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Part II: Fundamental Java Application Design
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5: Application Graphics
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Designing Graphics for Corporate and Product Identity
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Designing Graphics for Corporate and Product Identity

Application graphics present an excellent opportunity for you to heighten your corporate or product identity. This section presents information about splash screens, About boxes, and login splash screens.

 


Note — The examples presented in this section use the sample text-editing and mail applications, MetalEdit and MetalMail. They are not appropriate for third-party use.

  Use the JPEG file format for any photographic elements in your splash screens and About boxes.

Designing Splash Screens

A splash screen is a plain window that appears briefly in the time between the launch of a program and the appearance of its main application window. Splash screens disappear when the application is ready to run. Nothing other than a blank space is included with a JFC-supplied plain window; you must provide the border and the contents of the splash screen. For instance, the black border on the window in the following figure is part of the file supplied by the splash screen designer.

Figure 64   Splash Screen for MetalEdit

 

MetalEdit Splash Screen

Although not required, splash screens are included in most commercial products. Splash screens typically have the following elements:

  • Company logo
  • Product name (trademarked, if appropriate)
  • Visual identifier of the product or product logo

Check with your legal adviser about requirements for placing copyright notices or other legal information in your splash screens.

  To get the black border that is recommended for splash screens, you must include a 1-pixel black border as part of the image you create. (You can get a black border with a border object instead of putting a black line in the image itself.)

  The JWindow component, not the JFrame component, is typically used to implement the plain window that provides the basis for splash screens.

Designing Login Splash Screens

If your application requires users to log in, you might consider replacing the traditional splash screen with a simple login window or a combination login and splash screen.

Figure 65 shows the login splash screen for the MetalMail application.

 Click here to view the corresponding code for Figure 65 (also available on the book's companion CD-ROM).

Figure 65   Login Splash Screen for MetalMail

 

MetalEdit Login Splash Screen

The elements of this screen might include:

  • Label and text field for a login user name
  • Label and password field
  • Labels and interactive components (such as editable combo boxes) for any other information required by the system
  • Buttons for logging in and canceling the login splash screen

If you want to increase the chance of users viewing your splash screen, it is a good idea to combine the login window and splash screen.

  Provide a way for users to exit the login splash screen without first logging in (if it is possible for users to do anything on the system without first logging in).

  The JDialog component, not the JWindow component, is typically used to implement a login splash screen.

Designing About Boxes

An About box is a dialog box that contains basic information about your application.

Figure 66 shows the About box for the MetalMail application.

Figure 66   About Box for MetalEdit

 

MetalEdit About Box

An About box might contain the following elements:

  • Product name (trademarked, if appropriate)
  • Version number
  • Company logo
  • Product logo or a visual reminder of the product logo
  • Copyright, trademarks, and other legal notices
  • Names of contributors to the product

Users typically display About boxes by choosing the About Application item from the Help menu.

  Because the dialog box title bar might not include a Close button on all platforms, always include a Close button in your About boxes so that users can dismiss them after reading them. Follow the guidelines for button placement described in Command Buttons in Dialog Boxes.


Java Look and Feel Design Guidelines, second edition.
Copyright 2001. Sun Microsystems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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