Revolutionising The User Interface (Introducing MenuKiller for WPF)

I don't fancy myself a frontend guy, getting controls and tables and other things to align is usually not my idea of fun, but way back in the days I was a Flash developer (Flash 3, 4 and even 5 for a bit) because Flash and possibilities that could be achieved with vector graphics animation (together with media like music and videos) fascinated me. It opened up my mind to alternative ways of designing User Interface and just like that I was hooked, well not for too long.

Then WPF came out and slowly but surely I started playing with it within the concepts of OBAs and Office System by enriching already boring office interface with cool embedded WPF controls, I talked about a nice example of it from MS in this blog post (http://dotnet.org.za/zlatan/archive/2008/02/07/building-obas-with-wpf-wcf-and-linq.aspx).

Microsoft has been progressively working on reviewing the UI for most of their product, mostly Operating Systems but they haven't yet changed the fundamental way in which the UI is being used, as that would require quite a bit of "Change Control", mostly they've just modernised the UI that hasn't fundamentally changed since Windows 95. Mac has on the other hand spent quite a bit of time and effort on justifying the stupidity of using only one mouse button in favour of ever more popular "right click" button, which has resulted in different thinking when approaching the UI enigma, but not enough to fundamentally change the approach.

There has been some bold challenges in this retrospect, some of you might remember my post "Imagine the User Interface that requires no clicks?!?" (http://dotnet.org.za/zlatan/archive/2008/02/18/imagine-the-user-interface-that-requires-no-clicks.aspx). This has served as an inspiration to many WPF Gurus, like our very own Rudi Grobler (http://dotnet.org.za/rudi/) who has also pushed the boundaries with introducing his own way of navigating through WPF with Nintendo Wii (Having a Wii bit of fun... - http://dotnet.org.za/rudi/archive/2008/02/13/having-a-wii-bit-of-fun.aspx).

Well my friend Schalk pointed out an excellent article titled A MenuKiller Control - Draft (http://www.emphess.net/2008/05/04/a-menukiller-control-draft/), which introduces another excellent concept, and personally, I can't wait to see how this plays out.

Here's the quote of the intro:

"In an effort to take user experience to the next level, designers have come up with ideas on how to solve old problems in a new way. In the last few months, the term "Differentiated User Experience" or simply "Differentiated UX" has come up to describe these efforts.

One of the beforementioned UI designers is Dax Pandhi, who published an article "Rethinking the Button" on his blog which introduced a new control he calls MenuKiller. This control is certainly more than a replacement for the Menu and ContextMenu, as it can be used in ways that are quite different. However, it turns out that changing the way things are typically done is indeed not so easy.

This article gives an overview of my implementation of the MenuKiller and presents a small sample application. It's written in C# using .NET 3.5 and Visual Studio 2008. What is presented here is not a full-fledged control, since there are quite a number of open todos. Yet, I hope that this motivates the use of different controls and serves as a good starting point for other WPF control development."

You can download the source code there as well.




Source: dotnet.org.za
Posted By: IndoSourceCode

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