[ic] Overhaul Admin UI

Mike Heins mike at perusion.com
Thu Aug 18 10:53:38 EDT 2005

Quoting jeff at hisgirlfridays.com (jeff at hisgirlfridays.com):
> On Wed, Aug 17, 2005 at 08:55:27PM -0700, Michael Wrightson wrote:
> > My main way to interface with our catalog is through
> > the Admin UI - which I find a thorougly unsatisfactory
> > experience. It is clumsy, slow, and unreliable. I
> > never really know what is going to be produced with a
> > click on the "Apply Changes" button.
> There must be something wrong, in the day to day operations of an IC
> site, pressing "apply changes" shouldn't be necessary.  I've been using
> the IC backend daily for four or five years now without issue.  Clients
> (aka "dumb users") for which I have done development are able to use the
> admin with only a few minutes of training and have subsequently never
> reported any problems.
> A coworker wrote a blog aggregator (www.bloxor.com) using Mozilla's XUL
> UI language.  After seeing how easily he was able to create OS-ish
> visual elements, I've been wanting to play around with XUL with regards
> to a UI for IC.  But as far as reworking the admin UI in HTML, with the
> capabilities offered by XUL and MS's upcoming XAML, it'd be silly to use
> HTML.  Even absent MS offering, I'd have no problem requiring a
> Mozilla-based browser as a prerequisite to using the admin UI, given the
> advanced functionality that XUL offers.

Another possibility would be to do some Ajax-style development, which
something like the menu editor or page editor hints at in an amateurish way.

The thing that makes the IC admin useful, in my admittedly rather biased 
opinion, is the table editor and menu editor.

I still haven't seen the like of the table editor in any other software
package, though I am sure someone must have done something similar.....
does anyone know of an equivalent?

As far as the OP goes, he probably does think the UI is bad. Everyone
has their opinion. The "Apply Changes" complaint is more indicative of
a lack of understanding of how Interchange works in general, though.

Personally I think the UI could be better -- partly in the way of
logical layout. That is under the user's control -- you can make the
menus be whatever you want -- but most people want it done for them.
Sometimes we aren't good at guessing what they want. 8-)

Mike Heins
Perusion -- Expert Interchange Consulting    http://www.perusion.com/
phone +1.765.647.1295  tollfree 800-949-1889 <mike at perusion.com>

"Laughter is inner jogging." -- Norman Cousins

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