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Toolbar indicator

    Question

  • I've been playing with the grid layout template in visual studio and there are pages where a toolbar isn't added by default, this makes sense in that context as the only valid operation on that page is to go 'back' an operation that is easily accessible from the main title (which has a handy left arrow for you). My question is... if some pages have toolbars and others don't... how do I know (as a user of an app), that a toolbar will or won't popup if I swipe up/down the top/bottom edge? It seems silly to make the user swipe to see if a toolbar is there or not.


    Acer W500 tablet Ageing HP laptop Too much apple stuff
    • Moved by Keith-Microsoft Support Tuesday, October 4, 2011 1:38 PM (From:Windows Developer Preview: General OS questions )
    Monday, October 3, 2011 8:55 PM

Answers

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  • That is a great question.  There is no way to know unless you try it.  There is no extra chrome indicator to tell you if there is a toolbar or not.  Do you have a suggestion for this?
    Jeff Sanders (MSFT)
    Tuesday, October 4, 2011 7:19 PM
    Moderator
  • I've seen some example Metro apps that have horizontal scrolling initially display the scroll position indicator and then fade it out, same idea could be used for indicating toolbars... on loading a screen with  toolbar you make the toolbar visible for a second or two then collapse it down out of sight. The user would at least get half a chance to see it was there.

    Or

    Grab the bottom 1px row and allocate it to system ui usage and display a 1px line in a contrasting colour if there is a toolbar or set it to the main canvas area if there isn't.

    Personally I'm going to update my app so that every screen has a toolbar, even if the toolbar duplicates functionality already present on the header line. Further thought... is text allowed on the toolbar in the style guidelines? If so the toolbar in say the Visual Studio example could display a summary line e.g. Author:PostPC  Created:05/10/2011 or some other app relevant text


    Acer W500 tablet Ageing HP laptop Too much apple stuff
    Tuesday, October 4, 2011 9:12 PM
  • Another thought, make the toolbar always visible like you can do with the windows taskbar, put the autohide toggle in the app settings


    Acer W500 tablet Ageing HP laptop Too much apple stuff
    Wednesday, October 5, 2011 7:37 AM
  • You could make if always visible by default!  You would simply call Show() on your App Bar.  I would consider making a setting and storing it with your app so users could get back to hiding it if they wish.  Once they discover it and are used to that bar they may want the auto hiding behavior.  Another option would be to initially show it as you said and then after a timeout hide it   There is a pretty good app bar sample here that shows timeout and show:

    http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/windowsapps/App-Bar-Sample-026c7baf

    -Jeff


    Jeff Sanders (MSFT)
    Wednesday, October 5, 2011 11:57 AM
    Moderator
  • My 2 cents (although Sanders already gave an answer):

    In the apps (I think), selecting options in a list generally shows the appBar. I understand that as "hey, you selected something! now do something with it". I find that to work fine. I think that concept can apply anywhere there is an immediate action: selecting items in a list, tapping on an actionable item, going into an edit context (I think that that happens in the memories app).

    For the rest, I have an Android equivalent. In the Android phone I had (changed to WP7), I always assumed that pressing the "Settings" button will get me the stuff I needed. If I didn't find an option right away, I'll generally try that. If the AppBar is consistent enough across apps, then I think that will happen to Win8 users too. 

    I love the no-chrome style. I always hated whiny software. That is software that tells you what it's doing all the time (I'm fetching mail! I'm saving! The connection disconnected!). I love the way the appbar fits into that model.

    Friday, November 11, 2011 10:58 AM