.  Reports just
for printing?

My solution hides the status area.  Will it be needed here to view multiple
pages/perform printing etc.

In preview mode I assume its not possible to have a clickable button for
printing on the layout.  Is this true?
If I can't how do I tell the user to print. (perhaps a note in the header
that says go to file/print?

How do I maximize keeping the user from aborting or getting lost while
giving the simplest viewing/printing functionality.

All thoughts greatly appreciated.
Examples even better.

PL

 
 
 

Need experienced input on guiding newbie users through reports

Post by Howard Schlossber » Fri, 11 Jul 2003 00:28:45



> Questions:
> My solution hides the status area.  Will it be needed here to view multiple
> pages/perform printing etc.

This would be the easiest way to handle it.  There are other methods
that include addition of a "control panel" that floats above the preview
in a second FMP file that is made to look like a control panel pallette.
  Another method takes images of the report, puts them into container
fields and allows the user to view it all in browse mode so that they
have access to buttons that control which page image is displayed,
printing, and other functionality as desired.

Quote:> In preview mode I assume its not possible to have a clickable button for
> printing on the layout.  Is this true?
> If I can't how do I tell the user to print. (perhaps a note in the header
> that says go to file/print?

See above.  The easiest is to show the status area.  While in preview,
your users might be smart enough just to go to the file menu and print
what they are looking at if that is what they want to do.

Or many people script it so that when the user clicks continue (in the
status area), it automatically goes to a print dialog where the user can
either print or cancel.

Quote:> How do I maximize keeping the user from aborting or getting lost while
> giving the simplest viewing/printing functionality.

In the script that takes the user to the preview screen, be sure to
include the 'Allow User Abort [Off]' step at the beginning of your
script.  The script should pause in preview mode, so that additional
steps after the preview step will be run after the user clicks
'continue' in the status area.  The combination of 'Allow User Abort
[Off]' and having a script paused will prevent users from switching FMP
windows or getting lost.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Howard Schlossberg              (818) 883-2846
FM Pro Solutions       Los Angeles, California
Associate Member, FileMaker Solutions Alliance