Banner and title bars

The banner, which appears at the top of the Home screen, displays the following items:

  • date, time, and wireless service provider
  • application notifications, such as the alarm indicator, missed call count indicator, unopened message count indicator, and third-party indicators
  • wireless connection indicators, such as the wireless coverage level, network coverage, Bluetooth® indicator, Wi-Fi® connection indicator, and roaming indicator
  • battery power indicator
  • sound profile indicator
  • search icon

The theme that users select on their BlackBerry® device determines the design of the Home screen banner.

Although you cannot add a banner to your application, you can add an indicator to the banner to provide a notification or to communicate important information about the status of your application. For example, you can include an unopened message indicator and count to provide users with new message information.

This illustration shows the items that can appear on a banner.

You can add a title bar to the top of your application screens to help orient users. Most title bars contain only a title but title bars can display the following items:

  • application icon, descriptive title, and time
  • application notifications, such as a new message indicator
  • wireless connection indicators, including the wireless coverage level, network coverage, GPS indicator, Bluetooth indicator, and Wi-Fi connection indicator
  • battery power indicator
  • active call indicator
This illustration shows a title bar in the Media application.

Best practice: Implementing title bars

  • Use the TitleBar class to implement title bars. For more information about implementing title bars, see the API reference guide for the BlackBerry® Java® SDK and the BlackBerry Java Application UI and Navigation Development Guide.
  • If you want to add an icon to the title bar, consider adding the icon only to the title bar that appears on the first screen in an application. This approach allows you to add a branded element to the title bar as well as help users differentiate the top screen in your application.
  • Include the time in title bars if users need to refer to the time often in order to use the application.
  • Include wireless connection indicators in title bars if the application requires a wireless connection.
  • Include application notifications and wireless connection notifications in title bars if users typically stay in the application for a long period of time.
  • Consider including the battery power indicator in title bars if the application significantly impacts battery life. By default, the battery power indicator displays only when the battery power level is low or the battery is charging.

Pane manager

The pane manager provides filtered views of content and allows users to navigate content without leaving the context of the screen. You can filter content in two different ways.

In the scrollable view, users can move through each pane of content. Users can move through the panes continuously. Or, you can set a start and end point so that users know when they reach the first and the last pane. You can add hint text or arrows to the left side and the right side of the screen to indicate that other panes of content are available.

Figure 1. The first pane in a scrollable view
This screen shows an example of a wireless service provider there.
Figure 2. The second pane in a scrollable view
This screen shows an example of the second pane in a scrollable view.
Note: The ability to expand and contract the size of the scrollable view is unique to the Home screen.

The tab view displays all available tabs on the screen. Users have immediate access to each tab.

This screen shows an example of a tab view.

You can also allow users to filter content within a specific pane. Users still have the ability to easily switch to other panes.

This screen shows an example of a scrollable view with the ability to filter content in a specific pane.

Users can perform the following action in a pane manager:

Action

BlackBerry devices with a trackpad only

BlackBerry devices with a touch screen and a trackpad

Switch panes.

Move a finger horizontally on the trackpad.

  • Drag a finger horizontally on the screen.
  • Swipe right or left on the screen.
  • Move a finger horizontally on the trackpad.

Best practice: Implementing pane managers

  • Use a pane manager if users need to navigate filtered views of content frequently.
  • Use the PaneManagerView class to create scrollable views or tab views. For more information about implementing pane managers, see the API reference guide for the BlackBerry® Java® SDK and the BlackBerry Java Application UI and Navigation Development Guide.
  • Assign shortcut keys for switching to the next and previous panes. For example, in English, allow users to press "N" to switch to the next pane and "P" to switch to the previous pane.
  • In most cases, allow users to close an application by pressing the Escape key. Do not display the previous pane. If users filter content within a specific pane, then display all of the content in the pane when users press the Escape key.

Guidelines for scrollable views

  • Use a scrollable view to allow users to seamlessly navigate similar types of content. You can also use a scrollable view if users need to view the same set of content in different ways.
  • In most cases, avoid providing more than seven panes of content. The more panes of content, the more difficult it becomes for users to remember each pane. However, you can include more than seven panes if the panes are ordered in an obvious way, such as by date, by number, or in an alphabetical list.
  • Add hint text to the left side and the right side of the screen to indicate that other panes of content are available. Use arrows instead of hint text if there is a large number of panes or to indicate that users can navigate in increments, such as by date.
  • Allow users to scroll through the panes continuously if it is easy to distinguish the content in each pane. Otherwise, users might get lost. If there are only two panes, do not allow users to scroll continuously through the panes.
  • Create a start and end point for the panes if the titles in each pane are similar or if the content in each pane is similar. A fixed start and end point allows users to easily find the first pane and the last pane. It also allows users to learn the order of the titles.
  • Avoid using icons in titles, except for branding purposes.

Guidelines for tab views

  • Use a tab view to display related but different types of content in the same view. Use a tab view if the types of content are not expected to increase in number.
  • Show all tabs on the screen where possible. Avoid making users scroll to see additional tabs.
  • Avoid displaying tabs with dramatically different widths. Try to distribute tabs evenly across the screen.
  • If there is a limited amount of space at the top of each tab, use icons instead of labels.
Next topic: Components

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