Components in a composite application should adhere to the following guidelines:
- Title bar panels (no tabs). Should be used when labeling the panel; helps users to understand its purpose within the composite application.
- No title bar panel. Should be used when it is more important to emphasize that contiguous panels are related (part of the "same application") than it is to directly state the individual panel's function in a title bar.
- Maximize and Minimize. Include this functionality for your panel when the user is likely to benefit from having the option of using a panel at full-screen size but whose default size is less than full screen within the composite application.
This is particularly useful when you are reusing an application that was originally designed for full-screen use as one of many smaller panels (or functional component tabs) within a composite application. Providing a Maximize/Minimize option allows you to assign less screen real estate to the component in the default view but maintains the option for the user to work at full screen if desired.
- In Lotus Notes 8.0, you cannot use a title bar panel while also displaying Minimize and Maximize buttons. (Though it is planned that, in Lotus Expeditor 6.1.2 and Lotus Notes 8.0.1, you’ll no longer have this limitation.)
- Since the Maximize/Minimize functions are accessed via the title bar / tabs area, you cannot use Maximize and Minimize buttons with "No title bar" panels.
- Hide Panel option. It is generally not advisable to allow users to hide panels within a composite application because it makes the application structure more difficult to support and is a potential source of user error/confusion. It is particularly important not to allow users to hide panels that are critical to the function of the application.
For example, avoid allowing users to hide navigation panels. However, if an application would benefit from giving users the ability to select the visible panels (or functional components shown in a tabbed panel), it can be a useful design option. This option should be used with caution because when panels are reopened, they will not always appear in the same position they occupied when closed (this is most problematic when users can both move and hide panels, so it is not advisable to allow both). It is most appropriate for advanced user audiences.
- In Notes 8.0, the Hide Panel option can be used only for functional components in tabbed panels (that is, for tabs).
- It is planned that, in Notes 8.0.1, the Hide Panel option can be used for title bar panels and tabbed panels.
- When a tab can be hidden, an "X” appears on that tab, which the user can click to hide the tab.
- When a title bar panel can be hidden, an "X" appears, which the user can click to hide the tab.
Reopening hidden panels:
- In Notes 8.0, if the Hide Panel option is enabled, the application should include a panel providing the option to reopen the panel.
- It is planned that, in Notes 8.0.1, Notes will provide commands under the "View" menu on the Notes toolbar to reopen (and hide) composite application panels.
Reopening hidden panels dialog:
- This dialog explains how to reopen a panel when the user takes an action to hide a panel. It is strongly recommended to keep this dialog, unless you have created an alternative method of reopening hidden panels as part of a panel in your application.
- Move Panel option. IBM does not recommend allowing users to move panels because it makes the application structure more difficult to support, relationships between panels may become unclear, and it is a potential source of user confusion. Allowing users to move panels might be useful in some applications where user control of application layout is very important item and relationships between panels are not important, however it should be used with caution.
- In Notes 8.0, the Move Panel option can be used only for functional components in tabbed panels (that is, for tabs).
- It is planned that, in Notes 8.0.1, the Move Panel option can be used for title bar panels and tabbed panels.
Title bars of dialog boxes