Non-Card UI, Collapsable Sidebar and View Mode

hi, so i had certain suggestions regarding the overall UI of a space:

1. Non-Card UI

First of all, the UI controls and menus that are spread across all the four sides of the canvas, I don’t think they should be in a card format because the “card format” also happens to be the way users actually input data and interact with Kinopio. I’m not a UI/UX expert but I feel the controls of an app shouldn’t really get camouflaged with the contents of that app, especially in case of note taking/ tools for thought apps where having a clean and clear starting page is the key.

Also, worth noting is that these card style controls and menus are not concentrated at one corner but distributed on all four corners of the screen.

So basically, having card styled controls (on a card based canvas/space) makes it kind of hard to distinguish what’s what at first glance. I’m attaching a screenshot below for reference, and you can see that the controls and the menu have gotten lost in the content of the page itself with no means of visual differentiation.

Solution: the only solution as a user I can see now is moving most of the controls floating aross the four corners and arranging them neatly in a sidebar on the left (not every single control/menu obviously but those which can be glued together), while also giving the ability to collapse the sidebar in case someone wants to focus fully on the thinking sans distractions.

  1. View Mode while sharing spaces online

This is a small tweak that can be made for read-only spaces, if any case the above changes do not make sense to the creator (because of personal design choices + I understand moving everything to a sidebar is probably a lot of work) I have another small request, wherein when a person shares his space as a link for people to read, atleast in those cases the controls can be hidden for the viewer.

Reason being, many times we might share something like a personal profile (linktree alternative), a reading list, some meeting notes etc, and so essentially to the person looking it on the web, it would make much more sense if it looked purely like a website without the menus all around. Or maybe there could be an on and off “view mode” switch where the menus and controls dissappear when toggled on.

  1. A Future Use Case of the Sidebar

So as to not stretch this post any longer I’ll tell long story short.

I believe that the workflow of most people contains 3 major steps:

  • Dump/Inbox: dumping fleeting notes, links, bookmarks, files, tasks, feelings into an inbox

  • Zettelkasten: categorising all the clutter dumped in the inbox into broad folders such as journal, tasks, knowledge base etc

  • Connection: once similar notes and contents are present in a folder, they can be distilled, reviewd, edited and mostly importantly connected to each other in the form of backlinks and tags

Now, as of now, Kinopio as a tool is exceptionally good for the first step, as you can instantly dump whatever is on your mind and instantly free your mind.

But when it comes to the second step I feel it lags a bit because (as of now) there is no way to bunch together cards into a catlog, group, folder etc.

So, how a sidebar would really help with this is that once we’ve dumped everything on our mind in an inbox space, when we come back to review the space, it would be very helpful if we could just drag and drop cards/group of cards into different spaces by dragging them to the sidebar (assuming, that a user’s spaces would also shift to sidebar just like notion in case a sidebar thing happens)

These were not really feature requests per se, more like rough futuristic concepts of how Kinopio could shape out to be in the future, but since the dev is so responsive in hearing and implementing feedback i just thought of putting it out here :slight_smile:


Thanks for the detailed feedback lifeofamol, it’s really appreciated!

Non-Card UI

I think I understand where you’re coming from, but I disagree with your assertion that the controls/ui are confusable with the cards/content. e.g. to me these don’t look the same:

Screen Shot 2022-01-21 at 10.50.30 AM

The upsides of the current approach are that it works on mobile, and gives you more room for content.

The controls are in four different corners because:

  • avoids having to use of a hamburger menu to give the illusion of simplicity or cleanliness
  • works on mobile
  • each corner has a rough conceptual grouping which is learnable through spatial association. (e.g. the top left is sharing/collaboration/user stuff)

wherein when a person shares his space as a link for people to read, atleast in those cases the controls can be hidden for the viewer

I currently treat the UI in this case as the same but ‘read only’. The advantage of this approach is that there’s less friction to a new viewer trying/learning kinopio for themselves, or an existing user jumping into their own spaces from yours.

It’s something I’ll think about more though. In the meantime, you can send people a ‘presentation’ url with Share -> Embed -> Url that might fit what you want


I want to address this in the future with browser bookmarks that let you capture fleeting notes where you already are. You’d be able to specify what space you want to capture things to (just like how you can select and move cards around)

another approach to quick capture, is if you’re in a space and you have some other thought:

  • write it down in the space that you’re at
  • select the card(s) then move them to a new or existing space

broad folders such as journal, tasks

using different spaces for each of these makes more sense in the context of kinopio

no way to bunch together cards into a catlog, group, folder etc

one approach that might work for you is to select a bunch of cards and move them to a new space


I’m keen on this idea and it has been under discussion for a while.

Feel free to add to those if you think it would help :slight_smile: