As much as a database is only as good as the quality of its data, an environmental database management system is only as good as it is usable. Given the vast amounts of data that we can store in our databases, it is becoming increasingly important for environmental database management systems – in this example, Hydro GeoAnalyst – to address the software’s ability to be easily understood, quickly learned and efficiently applied by the end user. The following is a sample of how Hydro GeoAnalyst is addressing the issue of usability.
- Online Help – Accessible through the help menu, provides you with the most up-to-date information available for the program.
- Menu Tool Bar – Allows you to easily access the most common modules and view them at a glance.
- Project Tree – Organizes your project components into a navigational tree.
- Folder Groupings – You now have the option to create Folder groupings for your Queries in the project tree which will help you keep your data and visual display more organized. You will also be able to add folder groupings to the remaining branches in the project tree in Hydro GeoAnalyst 2013!
- Data Tabs – Provides quick access to the various parts of the project data.
- Adjustable Windows – Allows you to re-arrange the display of the main program window to show the data according to your needs by rearranging the data tabs, adding tab groups and/or resizing the splitter bars.
One of the biggest challenges for software applications, related to usability, is the issue of screen real estate. That is, the amount of space available on your computer’s display for visual output. With Hydro GeoAnalyst allowing us to store and manipulate virtually unlimited data, maximizing the visual display to view large quantities of data effectively or hide unwanted components is key. Hydro GeoAnalyst’s updated user interface aims to improve the user experience and maximize the available display.
New Features in Hydro GeoAnalyst 2012.1
Hydro GeoAnalyst 2012 introduced its users to the benefit of dockable tabs, allowing you to divide the available display and view multiple tabs at the same time (Image A) while also providing the ability to reorganize or completely close any of the existing data tabs.
Hydro GeoAnalyst 2012 main window with multiple data tabs displayed simultaneously. (One Monitor)
A Sneak Peek of What’s Coming in Hydro GeoAnalyst 2013.1
Building on the success of the user interface improvements in Hydro GeoAnalyst 2012, Hydro GeoAnalyst 2013 will allow you to Show/Hide/Dock the Project Tree to maximize screen real estate (Image B) and pop tabs out of the main Hydro GeoAnalyst Window (Image C), allowing you to take full advantage of multiple displays/monitors.
Hydro GeoAnalyst 2013 main window with multiple data tabs displayed simultaneously and Project Tree hidden to maximize available viewing space.(One Monitor)
Hydro GeoAnalyst 2013 main window with multiple data tabs displayed simultaneously and additional tabs popped out to maximize usage of multiple monitors. (Two Monitors)
Hydro GeoAnalyst’s approach to usability covers a wide range of benefits – from the online help and tutorials to get you introduced to and started with the program, to the user interface that is designed to improve ease of use and maximize efficiency. With Hydro GeoAnalyst, you have complete control and understanding of your data so you can focus on delivering your projects.