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Lesson 2: Designing the User Interface(UI)


Prior to creating a Visual Basic 2019 project, you need to conceive an idea of what kind of project you intend to develop. Maybe you want to develop a desktop game, a multimedia app, a financial app, a database management app and so forth. Once you have decided on the app you wish to develop, the first step is to design the User Interface(UI). To design the UI, we suggest you sketch it first on a piece of paper before working on it in the VB2019 IDE. After completed and refined your design on paper, then only you start designing the app on the VB2019 IDE.

To start designing your VB2019 app, start VS 2019 and launch the VB2019 project. In the VB209 IDE, you should customize your default form first by using the properties windows. Properties that you can set for the default form are its size, background color, foreground color, font size, title and more. After customizing the default form, you can start adding various controls from the toolbox to the default form and then customize their properties. After designing the app UI, you can then write code for all the controls. We will learn more about coding in the coming lessons.

2.1 Customizing the Default-Form

When you start a new Visual Basic 2019 project, the IDE will display the default form along with the Solution Explorer window and the Properties window on the far right,  as shown in Figure 2.1.

vb2015_fig2.1
Figure 2.1: Initial Visual Basic 2019 IDE

The properties window comprises an object drop-down list, a list of properties and the bottom section that shows a description of the selected property. As the only object on the IDE is the default form by the name of Form1, the properties window displays all properties related to Form1 and their corresponding attributes or values, as shown in Figure 2.2. You can change the name of the Form, the title of the Form, the background color, the foreground color, the size and more. Properties can be changed by typing a value or select a value from a drop-down list. For the color setting, you just need to select a color rectangle or from a color palette.

vb2015_fig2.2
Figure 2.2: The Properties window

Now let us specify the following properties for Form1.

Property Value
Name MyForm
Text My First vb2019 Program
BackColor 255, 51, 153
ForeColor White
MaximizeBox False
Font Arial, 9.75pt

* The value for Backcolor (background color) 255, 51, 153 is the RGB color code for some kind of pink. The Foreground color will be the color of the text on a Label control places on the default Form. Instead of typing the RGB value, you can also select the color from the color drop-down list that comprises three tabs, Custom, Web, and System. Clicking on the drop-down arrow will bring out a color palette or a list of color rectangles where you can select a color, as shown in the figures below:

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Figure 2.3: Custom Palette
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Figure 2.4: Web Colors
 vb2015_fig2.5
Figure 2.5: System Colors

The runtime UI is shown in Figure 2.6. Notice that the title of the form has been changed from Form1 to My First VB2019 Project, the background color is pink, the Label is white and the window cannot be maximized.

 Figure 2.6: The Runtime UI

2.2 Changing the Properties of the Default-Form at Run-Time

You can also change the properties of the form at run-time by writing the relevant codes. The default form is an object and an instant of the form can be denoted by the name Me. The property of the object can be defined by specifying the object’s name follows by a dot or period:

ObjectName.property

For example, we can set the background color of the form to cyan using the following code

Me.BackColor=Color.Cyan

Example 2.1

To achieve the same interface as in Figure 2.6, type in the following code by clicking the form to enter the code window:

Public Class Form1
Private Sub Form1_Load(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As EventArgs)Handles MyBase.Load
 Me.Text = “My First vb2017 Program”
 Me.BackColor = Color.Pink
 Me.MaximizeBox=False
 Me.MinimizeBox = True
End Sub
End Class

Example 2.2

You can also specify the size, the  opacity  and the position of the default form using the code, as follows:

Private Sub Form1_Load(sender As Object, e As EventArgs Handles MyBase.Load
Me.Text = “My First VB2019 Project”
Me.BackColor =Color.Beige
Me.MaximizeBox = False
Me.MinimizeBox = True
'Specifying the form size to 400pixel x 400pixel
Me.Size = New Size(400, 400)
'To set the form opacity at 85%
Me.Opacity = 0.85
'To position the form at the center of the screen
Me.CenterToParent()
End Sub

The runtime interface is shown in Figure 2.7

Figure 2.7

The Form is positioned to the center of the screen and the faint lines appear behind the Form as its opacity was set to 85%.


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