Windows 8 - sidebar concept

I was thinking through my issues with Windows 8 with a keyboard and mouse, and came up with a unoriginal, not so pretty (made it in paint) concept for a 'sidebar'. Initial brainstorming sesh below.


I thought more about Windows 8 on for traditional inputs and its various foibles. Most criticisms boil down to lack of glance able information and hidden options which are unintuitive. In OSX I did make use of hot corners but these are not mainstream for a reason.

So I decided to go old school with a sidebar as below. This fits to the left of each application and takes care of multitasking with visible live tiles for active applications at 1/4, playback (not shown but the music and video apps would be shown as tiles with the ability to be play/pause with a double click), and universal search. It's basically a vertical taskbar modernised but I had some fun coming up with it at least.

The sidebar would be hidden in touch mode and visible once a keyboard is detected (i.e. touch cover attached on the Surface, or a key press). The idea is a small transition as to not completely interrupt one's workflow.

Mock 1.


This shows the 'normal' layout complete with ellipsis (from WP) for universal functions. Above this would be a profile picture, time and WiFi information which can be changed when clicked.

Mock 2.


Ellipsis clicked, invoking everyone's favourite button and universal search via a slide up animation.

I understand this won't quite mesh with the Charms menu and have been thinking of how to bring the other Charm functions (devices, share and settings) to the sidebar without making it cluttered. I also considered there could be issues with the split view when the sidebar is present. But this is just a draft.