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7: Wizards

Even in well-designed software, complex or unfamiliar tasks can be difficult. You can make performing difficult tasks easier and quicker for users by providing a kind of user interface known as a wizard.

A wizard is a window that leads a user through a task one step at a time--requesting a series of responses from the user and then performing the task based on those responses. Except for a user's responses, a wizard provides all the information needed to perform the task. Typically, wizards are intended to simplify a task so that inexperienced users can perform it easily, or to expedite a complex task by grouping its steps in a single place. Often, wizards both simplify a task and expedite it.

This chapter introduces wizards and then describes:

  • How to decide whether users need a wizard
  • How to design the layout and behavior of wizards

Wizards have much in common with other types of windows. For general information on windows, see Chapter 2 . For general information on layout, visual alignment, and text in the user interface, see Chapter 4 of Java Look and Feel Design Guidelines , 2d ed.

Java Look and Feel Design Guidelines: Advanced Topics.
Copyright 2001. Sun Microsystems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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