New Release – Menu stencil

This week is a tough one. Tonight starts the UXcamp with a get together at St Oberholz and there has been a whole lot of preparation to be done. However, we also deployed a new release last night. There have been quite some new things to mention. First, we added a context menu to multi selection with two features: you can now align several elements in six different ways. Top, center, bottom, and left, middle, right. And you can edit properties for multiple elements at once. All properties that the elements have in common can be modified.

The second big thing is the menu stencil. We have thought a lot about how to make a menu easily editable. After having a look at Axure, we decided that our menu editor should be very lightweight and simple instead of many dialogs. Therefore, we went for a wiki style. You can see a sample in the picture below. You can choose several levels of nested submenus. When you want to set the target page for an entry, just select a piece of text and choose the target page from the dropdown box on top of the edit field. The link will then be inserted.

In case to have to change a link, simply click somewhere between the brackets and you will see the target page selected in the dropdown box (see picture below). You then can change the target page as you like. We know that the page IDs are not ideal and we would have liked to hide them. But this way you can easily use copy paste to swap the menu entries. If you like to point a menu entry to a different location, just exchange the page ID by an external link.

We hope that you like our menus and that the wiki syntax is not too complicated. We plan to extend this mechanism to our text stencil, to allow for having links within a text. Especially tricky will be a table stencil, which we already started working on but aren’t yet happy with it.

This not being enough we also added a phone stencil, to enable you to design apps for mobile phones and having the phone shape already at hand. The phone has three versions, a classic one, a blackberry like and an iPhone like. For the iPhone we also added a keyboard stencil that you can add whenever necessary. However, you can also open a prototype on your iPhone to test the real interactions!

Speak up! Let us know what you think.