More compact header and return of tabs

More compact header and return of tabs

Daily we receive quite a lot of mails and feedback. We like that and carefully read every single message we get. It’s feedback from start.me users that helps us improve the service. With the last major UI update in April, we received a lot of praise, but some more critical remarks as well. We listened to those remarks and today we launched an update to the start.me user interface. It is not as big as the april-release, but it offers a lot of nice improvements!

More compact header

The first thing you will probably notice is the new, more compact header. We reduced its size with about 10%, leaving more valuable screen space for your bookmarks and widgets. We made the buttons on the bar more compact as well. The user menu now has a clearer ‘gear’ button and the search box is centered, to make it more easily accessible.

For those of you who (like us) like to embellish their pages with nice background photos, there is another cool new feature: the header bar now takes on the color of the background image. This visual effect is not just quite beautiful, but provides a better contrast as well, making the buttons easier to find.

Easier page editing

To make editing pages a little easier, we added a ‘page menu’: when you click on the title of the current page, a dropdown menu will show, offering you a number of often used editing options: change the background, add some bookmarks or create a new widget. The ‘+bookmark’ button now just reads ‘+’ and has been moved to the right side, allowing you to quickly add bookmarks.

Return of tabs

One of the most common questions we received after the april UI-upgrade, was how to get the tab bar back. The new user interface introduced the pages menu (available through the  button) to give quick access to all pages you created. We underestimated the number of users that actually preferred to have all their pages directly visible on screen, enabling them to quickly switch. That’s why we chose to introduce a pages submenu. This menu can be enabled in the Preferences.

If you like, you can enable the pages submenu. Please note that the bar will only show when you have at least two pages. The submenu has been designed to blend in well and automatically adjusts to the background image you selected for your page.

Do you like it?

Along with these changes, a whole bunch of other improvements have been made. We hope you like them. Please let us know what you think of the changes. Suggestions for improvements are more then welcome and, as you can see, may very well be included in the next update!

Michiel de Wit

Michiel de Wit

Michiel is CGO and co-founder of start.me. He is a software professional with a lot of experience in developing enterprise grade web applications. He is a certified Scrum Master and a great proponent of modern software development practices.


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33 Replies to “More compact header and return of tabs”

  1. I think that you should add the possibility to disable the search bar. I use my browser search bar and i don’t need another bar in my personal homepage..

    1. I agree. I also think you should give the option to disable/remove the search bar.That would open the page up nicely. Maybe if you just had a start button to open Google in a new tab??

    2. Exactly the point that I made after the last upgrade. We don’t need that big ugly search box when there is a perfectly functional (and smaller) one above it.

    3. Nail on the head! I never understood why it was automatic and then opened pages inside the start.me window… double layer browsing – wow! Redundancy much?

      At least they started to get the point by making it a whole 10% smaller which means that- hang on, doesn’t it mean that it is about three quarters of a pixel smaller… which obviously is not viable even for lcd technology. Does that mean they stole the pixel back again? Hey man! I want my pixel back!

    4. I agree with everyone else about this — the option to hide or disable the search bar would be great. It’s just not needed. I’m new to start.me but am getting the hang of, so thanks!

  2. Yes, this is most excellent. Keep up the good work. Start.me has since long been my fav. start page.

  3. To my surprise this morning, i get this update! as a coder, i know things take time to implement but i definitely like the improvements being pushed and the subtle palette update and the better use of negative space that gives this update a more polished and modern feel.
    keep working at it, keep listening to users feedback, keep enhancing this… i am all the more happy with the result…

  4. I like this recent change! Almost 100% because of the smaller header. I was using a Stylish script to completely hide that header, and only disabled the script when I (not often) had to access the header for whatever reason. I plan on leaving that script disabled for a while now, and just might leave it disabled!

  5. I use Start.me on all of my Mac devices.

    Recently my bookmark icons on my iMac disappeared! (all i see is my background photo). I still see them on my macbook, iPad, and iPhone.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks!

  6. The new changes look much better! Nice work! Only one request I’d like to make is that the new tabs navigation bar (pages submenu) smaller in size and how much space it takes up.

    1. Yes it would be nice if the submenu would be like almost half the size of what it is right now since it shouldn’t be as important as the real header

  7. I second the comments about the tabs. Good to have those back. I also second the comment about making the tabbar thinner. I would even go as far as to add some smarts to the header.
    Calculate the width of the browser window, and condens the header, and tabbar into the one bar if the browser is wide enough. I’ve got a 24″ monitor here and it would easily fit.

  8. I like that you went back to some old design and brought back the tabs, thanks!
    I also like the new design of the header that takes on the color of the background tho 🙂

  9. I must have joined late in the game because I never knew anything about a previous tabs feature. But now, with 24 different pages (Home, Work, Accounts, TV, Movies, Books, Doctors/Pharmacy, Diet/Exercise/Fitness, Travel, Shopping, News, Music-Pop, Music-Electronic, Music-Fink, Music-Sia & Kate Bush, Tech Topics, Science, Markdown Reference, etc., etc.) it quickly became apparent that nobody in my family but me would ever have access to these other pages.

    Pinning the page menu open was a nice option – but the WIDTH taken up by the pinned-open page menu took drastically away from the width available to the large number of columns I always had – thus leading me to break everything out into more pages with a smaller number of columns to give the existing columns more width.

    This is actually very important to me because I really enjoy embedding music videos by way of YouTube. I love that right-clicking in YouTube gives a great “Get embed code” option which works well in Start.me – except that Start.me’s “Maximum height of the embedded content” setting needs to be manually set each time (to usually around 200) – but no biggie there. I also like to embed photos of music artists in-line with their videos and they need whatever horizontal space can be garnered by using as few columns as possible… and no pinned-open menu page.

    So this new (to me anyhow) method of adding a page menu without taking up any of my valuable horizontal real estate on the Start.me pages is invaluable!

    ————————————–

    ##My wish list:

    1.) A clear reference to MarkDown as used by Start.me – even a re-posted referewmnce that you guys use internally. It doesn’t need to be pretty. I quickly learned that there are many flavors (i.e., different internal language variations) in all the online blogging tools out there and I have yet to hit on one that renders properly in Start.me.

    This is actually intended for using MarkDown in Email, but it is pretty cool –

    #Markdown Here

    —————————————

    http://markdown-here.com/index.html

    http://markdown-here.com/features.html

    #Markdown Here Compatibility

    —————————————

    This would be cool, but it doesn’t include a section on Start.me. But maybe one of these variations matches what is used on Start.me?
    https://github.com/adam-p/markdown-here/wiki/Compatibility

    —————————————

    #Markdown Here Cheatsheet

    https://github.com/adam-p/markdown-here/wiki/Markdown-Here-Cheatsheet

    ## It would be VERY handy to have sub-sub menus. (See, you got me started now! :-> )

    24 different Start.me pages roll off the end of the horizontal menu bar when a lot of them could easily ber categorized under just a very few main tabs – like Home, Entertainment, Shopping, Work, Computer Tech.

    1. My Wish List (cont.)
      3.) A way to go back and edit what we post here after we see our large number of spelling mistakes and my leaving 2.) off my second Wish list.

    2. Thank you for your feedback!

      1. We’ll look into improving the Notes widget and making it easier (and more clear) to use markdown.

      2. We are considering adding an option to group pages in sections. This would, for example, allow you to group all Entertainment pages in one section.

  10. Unlike some other commenters am very happy with the search box now. For a while you had it small and on the right side of the page. Like it much better like this.

  11. Love the new UI update.
    Requests…. Please make the top bar another 10-20% smaller and the new tab bar about 40% smaller. It’s all about the screen estate…

  12. Some good suggestions. Agree & disagree with them. For management to get a better idea of how many users reading them feel one way or the other an Agree / Disagree button on posts would be nice. Not everyone is going to comment but I’ll bet most users ( like myself ) would like to vote on a comment.

    And thanks for bring tabs back. Hated the drop down. Been looking for another bookmark page because of the drop down. Not now.

  13. I agree that you should add the option to disable the search bar in favor of the inclusion of the pages. It would save a line in favor of more cleaning.

    1. I thought it was possible to reposition widgets; but I can no longer do so. What am I doing wrong?

      1. We fixed a bug relating to dragging of widgets today. Can you check if it’s still not working for you? If that is the case, can you let us know what browser (version) you use? Please email us at support@start.me.

  14. I was looking for and testing others solution but the tabs being back brought me back, thanks.

    Would love it if the active tab were styled like real tab, with the background color of the page body flowing up into the tab background to give a real tab appearance instead of just the underline.

    Maybe a way for users to add their own custom CSS on some elements. This would be awesome.

    Thanks.

    1. Hello,

      The order of the pages in the horizontal sub-menu, will be similar to the order of pages in the vertical hamburger/pages menu. This is currently not the case, but this will be changed shortly (eta: this week).
      You will then be able to use the hamburger menu to adjust the order of pages.

      Best regards,
      Luuk

      1. A complete “newbie” question here, sorry:
        What is/are the references to “hamburger menu” and “hamburger pages menu”?

        I’ve read the help, but must have missed this. Are there more sets of documentation about start.me I can read?
        Also, when I hit the menu items “help” & “FAQ” in my phone’s browsers (both Fire Fox and Chrome) I get the “page not found” page. Don’t know why.

        Thank you in advance for your answers!

        Sincerely,
        mf.ellipsis

        1. Hi! Sorry, we were using a bit of jargon there. With ‘Hamburger menu’ we mean the menu you can open by clicking the three horizontal bars in the top left. This kind of icon, used in a lot of apps, is called ‘Hamburger’, because it resembles two slices of bread and a piece of meat in between.

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