No More Scrolling Through Style Options – What You Need to Know About Our Latest Usability Update

This week, we released a new version of Thrive Architect that is packed to the brim with amazing new features (awesome pricing tables, anyone?). In addition to those, we've also added an improvement to the usability of our visual editor.

Read on to discover how we've made our visual editor faster and easier to use.

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The Change: Auto-Collapsing Panels

In Thrive Architect, we apply a "click to edit" philosophy to editing your content. Anything you see in your content, you can simply click on to start editing.

Text can be edited directly on the canvas. And for all style changes, you'll see options in the sidebar, sorted into multiple panels:

The thing is, with Thrive Architect, you have almost unlimited customization options for almost every element. And that means there are often many options open in the sidebar.

To make all these options easier to navigate, we've changed the behavior of the sidebar. Now, only one panel is open at once. As soon as you click on a new sidebar panel, the previous one auto-collapses.

The result of this is that you usually see all your options at once and you don't have to scroll up and down the sidebar to find what you need. In other words: we've replaced scrolling with clicking.

We tested this extensively and we’ve found that almost everyone prefers this method and that using Thrive Architect is faster and more efficient this way.

Here are 3 details that will help you get the most out of this update:

1) Persistent Options

The editor remembers which panel you have open and keeps that same panel open as you switch between elements.

For example, if you have the "Background Style" panel open while you're editing a content box, the same panel will be open when you switch to a background section, a text block, an icon or any other element that has a styleable background.

This lets you easily tweak the layout, background colors or other options of multiple elements in a row.

2) Group Editing Panel

Group editing is a feature in Thrive Architect that speeds up your customization of grouped elements such as styled list items, custom menu items or pricing table elements.

Whenever you click on a grouped element, the previously open panel will remain open and the "currently styling" panel at the top will also be open:

This is an exception because this panel indicates that you are editing a grouped element and shows its linked or unlinked status.

3) Opening Multiple Panels

You can still open more than one panel at once. To do so, press and hold the Ctrl or Cmd key on your keyboard and click on the panels you want to open. This will prevent auto-collapsing of panels. The panels will remain open until you click on a new one (without Ctrl or Cmd key) at which point they will automatically collapse again.

Give it a Whirl!

Make sure you've updated your Thrive Architect plugin to the latest version and give it a try. You'll quickly get used to the new behavior of the sidebar panels and I'm confident that it will allow you to work faster.

Since the first release of Thrive Architect, we've made many tweaks and changes to make Thrive Architect easier to use and we'll continue to do so. Let us know what you think of this latest change by leaving a comment below!

Shane

Author: Shane Melaugh

Shane Melaugh is a co-founder and the CEO of Thrive Themes. When he isn't plotting new ways to create awesome WordPress themes & plugins, he likes to geek out about camera equipment and medieval swords. He also writes about startups and marketing here.

  • Eric says:

    Simple but brilliant. Thanks

  • Maricarmen Grisolia says:

    Yeah, I noticed this yesterday and, honestly, didn’t appreciate it at all :(
    I actually thought it was buggy! Until I realized it probably came in the latest update, which was actually the case.
    So, so far I don’t like it at all. I was very used to the previous functionning that this will require some extra time to get used to. But I trust you if you say it’s better :)

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Sorry if the change came as a shock to you. I hope you got used to it already. :)

  • Bert says:

    For me, this is a huge improvement…Thanks!

  • Oob says:

    Very effective. I appreciate the option to Ctrl+Click to revert back to the legacy behavior. Thanks!

  • Quentin P says:

    Love this. Much easier to do repetitive edits – and especially love the CTRL option to open multiple tabs.

  • Yeah! Just learning how to keep more than one part open at a time is such a plus. And now I understand more about the group locking too. Thank you for all the innovations. Keeping up with how much you do for us is a challenge.

  • Gloria B says:

    Yes, this is very efficient. Thank you!

  • Abigail Wall says:

    Love this, I’ve experienced the scrolling and this change will definitely make things easier!

  • Volker H says:

    I´m really happy that this function has been implemented to prevent a lot of scrolling and to keep an better overview.
    Now, as the thrive team is being used to use this function, I hope you understand the need for an ‘accordion’ enhancement to the TA Toogle element.

    It is a show stopper right now to use the toggle element for an Q&A section due to the missing ‘auto-close’.
    btw. the styling opportunities in the toggle are…. there is room for improvement ;-)

    thx for the good work

  • Steve P says:

    Great. Thank you!

  • Juha S says:

    This is excellent, the old version with almost mandatory scrolling was a bit confusing. Cheers!

  • Andy says:

    Would suggest adding tooltips in the UI to address these changes. I personally enjoyed scrolling while having all the panels open; I knew where everything was. The update caused me a lot of frustration. If I never read this blog post I would never know to use CTRL to revert back to the legacy behavior.

    • Ryan J says:

      Yeah I thought this was a bug.

  • Biggi F says:

    Please, just add an expand all toggle for those of us that prefer scrolling, over desperately searching through a bunch of auto-collapsing menus. :-(

  • Ryan J says:

    One huge usability improvement would be to add icons to the section headers. Icon+Text has the fastest cognitive processing.

  • Margherita Pescollderungg says:

    Great! Thank you

  • Daniel B says:

    Love it. I prefer this a lot, and knowing about clicking is even better. Best of worlds. Thanks!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thanks for your comment, Daniel! I’m glad to see you prefer the new way as well.

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