1. Introduction to TABSTRIPS
1.1 Tab Strip control
A tabstrip control is a screen object consisting of two or more pages. Each tab page consists of a tab title and a page area. If the area occupied by the tabstrip control is too narrow to display all of the tab titles, a scrollbar appears, allowing you to reach the titles that are not displayed. There is also a pushbutton that allows you to display a list of all tab titles.
Tabstrip controls allow you to place a series of screens belonging to an application on a single screen, and to navigate between them easily.
2. Where to Use Tabstrips in an Application:
Tabstrips can be used in following cases
- Screens that are overloaded with fields, are broken into units for different tasks
- Easy Navigation: Reducing the need to move between screens, by improved and simplified navigation.
2.1 Don't Use Tabstrips if
- Each component can be regarded as its own application, or if the tabstrip environment kept constant.
- The components have to be processed in a particular order. Tabstrips should allow users to switch freely between components.
- The components are processed dynamically, that is, if an entry on one tab page causes other, previously invisible tab pages, to become visible.
3. Use and Design of Tabstrips:
3.1 Tab Titles
- The labels on tab titles must be short and meaningful and should be arranged from left to right in work flow sequence.
- Make sure that the number of pages and their contents must remain constant, While a user is working with the tabstrip control.
3.2 Tab Page
- It is possible to arrange several group frames on a tabstrip control page. Take care to ensure that the tab page titles (labels on the tab titles) provide an appropriate description of the field groups on the tabstrip control page.
3.3 Screen Design
Screens should never be scrollable.
If there are more fields than there is room for on the screen, check whether tabstrips or other design alternatives would be appropriate. Always decide which alternative to use in the light of the task and the context:
Closer packing of fields on a screen
Mechanisms for zooming in and out of particular screen areas
Long screen with vertical scrollbar
3.4 Tab Environment
The environment of the tabstrip control must remain constant. This means that the menu bar and application toolbar must not change when the user switches between tab pages. Consequently, specific functions that are only active on one tab page must be implemented as pushbuttons on the page itself. These functions do not appear in the menu.
Leave one line between the header data and tabstrip control, as normal.
Screens that contain tabstrip controls are regarded as a single screen. Therefore, the individual tab pages are part of that one screen, as though they were group boxes or field groups. If the user navigates from a tab page to another screen, make sure that the tab page from which they navigated is active page when they return to the screen containing the tabstrip control.
3.6 Non-Hierarchical Design
Do not use nested tabstrips, because they increase visual complexity and cause navigation problems.
Figure 2:Never use tabstrips inside tabstrips