"Make Over" for a NB Platform application

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"Make Over" for a NB Platform application

Damian Carey
Hi all,

We are planning a significant visual update for our 10 year old product, and looking for any advice that others may have employed in their own product. 

We have a Netbeans Platform (ie Swing) based application, using the excellent JGoodies L&F, and it (for right or wrong) makes extensive use of uses Netbeans UI designer (ie Matisse etc). The original product is more than 10 years old now, and it looks like it.

The product is EXTREMELY functional, so existing users love it for its extreme power, but prospective users are unimpressed by the aesthetics. 

It is now a large product - so "rewrite in JavaFX" or "HTML5" are not realistic options in the short term. 

I'm not looking for magic freebies - just trying to identify "low hanging fruit" to give it a much needed visual boost. 

Happy to consider purchase appropriate libraries or consulting services.

Anyone have any good war stories of how they have attempted this?

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Many thanks,
-Damian
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Re: "Make Over" for a NB Platform application

Thomas Wolf-7
It's kind of hard to identify "low hanging fruit" when you don't give any details about your app and kind of declare the one obvious low-hanging fruit - a new L&F - as a no-starter (implied by your statement that JGoodies' L&F is excellent).    But I will ignore that and suggest a L&F anyway: Jyloo/Synthetica :-)

Other than that: just use a bigger font and bigger margins - seems all the rage these days ;-)

tom

> On May 21, 2017, at 10:55 PM, Damian Carey <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hi all,
>
> We are planning a significant visual update for our 10 year old product, and looking for any advice that others may have employed in their own product.
>
> We have a Netbeans Platform (ie Swing) based application, using the excellent JGoodies L&F, and it (for right or wrong) makes extensive use of uses Netbeans UI designer (ie Matisse etc). The original product is more than 10 years old now, and it looks like it.
>
> The product is EXTREMELY functional, so existing users love it for its extreme power, but prospective users are unimpressed by the aesthetics.
>
> It is now a large product - so "rewrite in JavaFX" or "HTML5" are not realistic options in the short term.
>
> I'm not looking for magic freebies - just trying to identify "low hanging fruit" to give it a much needed visual boost.
>
> Happy to consider purchase appropriate libraries or consulting services.
>
> Anyone have any good war stories of how they have attempted this?
>
> Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
>
> Many thanks,
> -Damian
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Re: "Make Over" for a NB Platform application

wadechandler
Administrator
In reply to this post by Damian Carey
Do you mean it works, but perhaps is not intuitive when you say "EXTREMELY functional"? Does the LNF make it look bad or its layout? There has to be a bigger picture here.

What will a rewrite, even if you could, to Java FX or HTML 5, give you? That won't magically solve an unintuitive UI; plenty of bad web apps out there. What would Matisse have to do with what you are asking about?

Would a dark look look and feel have appeal for your users? Is it flatter buttons they seek? Is it the way certain or specific UI elements look? Have you conducted user interviews; both new and old?

IntelliJ is written in Swing as well, and I don't see new or old users saying "if only it were built on electron" or "if were just Java FX", why, because that isn't the itch they are needing it to scratch. Shoot, even Google has invested more and more into it for Android, not say MS VS Code.

Can you share screenshots on the net some where? Too, can you share feedback related to specific screens?

Wade

On May 22, 2017 1:20 AM, "Damian Carey" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi all,

We are planning a significant visual update for our 10 year old product, and looking for any advice that others may have employed in their own product. 

We have a Netbeans Platform (ie Swing) based application, using the excellent JGoodies L&F, and it (for right or wrong) makes extensive use of uses Netbeans UI designer (ie Matisse etc). The original product is more than 10 years old now, and it looks like it.

The product is EXTREMELY functional, so existing users love it for its extreme power, but prospective users are unimpressed by the aesthetics. 

It is now a large product - so "rewrite in JavaFX" or "HTML5" are not realistic options in the short term. 

I'm not looking for magic freebies - just trying to identify "low hanging fruit" to give it a much needed visual boost. 

Happy to consider purchase appropriate libraries or consulting services.

Anyone have any good war stories of how they have attempted this?

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Many thanks,
-Damian

====================
Wade Chandler

Software Engineer
NetBeans and Open Source Contributor
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Re: "Make Over" for a NB Platform application

Furhold Farm
In reply to this post by Damian Carey
I am sorry I am sending this as a personal email, but I don't know how else to cancel membership in the nbusers list. I haven't had time to use your product in years so the e-mails just clog my mail program. Thank though for your assistance .

On May 21, 2017 10:55:58 PM EDT, Damian Carey <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi all,

We are planning a significant visual update for our 10 year old product, and looking for any advice that others may have employed in their own product. 

We have a Netbeans Platform (ie Swing) based application, using the excellent JGoodies L&F, and it (for right or wrong) makes extensive use of uses Netbeans UI designer (ie Matisse etc). The original product is more than 10 years old now, and it looks like it.

The product is EXTREMELY functional, so existing users love it for its extreme power, but prospective users are unimpressed by the aesthetics. 

It is now a large product - so "rewrite in JavaFX" or "HTML5" are not realistic options in the short term. 

I'm not looking for magic freebies - just trying to identify "low hanging fruit" to give it a much needed visual boost. 

Happy to consider purchase appropriate libraries or consulting services.

Anyone have any good war stories of how they have attempted this?

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Many thanks,
-Damian
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