SnTT: No Pane, no pain!

An odd thought occurred to me at the brewery today.And that thought was - "we're used to having two different user interfaces - one for the web and one for Notes. And usually the notes one has a left-hand fixed navigation pane, usually with a navigator, right.

The thought for the day is "Why"? After all, on the web we're used to seeing a header area with a toolbar, and seeing everything between that header area and the footer as active content. Sure, we *could* have a navigation pane in there, but for really simple stuff - why bother ?

So we have a header pane - say 80 pixels high, with a corporate logo, a database description and perhaps (low impact) top level navigation text. And then an obvious toolbar.

Why not, in notes, use the View Toolbar to provide that ? All the way across. (Or if you want to really show off, as I did this afternoon, put two pages either side with rounded toolbar ends). When a user opens a form, then let the form action bar be that toolbar.

Strange thinking. And I can see everyone going "Eh?". But consider. We can have toolbar shared actions - nice nested ones. One might be called "Goto.." and have nested View jump actions. An "Edit" button, and so forth. And because we have a lot of control over that toolbar, we can make it look like a piece of fixed real estate, not changing position nor color, between navigations. The user *thinks* the toolbar is NOT context sensitive. But we know better.

The only downside with this approach that I can see is that since views and forms now appear to be the same, its difficult for the user to get an idea of how they navigated to this page, or indeed (without looking at the title line), what this page is. But I'm sure the more UI orientated folks out there might help.