Planning the months of the year

Posted on lunes, mayo 03, 2010 by Pedro Wave

In many computer applications users will see dates, order dates, clients or bosses orders, of the upcoming campaign advertising, purchase orders, the milestones of a project, the balance sheet dates, staff dates, etc.., so it is important a good representation of dates and its relation to the calendar, holidays, important events, the work schedule and many other matters with which we have to deal in a day-to-day business life.

To demonstrate the visual importance of the dates I plan to do a perpetual calendar in Excel that it'll be useful, used to play with the dates in a practical way that can be applied to many other user-oriented design applications, so should be easy to use and easy to understand for the user, even without having a manual at your fingertips, but internally could be complex.

For any application that we propose, is necessary to know first what are searching the user when make use of it, for what we should do a list of its main features pursuing the objective of achieving a good user experience that motivates him to use our application at any time and that his desire is large enough to use it many times.

Before planning a commitment dates of starting and ending, we will start thinking about our project as an abstract object to begin to take shape later, according to the theory of the five levels used to study the user experience, breaking the design decisions into 5 elements to improve the user experience (the 5'S) that are easier to develop:

Strategy - You have to know the habits of your users, through analysis, surveys and market studies, because inspiration speaks to their interests rather than the interests of designers, and from that knowledge, develop brilliant ideas that meet that goal.

Scope - The characteristics and features built into our application defined its scope. The more functional specifications, the more ambitious will be the requirements of the project.

Structure - Defines where and how users will interact with the application and its architecture, providing information on the interaction with the design.

Skeleton - The place of user interface elements will be determined by the skeleton will be designed to optimize its use, being effective and efficient for the desired objective.

Surface - The result that you see on the surface of the visual design of the application which interacts to get the results wanted by the user. Having been designed much better 5 levels, the better your experience as a site or application user and pay more to buy and like it!

In the next posts I will explain each of these levels in the development of a Perpetual Calendar designed in Excel spreadsheets but, above all, remember that planning before doing, to have conscious reasons in making decisions, expressing clearly and explicitly and do things thinking about end-users.

The following presentation explains visually the elements of the user experience on our project:

The visual design is just the iceberg tip, but that is what the user sees.
Traducción al español aquí.

6 Response to "Planning the months of the year"

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Kim_Office_Team Says....

This is very interesting. I'm sure the Excel community on Facebook would really be interested to learn about this "perpetual calendar." You can join the community at http://www.facebook.com/microsoftexcel. Also, I encourage you to share your experience with Microsoft Excel 2010, too.

Thanks!
Kim
Microsoft Office Outreach

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Pedro Wave Says....

Kim, you're welcome.

I just joined the facebook excel community and shared my blog as you suggest me.

You can write in my facebook wall here

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Sand Says....

Pedro,

This calendar looks like just what I need. I will ruffle thru the avail info but I'm having difficulties changing the colors of events.

My dilemma, I have several non profit agencies I need to track dates for and distribute. I would like to make each organization a different color and distribute the calendar to attendees who may be associated with the different organizations or may have an interest.

Can you provide some basics for me?

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Pedro Wave Says....

Sand, Why not try my last new calendar?

Programmable Task Calendar

You can use up to 4 colors for dates.

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Anónimo Says....

Hi Pedro,

First of all, thanks for this calender, its a huge work and actually one of the greatest calender I experienced yet !

As I tried to improve some parts for my needs, could you help me for these points:

- at the moment you can enter date, but would it be possible to enter period (more convenient for holidays)?
- How to show many entries on the calendar when they occur on the same date? (like 4 people having holiday on the same day)
- could we add a scrolling menu for the description (professional journey, training ...) and a specific color for each?

With many thanks for your help,

cheers from Paris

Alex

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Pedro Wave Says....

Alex, I stopped making calendars two years ago.
The last I prepared can serve you. Download it from this link: Programmable Task Calendar
Or search by "calendar" into the LABELS to the right of these lines.

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