February 12, 2004 .net

Rory’s Tile Sample Uses Sidebar as It’s Meant To

While Rory’s virtual pet sidebar tile sample isn’t especially useful for a corporate desktop (although maybe a virtual employee” version could be used to screen potential managers before they’re inflicted on unsuspecting real” employees… : ), it does show off the intended usage for the sidebar: stuff that you absolutely, positively have to look at all day long.

As an example of what I mean, consider a typical example: the weather tile. Do you really need to know what the weather is all day long? Do you need to know it enough to take up valuable screen real estate to show it to you? I know I don’t.

But, do you need to see a virtual pet all day long? You do if it’s important enough to want to run it and keep it happy. Do you want to remember to flip to it all day long as an app running in the background? Nope. And that’s why it’s a perfect tile sample. If you run it at all, it’s important enough to take up screen real estate all day long.

You can read about these and other interesting sidebar guidelines in the sidebar section of the Longhorn User Experience guide (still under construction, of course). If you’ve got any feedback, the UX team would *love* to hear it.