Folding Items in Sidebar and Expand/Collapse Icons

Hi Jesse,

I have a couple of suggestions pertaining to folding items in TP3:

  1. The bullet icon is a very small target, making it difficult to click on. I often miss when I try to click on a bullet and end up having to click a few times to finally hit it. Also, the bullet icon is non-intuitive, in terms of representing its intended behavior. I think it would be better to use disclosure triangles that face right when collapsed and rotate downward when expanded.

  2. I use multiple levels of projects and my sidebar is becoming cluttered with too many sub-projects and sub-sub-projects. Would you consider implementing folding items within the sidebar?

I need to implement some sort of highlight when you mouse gets over it… one thing to note is that you don’t need to click directly on the bullet. There’s actually a large clickable region around it. I have considered and tried using disclosure rects, but at the moment I think the simple clean look of the bullets is nicer. Maybe I’ll change my mind again going forward, but for the moment that’s what I like best.

I agree the sidebar can get cluttered and that it’s a drawback. But I don’t think I’ll have a solution in the 3.0 timeframe. I’m also pretty sure that I don’t want to allow for folding… it would give more control, but it also gives you more of the UI that you must manage.

Instead I “think” what I’d like to do is implement some automatic pruning. So for example only show the siblings of all ancestors of the focused item. Anyway, this is on my list, but I don’t expect to implement it for 3.0.

I’m usually in favor of clean and simple as well, but in this case, I feel like it’s too non-intuitive and detracting from the usability of the application. It’s not immediately obvious that clicking on a bullet will display sub-items. One of the tenets of good UI design is the user should be able to figure it out, without having to read the manual. Even though I use TP constantly, I still sometimes forget that items with bullets contain sub-items. Why not make it a preference setting?

Regarding the sidebar, the automatic pruning method you mentioned sounds interesting. However, there should still be an indicator (like a disclosure triangle) that appears when a project contains sub-projects. You could make it so that the disclosure triangles only appear on the top-level projects and expanding a project would collapse all other top-level projects and expand all its sub-projects.