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.



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

Users can click on the icons on a skinny bar beside the panel, to switch to another panel.

Here is an example: switch to Style List panel.

IBM Sidebar Style list.jpg

Properties Panel

The properties panel on sidebar

  • 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.

Here is an example for the context when users editing texts. Text and Paragraph sub-panels will be shown on Properties panel.

IBM Sidebar SDPage.jpg

Especially to show: The context when users select a page of presentation
When users select a page(click the thumbnail on Slide View or just click the blank on a page), the Layout, Master Page and Template will be shown as sub-panels on Properties sidebar.

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