The Main Menu
Everything begins and ends here.
In fact, just by pressing the [Esc] key from just about anywhere in the program, you will be returned to the Main Menu screen. A fair question to ask here is: Why? Lets say you are in some back area browser, looking up people who owe you money. A customer walks up to your counter ready to rent some movies. You simply press [Esc][Esc][Esc], and Bam... you are ready to service that customer.
Read on to see some powerful features of this seemingly simple looking screen.
One Touch Operation
Many store clerks find it easier to not have to pick up a mouse. That is why we have made the Main Menu "Mouseless". On this menu, to get something going you need only to press a single keystroke. Notice the yellow highlighted letters on the buttons. Just press the associated letter on the keyboard (for example: press [N] to enter a new customer). Specifically, you do not have to press [Ctrl] or [Alt] to execute the functions of these buttons. Beginning a transaction by looking up a customer is even made easier: Just press [Enter] and the default action of looking up a customer from the customer browser is launched.
The Big Buttons
The Main Menu toolbar is designed to have the most common commands used by a clerk front and center, so they can be used immediately. The customer button is most commonly accessed by pressing [Enter] because looking up a customer is the first thing that needs to be done to execute a transaction.
The second most common action is to return rental inventory.By just pressing [R] the bulk Return Screen appears, and you are ready to return all inventory in random order by either entering the rental code, or scanning with a barcode scanner. Clearing a drop box was never faster than this.
A unique feature of UltraVideo is the ability to enter a new customer "On The Fly". Press the [N] key and the New Customer Entry screen appears. If their sign up form is already filled out, you need only enter the customer name and press [Enter]. This will immediately insert the customer into UltraVideo, and take you back into the normal checkout process for rentals. In this way, you can later go back and type in address and phone etc. when the store is less busy, thus moving those new customers through the line and out the door. This seemingly small detail of design in UltraVideo can really improve customer service during busy hours.
The Quick Lookup Functions
When designing UltraVideo, we felt it was necessary to provide a fast way to obtain common information without having to stop what you were doing. For example: Lets say it is a busy Friday night. You have three lines at the check-out counter and all of your clerks are serving a customers who are waiting patiently. The phone rings. The customer on the phone asks: When are my films due back? The customer who was being served by the clerk who answered the phone is already starting to tap their fingers on the counter. With UltraVideo, the clerk can just press [F2], enter part of the customer name, and Bam... All the info needed is right there. The customer on the phone gets fast (and accurate) information, and service to the waiting customer is immediately resumed when the clerk presses [Esc]. Both customers were served without unnecessary delay.
The quick lookup functions available are [F3]: Quick title lookup, [F2]: View films out by customer, [F4]: Films checked in today, [F5]: Sale inventory lookup, and [F6]: Employee logout. All of these browser functions are available throughout the rental and return processes without interrupting the task at hand. This keeps things simple for the clerks so they do not have to navigate around the program just to get information they will need on a continual basis.
Drop Down Menus
Now, where you may find it convenient to use a mouse is in the Drop Down Menus. These menus are designed to give full access to all back areas of the program. They are grouped in a logical manner with Menu 2 containing all clerk type activities and Menu3 having all back office and data management activities. The Reports menu has access to all of the program reporting features.