Displayr’s New User Interface – What’s Changed and Why
In early June 2021 we released a new user interface. The new user interface makes Displayr easier to use. And, it makes Displayr much faster to use. The changes relate to how you create Displayr documents; there are no changes to the experience of people viewing dashboards. This post describes the key changes.
The ribbon is gone
A ribbon is a toolbar where there are multiple tabs. Our old ribbon had five primary tabs: Home, Data Manipulation, Insert, Appearance, and Export. While the goal of a ribbon is to create a visual way for people to quickly scan and find options, in practice it leads to some problems:
- Sometimes it's not obvious which tab to look in.
- There are so many buttons it's hard to remember where things are.
- To do most things you have to click on the tab first, and this slows you down.
The new toolbar only shows things that are used regularly
The new toolbar, shown below, is focused on the actions that a user has to perform multiple times during a session. The right side focuses on inserting objects - such as charts, textboxes, analyses - onto a page. The left side shows how to move, hide, modify, etc. objects.
Buttons have been amalgamated
Buttons in the toolbar do much more than before:
- Some buttons do multiple things. For example, in the older user interface, if you wanted to merge cells on a table you would click DATA MANIPULATION > MERGE. If you wanted to combine variables: DATA MANIPULATION > COMBINE. If you wanted to combine two tables, you had a choice between INSERT > More > Tables > Merge two tables (and a few more options as well). Now, all these actions are performed with a single button that's always visible: Combine. You just select what you want to combine, and Displayr works out how to do to.
- Adding menus to many buttons. In the old toolbar, for example, there was a Table button. Now, the Table button also has a menu beneath it that offers various ways of creating tables.
Some things have moved to the navigation bar at the top of the screen
Above the toolbar is the navigation bar. The left side has options that affect the whole document. The right side has controls for changing how you are viewing things.
Some things have moved from the ribbon to the object inspector
Several things that were previously in the ribbon, are now in the object inspector, which is the name for the panel that appears on the right of the screen. Any options that can be customized in a particular object, such as its font size, stat testing, formatting etc, are now always in the object inspector.
Less frequently used options have moved into Anything
Displayr has lots of great advanced analysis tools. However, even the most advanced user only uses them a few times in a session. Having them in the ribbon made it harder for people to do the more routine tasks. So, all these more advanced tools have moved into a new super-menu called Anything.
Search through the user interface
While the anything menu is quite big, it is very easy to find things in it. You type into the search box, and relevant terms are highlighted in the menu.
At the top of the Anything menu is a Recent submenu, that allows you to quickly access anything that you are using regularly.
Right-click context menu
We've added heaps of options to right-click menus.
Suggestions are less visible
OK, so lots of you hate the bobbling suggestions box:
It's gone. If you liked suggestions, they are still there but have moved to the top of the Anything menu.
A new hover menu appears when you want to insert variables and pages
Variables and pages are now inserted by moving your mouse to where you want to insert them, and clicking the + button that appears.
R Outputs are "gone", replaced by Calculations
We've renamed R Outputs as Calculations, and also:
- They are created like a textbox, so you can put them exactly where you want more efficiently.
- They now are referred to as calc.1, calc.2, etc. in any code and menus.
- There is a sub-menu of common calculations that people need to perform, so you don't have to write as much code. A lot more will be added in here soon.
Callouts have moved to the bottom of the shapes menu