The purpose of this thesis is to provide a study of an implementation of a graphical user interface (GUI) in a presentation program intended for non-expert users. The type of program is chosen because it’s no secret that massive marketing has made Microsoft PowerPoint push all competition off the market, leaving PowerPoint as the only and obvious (but not necessarily the best) choice. There might very well be a void to fill where lack of alternatives makes PowerPoint the only option. For this study, a completely new presentation program will be developed. The program will present an interface with fairly new components for users of varying expertise and the study will attempt to judge how well these elements fit these users, and if possible refine the interface. The output format will be a slideshow generated as Macromedia Flash vector graphics, which can be viewed in most common browsers with the appropriate plug-in, or in a standalone player. In this document the words slideshow and presentation are used interchangeably.
The title of the thesis hints that one of the purposes of the development of this user interface is to make it intuitive. But what really is intuitive? In short, a paradigm for a well designed user interface is that the program behaves exactly the same way the user expects it to. Nevertheless, users are different and both perception and intuition are to some degree concepts related to the individual user. This project will attempt to explore how to make a user interface the general user intuitively understand and don’t need much time to learn. It’s a project goal to create a user interface with an easy learning curve and an environment the users feel comfortable working in. The term “user friendly” will be explored in detail in chapter 7.
As for the program, it has been developed using Microsoft Visual Studio 2002. This development tool takes the full advantage of the .Net platform which in turn simplifies work that previously had to be made with complex Windows API calls. C# was chosen as the programming language.
The name of the application is Switch.