Even though Centigrade GmbH and Potix Corporation have announced their partnership only recently, the two companies already have arrived at first common work results.
Yesterday Potix released a new version of the Rich Internet Application framework ZK. Version 3.5.2 of the framework offers a richer set of GUI components and better integration with existing Java technologies and standards. For the new release, Centigrade was responsible for significantly improving the visual appearance of the ZK live demo, an application that demonstrates the framework’s rich feature set.
“The ZK framework provides an amazing number of ready-made GUI components as well as solutions to integrate with numerous existing Java-based technologies such as Seam, Spring Security, Groovy etc.”, states Thomas Immich, Managing Director at Centigrade. “This is great news from a technical point of view. However, thinking user-centric, it also adds complexity so that first time users might easily get lost in this comprehensive offering. Our challenge was to come up with a ZK live demo that, though demonstrating far more features than the last version, is still easier to use and more inviting to explore.” Being constrained by yesterday’s projected release deadline, according to Mr. Immich, Centigrade chose an efficient means for achieving the goal: “The old live demo’s navigation bar was mainly a textual tree. It did not have a face and was little motivating to use as a lot of reading was required. That’s why – for the new version – we decided to create one unique and expressive icon for each feature or solution being introduced. We ended up with over one hundred graphical assets.”
Another step undertaken by Centigrade was a proposal of a fundamental restructuring of the demo’s navigation bar. “The old navigation bar did not sufficiently differentiate between the visual appearance of a feature category and a feature itself. That’s why we proposed to split the navigation bar into two separate GUI controls: the toolbar now shows the different feature categories using large icons while the side navigation lists the features of only the selected category using smaller icons.”
Potix Corporation appreciates the improvements carried out by Centigrade. Jean Yen, product manager at Potix states: “We gained space and visual clarity – the live demo now looks uncongested and invitational. It was impressive to see how agile Centigrade performs when coming up with ideas for improvements or delivering graphical assets to our developers. In addition, Centigrade’s proposals were always in line with what our developers were capable of realizing within the given amount of time and budget. I believe people will definitely love the new live demo and discuss about it a lot in our community forum.”
The new live demo can be tested on the ZK website. As the ZK framework is open source, the two companies decided to include all icons presented in the new 3.5.2. demo package offered for free download on the ZK website.