Thursday, 6 August 2020

Something new and quarts in pint pots

This was going to be a brief post about a handy update but it has grown!

The handy update is, by popular demand, a new column in the race team app's list of participants. It comes immediately after the afloat/ashore columns and shows the competitor’s declared finish status. That can be fin, dnc or dnf. fin is short for I started and finished the race and, to the best if my knowledge, sailed the course correctly. Of course the column is only there if you have chosen Ask for finish status for the competition and at least one competitor has declared.

On smaller screens, like phones, this declaration column is visible only when your device is in landscape mode. And that led on to thinking about how SailEvent shows a lot of data in a limited amount of space and how best to input that data.

SailEvent uses a number of techniques to get the quart of competitor information into the pint pot of a typical phone in portrait mode. These include omitting some columns, word wrap and variable column widths. For instance if the participant list can potentially show fleet, class/sail number and competitor name columns the last one is hidden in portrait mode. Rotate to landscape to see everything.

Even with these techniques space can be tight because a column always takes the width of its longest content. However there are things you can do to improve matters. You can abbr(eviate) and AVOID CAPITALS. For instance INTERNATIONAL 14 takes up a lot of screen real estate whereas Int14 conveys the same information in much less room.

Then there are competitor names. JOSEPHINE WILLIAMSON may be big and bold but Jo Williamson is barely half the width and much more readable.

Tip: take a look at your competitor list and see where you can trim and tidy.

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