Navigator Simplified

I’ve been thinking about how to improve the UI of navigator, and I ended up restructuring the whole thing. Here’s my proposal:

First of all, there would be no “content view” button anymore and categories would be handled by a more common drop-down menu. Thus, different categories could use specific views (graphics and tables could use thumbnails, comments could be color-coded by author, etc.) and show only relevant toolbar buttons (promote/demote and “headings shown” only under “headings”, “go to page” only under “pages”, etc.). There could also be an “All” category, which would show everything in a text-only tree view, just like now. This “All” category could also host the “Show content view” icon, for users who don’t want to use the menu drop-down.

Second of all, the “navigation” arrows would be merged with the ones in the scrollbar, and instead of the “navigate by” pop-up, the arrows would navigate by whatever category is selected in the navigator.

Third of all, a “Pages” category (“Slides” under Impress) would be added. It would work like a cross between the current slides pane in Impress and the navigator: you could use it to navigate the document, but also to drag pages onto the document to create a link to a page. The “Go to page” widget would appear on the category’s toolbar.

The “drag mode” button would reside in each toolbar’s ellipses menu (or, if there’s enough room for it, it could be shown directly on the toolbar). I’m not sure what to do with “Set Reminder”, “Header”, “Footer”, and “Anchor <-> Text”. They could appear in a second Navigator toolbar, one that’s not specific to a category (if this toolbar was there, it could also house “Drag mode” and “Search”). One or two of them could appear in the scroll bar, along with the navigation buttons (although we don’t want to overload the scroll bar). Or, if they’re not used that extensively, they could be bundled as an extension (think “Navigator+”) or appear in the ellipses menu.

What do you think?


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