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The software is there for the user

Why User Interface Design is so important

Since the first generation of computers, which were still operated by entering pure text, a lot has changed. Since the introduction of the Graphical User Interface, which allows even laypersons to use computers, usability is now the main focus. Today, the conception of the interface proves to be a complex interlocking of different development and design activities.

Group working on user interface

Software is not equal to software

With more and more complex technologies, their operation is also becoming more and more demanding. Differently trained users must be taken into account. Software should often not only be designed for desktop use, but should also be functional and intuitive to use on mobile devices. This is where inner logic and the balance between consistency and convention count. The user should be able to find operating functions and elements easily. However, different standards and trends must also be taken into account so that intuitive operation is retained on all devices.

Some sub-disciplines of user interface design

Chart User Interface Design

Sub-disciplines of User Interface Design

User Interface Design comprises first of all the conceptual, visual and technical design of digital interfaces between man and machine. The user interface and the associated interactions are designed according to aspects of user quality and design attractiveness.

The Information Architect initially lays the foundation for the further design. Above all, he categorizes and structures the contents and functions so that the user can find them easily. For a qualitatively valuable user interface design, this task should not be underestimated.

The Interaction Designer plans the provided interaction possibilities and the necessary user guidance. This also includes aspects such as text, icons and the type of interaction – does the user operate with mouse, touch, swipe?

The User Experience Designer basically combines all the disciplines mentioned above and goes one step further. For him, the user experience is at the center of attention. This should be as positive as possible so that the user is enthusiastic and recommends the product to others. For this purpose, so-called “personas” are usually differentiated, which stand prototypically for the individual user groups of a software. Based on these personas, action scenarios are then designed and thus possible negative experiences are excluded.

Actual … the user interface is the product

As far as the customer is concerned, the interface is the product.” | Jef Raskin*

Jef Raskin, one of the first interface designers at Apple, noticed this almost 20 years ago. And many quickly realized that he was right. Using the example of cloud computing software (SaaS), this can be explained quite simply.

Developer’s view: A developer usually has the big picture in mind. Uniformity is what counts. He prefers to use the latest technology, a single integrated database, and work through the cloud, where he has everything under control. Special solutions, offline capability, etc. – all this means more work for him and a higher risk of problems.

User perspective: A user views a software product from the perspective of his individual needs. He rarely looks into the full depth of the software, but simply at the user interface (UI). One would like to have an easy-to-use UI for his smartphone. Another would like a UI that fully exploits the performance of his desktop PC.

If one divides such different demands on the product into the above-mentioned “personas”, it is much easier to take them into account. The end product may no longer correspond to what a developer would have designed from the outset. Instead, however, more customer wishes are fulfilled, which makes the product more successful.

The fact that such an implementation involves more costs for the customer and may be less easily scalable to large user groups is a critical factor for many. Ultimately, however, consumers also know that a higher investment may be worthwhile for quality.

It makes sense, especially for midsize companies, whose requirements can vary greatly, to invest in adaptable software that meets all their user requirements.


* Raskin, Jef (2000): The Human Interface: New Directions for Designing Interactive Systems. Boston: Addison Wesley.


Low-code platforms: Means low code low quality?

Why the quality of the platforms is much better than their reputation and why they play a key role in the digitization of business processes.

The name “low-code platform” appropriately means that business applications can be created with little handwritten code. Unfortunately, it also allows the assumption that the quality of the applications is lower. However, this is not the case. On the contrary.

As the demands on software have increased with technical progress and it is becoming increasingly difficult for companies to keep up with the rapid development in IT, many companies today depend on it to get along without long development and test phases. Low-code platforms offer decisive advantages over individual software development or the purchase of standard software packages that cannot be individually adapted.

Individual software development with standard modules: Is that possible?

Low-code platforms pursue a completely different way of developing software for individual needs: Applications are assembled or configured by providing ready-made software modules and an application designer for graphical user interface design. It is no longer necessary to rewrite every line of code.

Simple operation eliminates the need for extensive training for the users of the platforms. This saves time and costs, ensures high acceptance and motivation. In addition, the modules that have already been tested run without errors, so that projects can be completed more quickly and successfully. The customer receives a stable application that can withstand its high quality requirements, because even relatively complex business processes can be mapped, but the user-friendliness does not suffer. The configuration can also be extended at any time by individual code.

Who benefits from low-code platforms?

Low-code technologies are suitable for the smallest applications as well as for large projects. Computer scientists and configurators or power users (IT experts who can program something or employees who cannot program but have been trained for configuration) can work together with the same platform. If a company’s IT department does not have sufficient free capacity, the specific ideas of individual departments can be implemented directly by the department itself, independently of the IT center.

In addition, the possibility of running the construction of a complete development environment via cloud servers simplifies the entry. Application Platform as a Service (aPaaS) offers all options that smaller applications need for the entire life cycle. Large projects, on the other hand, are better installed than on-premise solutions in customers’ data centers.

The platforms also offer another advantage over handwritten code: They offer many functionalities that would be far too expensive to develop in individual cases and have interfaces to other technologies. Data from different applications can be integrated in this way, which avoids duplication of work, while the included features provide additional convenience.

To sum up, low-code kits offer high-quality development opportunities and are even ahead of conventional software development in some respects. For this reason, it will be impossible to imagine a company IT without them in the near future.

Benefits at a glance:

  • Quick development and publication of apps possible (16 to 20 weeks)
  • Easily customizable in hours or days
  • Advanced interactivity and ease of use
  • Increased data security
  • Connection of interfaces to existing technologies
  • Problem-free data integration possible
  • Easily scalable
  • Cloud storage for development environments possible
  • Shared use by computer scientists, configurators and administrators

From .Net to Business App

Microsoft Framework – an Overview

Microsoft Framework is very popular and since the first launch of the platform Microsoft .Net in 2000 there are a lot of different versions available.
.Net consists of plenty frameworks of whom the .Net Framework – as the most popular one – is often used synonymous for .Net as coding language and development environments with automatic memory management.
The main purposes of the Microsoft Framework are object-orientated software development and component-based development approaches. Through design patterns that are used in the Microsoft Framework, the structure of the application gets influenced. The Microsoft Framework provides reusable common structures which developers can use in their applications and extend them so that the program matches with their individual requirements. By pretending the architecture of an app, the Microsoft Framework is defining the control flow and the interface of concrete classes which the developer has to create and to register.

History of .Net

In June 2000 Bill Gates presented .Net Vision and in July of the same year CDs with pre-versions of Microsoft framework and Visual Studio .Net were circulating. The official notion of .Net followed two years later, in 2002, including the development environment SDK. Till 2005 there were more and more improvements until Visual Studio 2005, which was released first in December 2005 in a German version of .Net framework 2.0. The current version is 4.6, which was released in 2015.

Different types of Microsoft Framework

Microsoft is offering different forms of its framework: A pure runtime environment including necessary class libraries, costless SDK for developers or as a charged integrated development environment (IDE) in form of the MS Visual Studio .Net. Beginners can use the free MS Visual Studio Express Editions with constraints towards the charged standard or professional variant.

Offshoots of the Microsoft Framework

There are different offshoots of the Microsoft framework:

  • .Net Compact Framework: For handheld devices or mobile phones, which are running Windows CE or Windows Mobile there is a functional reduced version of the Microsoft Framework. But the development for these devices is just possible when you are using the charged Visual Studio .Net.
  • .Net Micro Framework: In 2006 the .Net Micro Framework was introduced. It is an again restricted version of the .Net Framework especially for embedded devices. Depending on the platform, the its size is between 512KB and 1MB and it runs directly from the ROM or the flash-memory. .Net Micro Framework is working as a system software but can also be installed on an existing Windows system software.
  • Silverlight: Including a massively reduced subset of the Microsoft Framework, Silverlight mainly allows web browsers to run Rich Internet Applications based on WPF. Normal programs based on WPF are web-enabled indeed, but they need the complete .Net 3.0, which is currently just available for Windows and not for Mac OS or Linux.
  • .Net Core: Publishing and hosting 2014 a subset of the reference source code repository is the base for upcoming, modular built .Net Framework 5. It allows an involvement of the community and was transferred by Microsoft to the 2014 founded .Net foundation. Through the MIT-licence there are no constraints as the source code of .Net Core should be used.

Business App – the new Microsoft based Framework for professional Business Applications

Business App is a new .Net based development platform for professional business applications including a well-engineered application designer and a backend framework with libraries and components tested and ready for use, that usually have to be redeveloped for every application.
Some of the highlights of this new Microsoft Framework are:

  • 100% offline functionality as you can use it everywhere, even without a connection to a server
  • Ready-to-use modules as forms, views, data structure, navigation
  • 14 supported databases, also open source
  • Top performance for millions of datasets
  • Ready-to-use rights- and role-concepts
  • Integration of MS Office / Office 365 – even in the cloud
  • Working on every device in the browser
  • Integrated text processing, spreadsheet and report designer
  • Open interfaces like ODATA, Webservices or REST

More on Business App

.Net Tools

.Net Tools bring your software development on the next level

.Net Tools help developers to create, develop or manage applications and components. Most .Net Tools are installed automatically with Microsoft’s Visual Studio but there are a few – as Business App – that are not included but bring your software development on the next level.

Purposes of .Net Tools

.Net Tools are used among others for these purposes:

  • Creation and editing of program source code (text editors)
  • Design of graphic user interfaces (special GUI-editors)
  • Translation of source code into executable computer code (compiler, assembler)
  • Testing and troubleshooting (test tools, debugger)
  • Saving and administration of applications and application documents (version management system)

For up- and downstream activities of the software development process additional tools are set in. Those can be tools for data modelling, project or documentation management etc. A general overview of .Net Tools is provided here.
Tools supporting more than one of those disciplines are so-called integrated development environments (IDE).

What is an integrated software environment (IDE)?

An IDE is a software package specialized onto the convenient development of applications. It is an interactive application program packed development environment supporting the developer with development and routine work.
As already mentioned, IDEs include several tools such as text editor, compiler, linker, debugger or a source code formation function. Usually just one coding language is supported but there are IDEs supporting more than one language.

Business App – one of the most hands-on .Net Tools

Business App is one of the newest .Net Tools and provides a backend framework and application designer, as well as ready-to-use elements to configure applications with less development effort. Due to this, developers can focus on the software development because they are relieved from basic development tasks.
For a complete feature overview of the .Net Tool Business App click here.

Business App saves up to 75% development time!