Using the webOS dashboard for great experiences: Jot It! and Weather

7 BY devrel

When developers first come to a new platform, they tend to think about building applications as they have done so in the past. Over time, they learn the “platform-isms” and that is when the experience begins to shine.

One of the unique features of webOS is the notification system which consists of banners, pop-up, and dashboard panels.

We have started to see very interesting uses of dashboards, and we wanted to highlight a couple of applications that showcase the usage.

Jot It!

Jot It! is an application for folks who are really into keeping and accessing notes on their device. There is the built-in memos app, and other great solutions such as Evernote, but what is interesting about Jot It! is their use of a dashboard panel.

As you can see from the screenshot above, the dashboard has been skinned to feel like a launch pad for notes.

When you launch the application, the main screen actually disappears leaving solely the dashboard to create a new note, of give into old ones.

Weather Dashboard

The Weather Dashboard app (lite version) does just what you would think. It is a prime example of an “app” that can live its life purely as a dashboard. Tap through to various days of weather info, and the only time a full card is launched is for tweaking settings.

With dashboards being full HTML windows, remember that you can pack a lot into those little areas. How could your application benefit from dashboards?

Comments (7)

  1. prenotes says:

    Not to mention Weather Icon using updating the icon to make launcher a dashboard. In general webOS is the most refined and offers the best UI development which ultimately means best user experience. These are all great examples of developers probbing the depth of the OS. Nice Job!

    @prenotes

  2. David says:

    I have to say though the Weather Dashboard has 1 major flaw! As a UK based user, young enough to have been brought up in the metric world, I require temps in Centegrade, which his app allows me to choose BUT that only works 4 shwoign in the notification area, when you open the app to view a longer range forecast it reverts to Fahrenheit.

  3. prenotes says:

    Great post. Don’t forget the use of Icons to create a dashboard as well (Weather Icon). WebOS allows fantastic design and UI and these are some great examples.

  4. This seems to be aimed toward a problem which all new system layers create; which is that any layer which seeks to simplify will invariably obfuscate useful portions of its foundation system(s). For example, web developers should be familiar with REST, and should understand that the intent of any such definitions of best practices is also what I believe this article intends to notify the Palm application developers of. It is fine that we should be able to repurpose existing skills and I.P. for use in a new system such as WebOS, but if we are not first understanding how best practice in WebOS may differ significantly from what we already know, we are creating wasteful and substandard applications that may cause Palm engineers to wish they had kept the system closed to us and let H.R. decide who may play in their sandbox.

    Speaking of the Dashboard is a good method of illustrating this problem in an accessibly kind way, yet it is only a knick in the surface of the problem. I’m glad this article was written, though it was brief, and I hope to regularly see more like it.

  5. alan says:

    While this is a good article, speaking as a user, I would prefer fewer apps to use the dashboard. I rarely have any dashboard icons on my screen and when they appear they are quickly dismissed. Most applications are currently written with a dashboard-less Pre in mind and while they work when dashboard icons are present, they often obscure parts of the app and/or require scrolling to access buttons at the bottom of the screen.

    Screen real estate is rare enough as it is, and forcing me to lose 5% of my screen to a dashboard is not what I would prefer as a user.

  6. Amy says:

    While this is a good article, speaking as a user, I would prefer fewer apps to use the dashboard. I rarely have any dashboard icons on my screen and when they appear they are quickly dismissed. Most applications are currently written with a dashboard-less Pre in mind and while they work when dashboard icons are present, they often obscure parts of the app and/or require scrolling to access buttons at the bottom of the screen.

    Screen real estate is rare enough as it is, and forcing me to lose 5% of my screen to a dashboard is not what I would prefer as a user.