SecretAgent Mobile

SecretAgent Mobile User Interface

Last updated on: 6/19/2012 1:05 PM 
Created on: 3/21/2014 2:18 PM 

Creating the New UI - The Main Screen

One of the problems of the main screen from the previous implementation is it did not conform to what standard CE applications present the user with.  Standard CE applications present the user with a list of files created by the application that the user can open by taping on the screen.  If there are no files to display the application opens to a screen that allows the user to create a file.  The original version of SecretAgent for Pocket PC showed all files and encrypted those that it did not recognize as its file format.  The first change to the main screen was to have the file list only show files that are understood by the application.  To create a new file the standard new menu item appears on the toolbar.

The main menu has a simplified menu to get users to two other important areas of the application.  The first area is the configuration panel.  This is modeled off of the Windows control panel where the user selects a specific area of configurations to modify and a modal dialog that provides the users as few options as possible to avoid confusion.  I decided to mimic this presentation of control options because most users should be familiar with it.  Beyond that was an engineering decision.  The traditional configuration dialog is a tabbed dialog however given the nature of our applications there is not an even distribution of configuration options on each tab.  If I did combine them into a single tabbed dialog some tabs would contain simple check boxes while others use multiple common Window's controls.  I am not a fan of putting this much diversity in a single dialog.  The control panel approach allows me to simplify how I present the configuration options by grouping them in different dialogs that can be laid out to best present the options to the user.

The goals when creating the new Certificate Explorer was to accomplish two primary objectives, reduce the amount of screen required to create address books and give it some of the qualities that would be added to the application going forward.  The application is divided up into three areas, the location of the certificates (people) your are looking up, the group the certificates are members of and the certificates themselves.  Due to the vertical nature of the screen I had to do one modification to the Pocket PC software that I would not do on the regular desktop, that is the controls that display the data are arranged vertically.  Where I have more screen I elected to keep more of a standard address book where your groups are listed on the left side with the certificate information on the right.

Both opening an existing file or creating a new file takes you to a window that allows you to view the important information of the archive.  I've decided to present an archive in a format more recognized by common users.  Considering that our archives are encrypted for a select group of people, contain a secure message and include any number of files to include in the communication it seems appropriate to model the window off of a traditional e-mail application.

While all these different objectives were developed I also stayed true to the Pocket PC user interface requirements.  This means obeying all the little details as to what can and can not be shown on a toolbar, displaying the proper help information when selected from the start menu and what controls must do when the keyboard is displayed. The positive result from this experience is that I was able to meet and receive the "Designed for Pocket PC" logo which can be used on all technical and marketing materials.  For the company, this makes SecretAgent Mobile the first application to receive any certification for being designed for the target operating system.

SecretAgent Mobile

Navigate the topics to dicover the lessons uncovered in building for Mobile in the now retired Windows CE/Windows Mobile build.

SecretAgent Mobile (SAM) User Interface Size Constraints and Considerations Automatic Data Protection Certificate (Contact) Management Certifications