Chiyoko Yoshida of chiyofm created a handy little file to help you visualize the changes to layout objects when you apply different themes. Each layout contains all the objects you could possibly style on your FileMaker layouts, such as buttons, tab and slide panels, portals, text, and more. You could use this as a base for a theme development file (see my previous post about working with themes and styles).
We’ve probably all done these at one time or other. The consequences of these mistakes can range anywhere from annoying to profound. Here they are, in no particular order.
1. Thinking that you don’t really need to know about visual design principles
Like any language, understanding how the visual design language is constructed helps you use it more effectively. You “know” the rules on a subconscious level already, because as a user you’ve been conditioned by all the programs and apps you’ve ever used.
But you may not be equipped to solve sticky design problems. Often, design principles compete with each other. A lot of a designer’s job is weighing all the factors to decide which ones are more important in a given situation. By formalizing your knowledge, you can better decide what is foundational, and where you can compromise.
The third in a series on the basics of visual design for FileMaker. As visual creatures, humans are very sensitive to detecting the shapes of things we see. Interpreting shapes is one of the basic ways we navigate the world around us.
It seems beyond self-evident that every object, real or imagined, has a shape. We define objects by their shape. (Um, thanks…tell us something we don’t know.) But if we dig a little deeper into this obvious statement, we discover that shape has a profound impact on our interpretation, observation, and interaction with the objects in our surroundings.
If you haven’t started using themes and styles yet in your FileMaker development, you should! This article consolidates information from Andrew Paulsen, Adam Ward, and Bob Shockey, presented in sessions at the 2014 FileMaker Developer’s Conference in San Antonio, Texas.
Themes and styles are one of the most useful design tools FileMaker has provided in recent versions. By defining custom themes and styles, you have the potential to revolutionize your workflow, create a more consistent look from layout to layout, and easily change the look of individual elements across all layouts in a solution.
The Elements of Graphic Design by Alex W. White is an excellent reference on graphic design principles. The book covers the accepted rules related to designing page layouts, and their historical origins. Aimed primarily at graphic designers working in print and advertising, it’s nonetheless a great introduction and reference for anyone interested learning about visual design.