As you know, we are hard at work on Flex Builder beta 3, which contains hundreds of changes, some of which are under the hood (such as performance enhancements, bug fixes) and some of which are more visible. One of the most visible differences between beta 2 and the upcoming beta 3 lies in how we present information. This is important to us because getting people started quickly with Flex is the main reason Flex Builder exists. Let’s start with the welcome page. The old welcome page looked like this:
In doing usability testing, we found that:
- Most people skipped the welcome screen quickly and never found it again.
- The welcome screen was confusing. There was no sense of what was important
- Even when people explored the welcome screen, there was no way to easily understand the most important concepts
To counteract this, we cleaned up the welcome page, added a “How Flex Works” section that covers the basics, and did a little engineering to make it so that the welcome page shows up in its own editor window so you don’t have to close it in order to start your work. The new welcome screen looks like this: