User:ChristophNoack/Drafts/WelcomeCenter 2010

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Documentation note.png This page is intended to outline a personal idea. Please rate it or add your own thoughts in the rating and comments section.


This page "WelcomeCenter 2010" describes an idea how to transform the currently independent items like StartCenter / About Box / ... into a consistent, pleasing and connected solution. The basic idea is to have a well defined and consistent layout for many - or maybe all - of the non-document editing related items that will finally be driven by an renewed branding and visual design. Thus, it is possible to add Start Up Wizard, Improvement Program, ...

This idea is related to the current Application Rebranding activities and the current StartCenter.


  • Improve the workflows and therefore the whole experience for the post-installation and regular startup of the application. You can find more information on the workflows on the page Start-up_process (Thanks to Frank!). Please notice that this proposal has been worked out prior to the documentation of the start-up process ... so things might be different or not yet perfect ;-)
  • The renewed items like StartCenter, About Box or Splash Screen look and behave different. So the current goal is to let them behave look similar and behave consistent.


  • Visual design / branding is likely to change: The current proposal doesn't focus on visual design or branding. Although it shows some ideas, the workflow and the suitability for the task is considered more important at the moment.
  • Functionality is equal: It is assumed that the functionality won't change. Of course, it is possible to integrate new functionality, but the proposed design solution mainly addresses to improve what is currently available (only one exception).
  • Limited implementation effort: Similar to the "functionality is kept" approach, the implementation effort is considered. Some of the proposed elements could be integrated step by step (e.g. Template Support). Moreover, in the long run, it would be possible to save effort for the visual design, since the main window layout is kept consistent.
  • Application icon / document icon design still requires some work: There are new application icons and document icons. These elements look different in their visual style and lack usability, therefore these elements haven't been used in the proposal. Most of the icons are replaced by symbols of the great Tango Icons set. Thank you guys!
  • Naming: The naming "StartCenter" has been changed to "Welcome Center", since this naming seems to be more appropriate. Addionally, people usually mess up the "StartCenter" with the "Start Module".

Proposed Designs

Initial Proposal

2010-05-19 WelcomeCenter Ideas.png

Some notes on the proposed design solution:

  • Extract of workflows: The different colored items represent workflow steps (windows), e.g. the blue colored "Splash" is the Splash Screen shown during the start of the application if it isn't pre-loaded into the computer's memory.
    • The numbered red lines show one very common workflow as an example: The user starts in e.g. the Start Menu (Microsoft Windows), then the Splash Screen is shown, then the Welcome Center. He decides to create a new document, thus the application finally shows the usual Document Editing window. Since it isn't affected by the proposals presented here, it is colored gray.
    • Imagine another example: The user currently edits the document and wants to have a look at the version number of He opens "Help - About..." and the About window is shown. This About window is nearly the same like the one linked from the Welcome Center. Since it hasn't been called from the "Welcome" window, it shows a "Close" button instead of the "< Back" visible in the mockup.
  • Overview of "Welcome Center" and "About: The rather realistically presented overview images should give an impression how the real elements could look like - including the text etc. Although the visual design isn't the main concern here (at the moment), the pictures shall also show how the darker regions at the top and bottom can structure the windows. This addresses the issues in the layout that are currently caused by the recent "white only" design.
  • General Structure: This simple sketch shows how all of the windows could be organized to create a harmonic and consistent experience.
  • Structure of "Welcome Center" and "About": These wireframe graphics shall show you the basic structure and behavior of the windows - without any visual design in mind. So if you would like to discuss the proposed idea, then please refer to these structures instead of the visual design (only).
  • Detail Ideas: A (very) small collection of design ideas. There are some more ideas I have in mind, but I currently lack the skills to present them sufficiently.

Concerning how to rate the ideas behind the proposed design, please have a look at the fidelity matrix in the lower right of the picture. The fidelity matrix is covered in this blog post.


There are still many things to describe, consider, refine, ... :-) For example:

  • I mixed up the terminology a bit ... basically this proposal is about a common and uniform solution without a real name. The central item is the "Welcome" window which led to the name "Welcome Center". Sorry for providing that much confusion potential!
  • The WelcomeCenter still looks a bit crowded and uniform. The items should be better balanced, but maybe this is already solved with improved icons / previews.
  • We may think of a standalone WelcomeCenter which doesn't require the surrounding window.
  • The detail idea "mouseover" is still a very rough idea ... but it seems required to get the point.
  • If the WelcomeCenter/StartCenter is perceived to be useful, it might be executed explicitly by the user (Proposal by Johannes).

Rating and Comments


Please rate the idea itself and not the visual design. {{#jskitrating:title=UX Idea: Document Check|notop|path=/UX_Idea/WelcomeCenter2010|view=combo|noscript=false|starColor=blue}}


Please add your comments below or on the talk page.

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