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Questions You Must Ask Yourself When Developing Netbook Applications

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Transcript of "Questions You Must Ask Yourself When Developing Netbook Applications"

  1. 1. beta Intel® Atom™ Developer Program Part of the Intel® Software Network Originally published as a blog by Dmitry Rizshkov at : http://appdeveloper.intel.com/en-us/blog/2010/07/01/questions-you-must-ask-yourself-when-developing-netbook-application Questions you must ask yourself when developing netbook applications Who is your audience? First you must understand your target audience. If you’re developing applications for kids you must make the application easy to use and easy to understand. For example, consider eliminating text labels, popup menus, etc. When I started developing “My Little Artist” the hardest task for me was to create the brush icons. The easiest way was to make text labels. But if a kid can’t read or even if he can read, can he really understand what I mean by calling a brush “fur”? I think I found a good solution—to draw on icons, things I can draw with that brush. Another benefit of not using labels is globalization of the application. There is nothing to translate. And any kid, from any country can use this application. No matter which language he speaks. How to hold user attention? While developing My Little Artist, I used a trial version of Intel® VTune™. VTune helps Kids like to draw, but not all of them can me to find the number of the performance draw something interesting or artistic pitfalls, and ways to optimize my their first time. Kids who try to draw in a applications. One important way to do program with standard brushes and this was to update areas only affected by pencils will find nothing special in it, stroke portion of the memory buffer. This close the application, and forget about allows me to reduce processor usage for it forever. It is important to help kids some brushes for 50 percent. believe that they can draw really amazing pictures. Brushes and mirror modes in My Size of screen is another critical factor. If Little Artist help young artists be more you are using a 21-inch monitor, there is creative from the very first stroke. no issue on how much space is used by toolbars. But on the netbook it matters. On which devices? In My Little Artist I decided to use no top Another important point: on which devices menus, with no window captions, and your programm will be used. With mobile maximized the main window. Ideally, ap- devices an issue like battery life is a very plications give the user use of the whole important thing. Applications must be screen. For that I added new features. I optimized to use less CPU to preserve allowed for the main toolbar to be hidden battery life. when pressing the Tab button. Also, the toolbar can be moved from left to right with just one click on the arrow button.
  2. 2. White Paper Title Placeholder Here beta Intel® Atom™ Developer Program Part of the Intel® Software Network How to interact? If your application requires use of a pointer device like a mouse or a touchpad, make sure it is easy to use. Drawing with a mouse is comfortable on the netbook. But if a user has no mouse device, make sure he can use the touchpad. I almost forgot about the touchpad when I develop my first version. Then I tried to draw something with the touchpad and found that this is not as easy as with a mouse. To draw, a user needed to tap twice on a touchpad and move the cursor by moving his finger across it. If the user removed his finger from the touchpad to start drawing, he needed to tap twice. Or he needed to press and hold the left button on the touchpad. I developed an easier way to do this in My Little Artist. To simulate left mouse button action, a user can just press the spacebar. To release the left button just press spacebar again. Nothing special, but this little feature will give the user the ability to draw with one hand. Now drawing with a touchpad can be as easy as drawing with a mouse. Keyboard shortcuts are a useful feature. Shortcuts can speed up some operations and make applications more comfortable to use. In the new version I deceided to implement shortcuts to support Undo and Redo commands. My Little Artist is aimed at kids, so shortcuts must be easy to understand. My simple solution is to map Undo to the left arrow key and Redo to the right arrow key. This is easy to use, intuitive and easy to remember. 2 2

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