These days our clients computer systems have to be many things; efficient, intelligent, collaborative and also aesthetically pleasing. Efficiency, intelligence and collaboration all come naturally to a developer who has created systems previously. However design can change greatly between clients.

For example a client who manufactures engineering products will have a very different colour scheme, and style, to a client who runs a day care business. I believe that this can be one of the most challenging aspects of being a FileMaker developer because there is no correct procedure to this, it is all a matter of opinion.

There is a correct way to be efficient and there is a correct way to collaborate data; but there is no correct opinion as regards to style. However it has become an essential part of developing computer systems and it is something FileMaker developers should be good at!

What is one of the most important considerations when you are planning a clients layout? Colours. It all comes down to colour. Are you developing an accounts system, or are you developing an interface that the public may use? Either way, the colours you choose are what your clients will see most when using your system, so make sure they are appropriate for the application.

Here is a brief tip on picking colours.

 Complementary Colours

Complementary colours are pairs of colours which, when combined, cancel each other out. This means that when combined, they produce a grey-scale colour like white or black. When placed next to each other, they create the strongest contrast for those particular two colours.

Complementary colours are useful when you need to make an object stand out for a particular reason. For example; a ‘Cancel’ button, or a ‘Please Read’ text header. Using a complementary colour will prevent the object from blending in with the rest of the layout.

However you probably wouldn’t want to create a layout which consists of only complementary colours. This could appear rather odd.

Analogous Colours

Analogous colours are groups of three colours that are next to each other on the colour wheel, with one being the dominant colour, which tends to be a primary or secondary colour, and a tertiary. Red, orange, and red-violet are examples.

If you stick to a combination of analogous and complementary colours throughout your layouts you can’t really go wrong.

The diagram below shows examples of complementary and analogous colours on a colour wheel. 

ColourScheme3

Basic FileMaker Colour Scheme Examples

Blues / Violets ( Analogous )

bluesviolets

Oranges / Reds ( Analogous )

orangesreds

Blues / Greens ( Analogous )

bluesgreens

Advanced Examples

These are some examples that I have taken from the FileMaker website.

Mobipharma CRM Solution

Mobipharma is a CRM FileMaker solution for pharmaceutical sales teams at Laboratoire Pronutri/Activa accessing back-office data managed by FileMaker via iPads running FileMaker Go.

This looks like a truly beautiful application! The background consists of almost all the colours from the colour wheel in the order to make the colour next to it analogous. The buttons are then based on complementary colours ( blue and red ).

A very smart design that could be applied to almost any business!

Mobipharma

Medical Sales System

This FileMaker solution allows medical device sales reps in the field to track clients and managers in real time, while monitoring sales goals.

The developers have used a plain white background with complementary colours for their percentage diagrams to make them stand out. This makes for a very smart and modern design.

medicalsalessystem

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