Excerpts from book:

Java Look and Feel Design Guidelines: Advanced Topics provides guidelines for anyone designing user interfaces for applications written in the JavaTM programming language. In particular, this book offers design guidelines for applications that use the Java look and feel. This book supplements Java Look and Feel Design Guidelines, 2d ed. For details on that book, see Related Books.

Although some topics in Java Look and Feel Design Guidelines: Advanced Topics apply only to certain types of applications, most topics apply to all applications that use the Java look and feel.

Who Should Use This Book
Primarily, this book addresses the designer who chooses an application's user-interface elements, lays them out in a set of components, and designs the user interaction model for an application. This book should also prove useful for software developers, technical writers, graphic artists, production and marketing specialists, and testers who help create applications that use the Java look and feel.

Java Look and Feel Design Guidelines: Advanced Topics focuses on design issues and human-computer interaction in the context of the Java look and feel. For information about technical aspects of the Java Foundation Classes (JFC), visit the JFC and Swing Connection web sites:

The guidelines in this book are appropriate for GUI applications that run on personal computers and network computers. These guidelines are not intended for software that runs on consumer electronic devices, such as wireless telephones or personal digital assistants (PDAs).

How to Use This Book
This book is intended to be read in its entirety or to be consulted as a reference on particular topics. The information in this book is easier to understand if you first read Java Look and Feel Design Guidelines, 2d ed. If you read only particular topics in this book, you should also see any corresponding topics in that book.

This book assumes that you are familiar with the terms and concepts in Java Look and Feel Design Guidelines, 2d ed., which is available in printed form at bookstores and as hypertext at the following web address:

In addition, this book assumes that you are using the default Java look and feel theme, as described in Chapter 4 of Java Look and Feel Design Guidelines, 2d ed.

What Is in This Book
This book contains two main parts--
"General Topics" and "Special Topics."

Part One, "General Topics," consists of chapters whose user interface guidelines apply to most applications.

Chapter 1, "Introduction," explains why a consistent look and feel is important in applications and describes characteristics of well-designed applications.
Chapter 2, "Windows," defines user-interface objects and then describes various types of windows. In addition, the chapter describes how to choose the right window type, design window elements, set the state of windows, and handle multiple windows.
Chapter 3, "Menus," provides guidelines for designing menu elements, common menus (such as File, Edit, and Help), and contextual menus. The chapter also provides guidelines for assigning mnemonics and keyboard shortcuts to menu items.
Chapter 4, "Behavior," discusses modes of user interaction, multiple selection, filtering, searching, and tool tips.
Chapter 5, "Idioms," describes how to use sets of JFC components to achieve a standardized appearance and behavior. In particular, the chapter discusses idioms for tables, text fields, lists, and hierarchies of user-interface objects.
Chapter 6, "Responsiveness," discusses characteristics of responsive applications, describes how responsiveness relates to performance and to response delay, explains how to measure response delay, and describes ways to improve responsiveness and provide operational feedback to users.
Part Two, "Special Topics," consists of chapters whose guidelines apply only to applications that include wizards or alarms.

Chapter 7, "Wizards," introduces wizards and then describes how to decide whether your users need a wizard, how to design the layout and behavior of wizards, and what other factors to consider when designing wizards.
Chapter 8, "Events and Alarms," defines the terms "event" and "alarm" and then provides information on how to display alarm views (representations of alarms) and how to manipulate alarm views (for example, by sorting them at a user's request).
What Is Not in This Book
This book does not provide detailed discussions of human interface design principles or the design process, nor does it present information about task analysis--an essential concept in user interface design. For resources on these topics, see Related Books and "Related Books and Web Sites" in Java Look and Feel Design Guidelines, 2d ed.

Many of this book's guidelines can be applied to applications that use the Java look and feel to display text in any language. However, the usability of the book's guidelines and examples has been tested only with languages in which users read left to right. If you are designing for users who read right to left, use your judgment to decide whether this book's guidelines regarding layout are appropriate for your application.