Blackberry Time Tracker Design – First Steps

Finally I’ve got started! I’ve been thinking on the time tracker application during the week, always having different ideas to make it accomplish its purpose more efficiently, but at the end the simplicity factor talked louder and I decided to keep it really (really!) simple, even if it will turn it less interesting. That said, here is the overall design I’m thinking on:

Time Tracker Main Screen

One of the main challenges for a newbe like me designing for Blackberry is figure out where to start, what kind of UI I can or should use, which devices I’m gonna support, …,  the challenge list is growing too fast!

Instead of searching the web for samples, blogs or tutorials, I found it would make sense ask directly to the creator. No, I’m not that lost that I’d pray about so secular subject. I’m talking about RIM’s developer website.

RIM’s Blackberry Developer website was recently revamped, bringing a better navigation and indeed, I found much easier to find information, compared to the older version.

Looking at the documentation section, I found an interesting document: UI Guidelines, which was exactly what I was looking for. The one available there is dedicated to the OS 6 and the new Torch, so after searching a little bit further I found a version that was talking about all other models, which for me, was perfect. If you’re lazy like me, you can get both documents link using my search string: http://goo.gl/aP1Z.

At a glance, this document is excellent an eye-opener for newbes, and I’d say, mandatory reading if you’re thinking about BB development.

I’m not entirely sure but it seems both documents cover more or less the same aspects, but the older one has additional things about the older models. Probably reading one of them, and checking the other one as necessary should be enough for us.

I already had the idea how my GUI would work, and what each field should do, so it was a matter of looking the options the document presented and choose the best ones, IMHO.

  • Project Name – Search Field suits the best since my idea is to store the previous project names and reuse them as needed
  • Start/Stop Button – In that case the standard button will do the job.
  • Start/End Date and Time – It will be a RichTextField configured to date and time input.
  • Notes – A simple multiline text field here will be all what I need.

There won’t have buttons for saving for example, since the idea is to save as soon the user presses the Start/Stop button.

On the next days I’ll code my User Interface without any intelligence, just to check how does it feels.

Stay tuned!

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