Old samples screen

Optimumcut-1D v3 Product Development

The one area we have not been 100% happy with in Optimumcut-1D is the start-up experience of the software.

We implemented a popup samples form to try and show new users the types of projects that can be created even though we do not like popup forms ourselves.

The initial state of the main user interface is also a new empty project. Most of the time Optimumcut is started will be to edit existing projects so we wanted to make this the focus of the start-up experience.

Old recent projects screen

The recent items area of the File menu took its inspiration from Microsoft Word 2010 with a Recent Documents and a Recent Places list.

From our research, no one actually uses the Recent Places list so we decided that could be replaced with something more useful.

These Recent lists are also empty for a new user so the large empty white space is wasted.

While researching different start up screens, we came across Microsoft Access 2010. This offered much of what we were looking for.

Unlike Word, when Access starts-up it automatically shows the File menu with a tab pre-selected. It provides an area to select stuff and an area to create new stuff. This isn’t a perfect match for what we are after but it gave us some inspiration.

From this we decided that we could merge several of our existing concepts together and create a new start-up screen within our File menu.

Our new screen has two areas, an area to open projects and an area to create projects. For new users, it provides a list of samples projects to open, the existing users is provides a list of recent projects. In both scenarios a new project can be created with a project description already entered.

New samples screen New recent projects screen

This new start screen will be available in Optimumcut-1D v3.4.