Monday, January 23, 2012

Creating a Flex AIR Screenshot app: Part 2

Today we'll start planning how exactly our tool is going to look and work.

I've made a plan on how the program will work. It is going to have multiple steps, an entire screen will be given for each step. On the first screen the user will be asked to enter a direct link to the web page to take a screenshot of it. After the user does that, he has two ways to go - take a screenshot of the page, or crop an area and export that.

If the user decides to take a screenshot, he will be taken to step 2, where he sets preferences on what he wants to export. Here he can set screen dimensions he wants, and the export picture will be displayed like it would be displayed on a screen of that size. It should also be possible to set dimensions in percents, to let the user export a screenshot of the whole page in full length. It should be possible to export a set of pictures at once.

After preferences are set, the user goes to the next screen, which tells him to wait a few seconds while his pictures are being saved. After that he is notified that everything went smoothly and is returned to the first step.

If the user, however, decides on the first step to crop a specific area instead of taking a screenshot of the site, he is directed to step 2 screen, where the website opens inside the application and the user can crop the area he wants to export. When that's done, the application proceeds to the next screen - step 3 - where the user sets export settings for this image (stuff such as export format and quality).

When that's done, the user is directed to the final export screen and the file is saved to the user's computer in the direction he specifies. After the final step, he is directed back to the first step.

Here's a simple scheme of the user's progress around the application:

The interface of the application should be simple and easy to use. It has to be straightforward, without any complications. Some data should also be saved, such as the resolutions the user decides to export, since those are probably the ones he's going to use most often.

More about the resolutions picking screen - I am planning on doing some kind of a user-created list of possible resolutions (with a few resolutions built-in), that the user will be able to add new dimensions to and select needed dimensions when exporting using checkboxes of some sort.

Next time we'll actually start scripting.

Thanks for reading!

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