Tested on: Windows 7 (x64), Windows Vista (x32), and Windows 8 Pro (x64)
Pros: The interface is simplistic. The user knows mostly what they want when they open the application. The usage of the application is very intelligent. It works to turn the sound up, down, and off. It works with a hierarchy also. The first checked box is run first. If that’s not checked, it moves to the one below it, and so forth. It allows for password protection, so that you little brother can’t get on it and mess with your settings. It allows for activation.
Cons: Some of the bugs and let downs I encountered while testing this application are as follows:
• When I muted the currently enabled level, then unchecked the level, it would not unmute. It will unmute when I uncheck the mute checkbox. But when that box is checked and I uncheck the enabled checkbox, it will not unmute itself. This could be solved by copying the code from the muted checkbox to the enabled checkbox.
• When closing the application, it will not put the sound back to where it was before opening the application. This might be a good idea to have. If you think that maybe some people might not want that, you could add a checkbox for it in your settings panel.
• I’m not sure the reset messages button is needed. You might want to put that under a menu or a right click menu instead of devoting a whole button to it. It might become wasted space.
• In my version of Windows 8 (which I downloaded when it was first released and installed onto my VirtualBox), I had to install .NET Framework 3.5. By the time your users use this application, more than not they will already have at least 3.5.
• In Windows 8 (x64), when I click the mute checkbox, it mutes. But when I uncheck it, it doesn’t unmute. Could be a bug in your code.
• In Windows Vista (x32), when I boot my computer, it asked permission to run the program. That’s most likely just Vista’s crappy security.
My 2¢: Here are some of my recommendations to you, to help you better design/develop your application:
• A possible right-click menu for the tray icon. At least include an About item, Open item, Close item, maybe a Website item also. This way the user thinks he has more options than just one form that opens every time he wants to change something. You can add an easy access menu to turn on/off certain levels.
• In my opinion (and everyone has a different one ^_^), I think it could use a better interface. More separate between certain areas of the program. A menu bar? These are things I like to add into my applications. I love the whole Metro look that new programs like GitHub and Stardock are using. But that could just be me ^_^.
• When I checked the Password Protect checkbox without entering a password, it threw me an error. A more user friendly approach would be to redirect the user to the password box to enter a password. You can create an If block to determine whether or not a password has already been set (like you probably already do) and if so, then you don’t show the form.
• A way to implement even more security into your application would be to have the user type their password in again to disable the password. Many applications utilize this technique like iOS (iTouch), Android, and many more.
• Going off of what Vasudevan said, you should implement links into your application. Links to your website or to the email addresses. A user will think it too much work to select the email address, right click (cause they don’t know the wonderful shortcut keys), click Copy, open their email (web email or desktop client), create a new email, paste the email, and then start typing. They just want to click the email and have it all done for them. (The beauty of computers … they make us lazy :P)
• One thing you might want to implement later on in your development process would be the use of a time picker instead of the numeric up and down controls. When using the time picker, you don’t need the date part of it to be used. Just the time. There are ways of doing this. And I think it would help your overall design of the program.
Overall, I really liked the application. It's a good application that can help many people. I will probably continue to use it on my personal machine.
I was happy to help you test your program. I love testing other peoples work. And I like it when people test my own work also ^_^. If you need any help creating/implementing the things I recommended, feel free to contact me. You already have my email. I’m always willing to help others out. Also, if liked what you read, please tell others that I test applications and give them reviews.