Much of the software out in the market is often unfriendly to first-time or casual users. Learning curves are often steep slopes, even with well-designed user interfaces. The casual user simply wants to get his/her job done without going through extensive training.

One of the favorite and most effective means of helping the user to accomplish his/her goals is to use wizards: step-by-step, fill-in-the-blank guides that can lead the user gently towards getting the job done. For the developer however, wizards represent another level of complexity in development. Developers need to create a series of forms leading users step-by-step towards their goal. This is often a tedious and repetitive job, especially when more than one developer is involved.

Maintaining a consistently reliable set of wizards in an application would be much easier with the assistance of a wizard framework. The wizard framework consists of a set of classes and interfaces that gives developers an infrastructure to build the wizards. Gandalf is a Java-based development framework for build wizards. Two types of wizards are currently support - web-based wizards and Swing-based wizards.



Java Report article (online)
Design considerations

The Javadoc for the Gandalf framework is here.