Visual guiders for website UIs (Rails Plugin)
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README.markdown

UIGuiders

Visual guiders for website UIs It's like "Guiders-JS", but easily customizable and less js-centric.

Screenshot

Why?

Because I wanted an easy soulution that wouldn't be all javascript. I don't think it's a good idea to assign guiders on the js-level, like Guiders.js does. Instead, it should be in the views. The javascript part only handles proper positioning and effects part, while remaining uninvolved into the styles/content business.

If you wish, you may just use the js part and use it outside of the Rails app. (Actually, it's written in coffeescript, so you'd have to compile it first).

The javascript part will correctly determine which part of the screen the target DOM-element is positioned and then choose how to display the guider - what side the arrow should be on and should the guider be on top or at the bottom of the target DOM-element. No need to manually specify any options.

See Screenshot.png file for a small demonstration of how it looks.

INSTALLATION

  1. gem install ui_guiders

(a) Add to your scss: @import "ui_guiders"; OR (b) Add to your layout: stylesheet_link_tag 'ui_guiders'

(a) Add to your application.js.coffee #= require lib/ui_guiders OR (b) Add to your layout: javascript_include_tag "lib/ui_guiders"

Usage

This is what you put in your views (haml example):

= ui_guider :target => "header .menuItem1", :autoshow => true, :event => "click", :show_once => true, :id => "menu_item_1_guider", :class => "myclass" do
    text explaining
    this awesome menuitem

That's it. Now when your page is loaded a shiny yellow guider will appear pointing at the DOM element you specified with the :target option. Other options explanation:

:autoshow if true, js-part of the plugin will force the guider to appear up immediately after the page loads. Default is false.

:autohide if true, it hides the guider whenever the mouseout event happens on the target element. The close ico does not appear if this option is enabled (because this option also adds autohide class to the .uiGuider element, and default css sets a display property of img.close in it to none).

:show_once Saves cookie with the id of the guider. Next time the user visits, the guider is not shown. Default is false.

:event jQuery event (for example click or mouseover) which is binded to the target and on which the guider is shown.

:side_arrow Normally the arrow would appear either on top or the bottom side of the guider, but with this option set to true, you can an arrow on either left or right side of the guider. Use with caution, as this may force horizontal scrollbars to appear if your targer is placed to close the edge of the screen.

:target_edge Sets a horizontal location on the target for the arrow to point to, possible values are "left", "right" or "middle" (default is "middle").

:id :class Both are applied to the html-element.

Customization

  • Want different styles? copy app/assets/stylesheets/ui_guiders.css.scss from the gem dir and change it.

  • Replacing images? You guessed it right. Copy app/assets/images/ui_guiders/ from the gem dir and change it.

For images and stylesheets make sure your app/assets dir loads last, so that Rails loads your files. I managed to do it with

config.assets.paths << "#{Rails.root}/app/assets/stylesheets/" 
config.assets.paths << "#{Rails.root}/app/assets/images/"

in my config/application.rb

  • Want a different markup? copy app/assets/views/shared/_ui_guider.haml from the plugin dir and change it.

Requirements

  • Rails 3.1 (sorry, no 3.0 support, using assets)
  • jQuery (tested on 1.5.2)
  • jquery.cookie.js