Sidebar Proposal by IBM

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Design Proposal -- Sidebar -- By IBM

The following design proposal is part of the collection of design proposals for “Accessing Functionality”, which is part of Project Renaissance.


We propose a sidebar way to organize the commands/UI entries on UI.
  • All panels in can be docked to this sidebar.
  • Users can switch the panels via tabs beside the docked panels.
  • The properties which related to current context will be shown as sub-panels of properties panel.
  • Current UI can be migrated to this UI easily and quickly.
  • Users don't need to suffer the big changes and knowledge break, like what MS Ribbon did.
  • Provide a reasonable layout. More and more screens are wide nowadays. Put such UI on side will save the vertical spacing on screen and provide more space for editing.

Sidebar and Properties Panel


  • The panels can be docked to the side of editing area.
  • Users can switch between the panels by the tab beside the panels.

The properties panel on sidebar

  • We use Properties panel to put most of frequently used properties.
  • There are some sub-panles on preperties panel. E.g. Text, Paragraph, Table, Area, Line, Graphic, Cell Appearance, Number Format, Master Page, Page Layout, Template, etc...
  • The properties panel will show different sub-panels for different context. E.g. When users are editing texts, the sub-panels like Text and Paragraph will be shown. When users focus on a slide, the sub-panels of Slide Layout, Template, and Master Page will be shown there.

So in most contexts, users don't need to switch between panels manually. They can get them on Properties Sidebar dirctly.

Properties Sidebar on Sidebar IBM Sidebar Properties.jpg

Switch to Style List Panel

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