Want To Try WorkFlowy’s New Design?

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July 30, 2018

Image 2018-07-30 at 1.16.43 PM.png

We’ve been working for the last month on a redesign of the web and desktop apps of WorkFlowy. Our driving goals have been to get rid of unnecessary distractions, and take the overall feeling of WorkFlowy out of the 90’s. I’ve been using the new design daily for the past few weeks, and I’m delighted by it. It’s clean, fresh, functional. Maybe even a little bit beautiful.

We’ve tested the new design internally and with a small group of users, but we want to open the redesign up to feedback from the broader WorkFlowy community. If you’d like to try the new design, head over to the experimental features page (workflowy.com/features/toggle) and turn it on.

To try it on the desktop app, please turn on the feature at workflowy.com/features/toggle and then download the WorkFlowy Desktop Beta at beta.workflowy.com/downloads.

Try it, and send your reactions to feedback@workflowy.com

This redesign was the primarily the work of Stefano Attardi and Michael Leggett. Stefano is the engineer/designer who joined WorkFlowy recently, and Michael is an amazing designer who has been helping out part time, but whom I haven’t mentioned publicly yet. Michael is a longtime WorkFlowy user with a lot of domain expertise in the productivity space. He led design on Gmail, co-invented Google Inbox and did a ton of other impressive things at Google, and we’re very lucky to have his input.

We hope you love the redesign as much as we do. We’re excited to to keep releasing product improvements and new features, and this redesign will serve as a strong base to build upon.

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csicilia
2 years ago

Great great greaaaaat! i just ADORE it! Thanks! I wlll miss the old design but this new stuff just ROCKS!!!! It’s evident the team you are building up at Workflowy it’s doing things RIGHT! Thanks!!! Thanks for keeping the development upgrades! We, on our part, will keep using Workflowy! Millions of blessings to you all (The Workflowy team and all of the Workflowy users all over the world!)

Carlos

David Rhoades (@DavidRhoades)

It looks nice. I have a few questions:
1. Is the new WorkFlowy design using a different font? If so, what font?
2. Is the new design compatible with script customizations?

Canaan
Canaan
2 years ago

font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, “Segoe UI”, Roboto, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif, “Apple Color Emoji”, “Segoe UI Emoji”, “Segoe UI Symbol”;

That’s different, yeah. And it’s too small for my liking. The small, thin, white text doesn’t work well on the wood background I use, and it looks like the other backgrounds aren’t much better. I intentionally shrink the font because I want to fit a lot of notes on the screen, and since the header font shrinks with it, it’s way too small now. If workflowy had a font size setting for the main notes font then it wouldn’t be a problem because then it would shrink separately.

Jesse Patel
Jesse Patel
2 years ago

We added a new font “System” but you can change back to the old font by choosing “default” in your settings.

tmenier
2 years ago
Reply to  Jesse Patel

Ah…was sans-serif the previous default? I just switched to that and that’s how I remember it looking previously.

Jacob Green
Jacob Green
2 years ago
Reply to  Jesse Patel

Yes ‘Sans-serif’ was the old default font if that’s what you want.

Схемы кукорекурсии (@dpwiz)
Reply to  Jesse Patel

Can we have a custom “font-family” field? I.e. I want to use [glorious] Fira Code font without external styling hacks.

Jesse Patel
Jesse Patel
2 years ago

It will be. We’re actively fixing issues with scripts as they come in.

Todd
Todd
2 years ago

I like it, although I don’t love the new font, and I feel like that was changed on the default design, not just the opt-in one, no? Maybe it’s just me but it seems slightly smaller, slightly skinnier, and slightly harder to read than previously.

tmenier
2 years ago
Reply to  Todd

Settings > Font > Sans-serif is all it took to get me back to happy 🙂

Ann
Ann
2 years ago

It’s definitely looks more contemporary. However the one thing that seems to be missing is the automatic collapse when hitting the workflowy name next to the search bar. Now it looks like the only way to do this is through a two stroke process where you expand and contract under the … Otherwise it’s great!

Rob Nichols
2 years ago

Awesome work guys! You’ve made the app even more beautiful. Hands down the best organisational tool! Workflowy manages my life!

Manny
Manny
2 years ago

I liked the old font better… 2c

Sergie Magdalin
Sergie Magdalin
2 years ago

Oooh it’s so much cleaner! Good work! Looks like the link for the desktop app is broken though: https://beta.workflowy.com/downloads/mac/

Jesse Patel
Jesse Patel
2 years ago

Oh, thanks for letting us know!

Lee Granas
Lee Granas
2 years ago
Reply to  Jesse Patel

Now fixed! beta.workflowy.com/downloads

Adam Pearson
Adam Pearson
2 years ago

Indeed – link needs fixing

Adam Pearson
Adam Pearson
2 years ago
Reply to  Adam Pearson

not any more, thanks

roxanneheston
2 years ago

The link for the desktop beta download didn’t work for me. It returned “We’re sorry. Something went wrong. We’ve been notified and are trying to fix it.”

Lee Granas
Lee Granas
2 years ago
Reply to  roxanneheston

We are actively fixing this, apologies!

Lee Granas
Lee Granas
2 years ago
Reply to  Lee Granas

Now fixed. beta.workflowy.com/downloads

bretb1
bretb1
2 years ago

Looks nice. I am excited at the new pace of development.

I also had trouble with the beta download.

Adam Pearson
Adam Pearson
2 years ago

Star dropdown on left is much better, and a key command for that would be great. Dropdown could usefully be centralised in the window imo – it can be a lot of information to trawl through, so central helps.

I’m partial to the “Light” font by now, although the new one is nicely clean and usable. Good choice.

The settings window needs a serious update – probably submenus would help, common with other apps’ prefs panes. Suffers by comparison.

Those bullets though… that’s a central core UI element, and I can’t see a change : /. Smaller and less conspicuous bullets are almost certainly on your backlog. Am I right?

Reminders, consolidated display of selected tagged items, and I’m almost ready to ditch OmniFocus.

Adam Pearson
Adam Pearson
2 years ago
Reply to  Adam Pearson

Ah, star dropdown not yet active on the desktop app – link works fine now.

I’ve noticed some data issues – some data is not displaying in the beta, and formatting differs between orginal and beta.

Adam Pearson
Adam Pearson
2 years ago
Reply to  Adam Pearson

Awesome that the desktop version now centralises similar to the browser version. Sweet : )

mizmdk
2 years ago

It’s great you’re updating, but… Workflowy was not ugly!

Jesse Patel
Jesse Patel
2 years ago
Reply to  mizmdk

Ha, thanks 🙂

Mrs_E.
Mrs_E.
2 years ago
Reply to  mizmdk

Agree that Workflowy was formerly easy on the eyes. Will add that new font too small (yes, I already switched to the default font, but even that font appears smaller) & print seems to blend into the background — not enough contrast. The background is too white (not eye=friendly) & also page trim needs a tiny bit more of blue color trim. Entire webpage is too pale and bland as is.

unclefesters
2 years ago
Reply to  Mrs_E.

can I get a dark background back?

jamiesteven
jamiesteven
2 years ago

Love the new design. One thing i’d love to see in the Mac Desktop app is in-line spellcheck (red underline); this works in the web browser version of Workflowy, but not the Mac app.

Dustin Glendinning
2 years ago
Reply to  jamiesteven

Yes, would love to have spellcheck in the app.

Mark Ace
Mark Ace
2 years ago

It’s definitely more elegant, lighter weight and modern-looking. I like the weight of the typeface. I think the white space between entries is a little too wide. Feels like the lines are floating apart. Granted, I’m just switching from the previous design which is noticeably denser with a heavier font. I suspect it’s difficult to balance density and aesthetics. My two cents: a little less white space between rows would improve it. Maybe just a pixel or two, But overall, it’s more attractive and a nice uplift.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
2 years ago

Does this affect the mobile app? If so, do we simply upgrade on the App Store (iPhone)?

Jacob Green
Jacob Green
2 years ago
Reply to  Ken Shepherd

Does not change the mobile app (other than the change of default font). We recently updated the design on Mobile and this latest update brings a new design to Desktop and Web.

brad
brad
2 years ago

Seems like the “View Completed” keyboard shortcut is broken (macOS, Safari). On the non-beta version, Ctrl + O works instead of Cmd + O (since Cmd + O is tied to “Open” in Safari/every app ever).

However, Ctrl + O on the beta version doesn’t do anything…Just a head’s up!

Egor
Egor
2 years ago

We need “full width button”. Nowadays I use Stylish extention to do this, but its not a “native solution”. Note: new design is a good, modern and clean “universal design” which is equally suitable both for desktop & for mobile. But in many situations (+ in situatuions when we have WWWWWWIIIIIIIIIIIIDDDDDDDEEEEE monitors), when we use desktop (web or client) version we need to have full width page, because we have a lot of data in some situatuins.
+ you will agree, this is an extremely stupid situation when on a wide screen Workflowy column occupies 25% of the place, and the remaining 75% of the screen is an empty white sheet on the left and on the right.
Thereby we need “full width” button. (near “show completed” button)

cflat7
2 years ago
Reply to  Egor

A lot of my bullets don’t wrap so the effect would be having WF simply left justified. And the nodes that do wrap I think would be difficult to read across a wide screen. More useful I think would be able to more easily show two (or more) nodes side by side.

Stefano F. Rausch
2 years ago
Reply to  cflat7

That would be a nice addition indeed.

Stefano F. Rausch
2 years ago
Reply to  Egor

I agree.

matgardon
2 years ago
Reply to  Egor

I am also very limited by this centering and weird content display proportion : a css style of “max-width: 700px” on the .page class, on a 1980px wide monitor seems absolutely nonsense. Also, it makes my long bullets (and yes I have a LOT of them) unreadable because split accross too many lines. An ability to at least go back to left-aligned and/or full-width display would be, to me, mandatory to keep using workflowy.

I get that this design makes sense on a tablet, it just doesn’t make sense in my workflow on modern desktop monitors. It looks a lot like a mobile-first design in fact 🙂 even bootstrap gives a much larger max-width media query on a desktop monitor ^^

Andy
Andy
2 years ago
Reply to  Egor

+1 for full width. I just restarted today, and it’s pretty frustrating + feels claustrophic. I had absolutely no gripes with how Workflowy worked already..

tanviskthoughts
2 years ago
Reply to  Andy

+1 for full width option as well. Or at least an option to go back to the old version.

cflat7
2 years ago

If find the new version is great. The only thing so far, is I’m not fussy about the animation when hovering over a bullet. I’m usually in a eager to do a function and want that dropdown to show up as fast as possible! It also makes the app feel sluggish. An option to control the animation would be great.

Stefano F. Rausch
2 years ago
Reply to  cflat7

On the contrary. IMHO, if you want to zoom in the short delay in displaying the menu is a welcome addition. Having an option is a good suggestion though.

Rishabh
2 years ago

What exactly is new in the redesign?

jldevezas
jldevezas
2 years ago

Overall, the redesign has little impact and, for me, it actually makes the experience worse, as I have to move the mouse all the way to the top left when I want to navigate in breadcrumbs. Maybe limit the buttons on the top bar to the same margins as the content?

Franz
Franz
2 years ago

I love the redesign. Modern and light.
just the white space between entries seems a little too wide. If you could shrink it a pixel or two – no more.

thanks

Franz
Franz
2 years ago
Reply to  Franz

Forget my comment. I have been using it for a couple of hours now and i like the spacing. Much easier to read.
thanks

Alasdair
2 years ago

nice and elegant – I just use windows desktop app. had a scare that I’d lost lots of recent entries and couldn’t see the difference but then found a reload menu and all was good

SoloWhale
2 years ago

I just opened the new interface, this is the very simple interface I want, you are a great team!

jpallen211
jpallen211
2 years ago

Love it. And prefer the new font, much cleaner.

samokhov
2 years ago

Unfortunately, the new desktop beta doesn’t work on my Linux Mint 18.3. It just shows #documentView with an animated loader and a scrollbar at about 2/3 of the window’s height. Other than that, a bar showing that 186 out of 250 monthly items are used. I have a Pro account, so WF Beta either points to another account than my regular desktop app, or cannot get the complete account info.

But the screenshot looks sweet, so looking forward ^_^

Lee Granas
Lee Granas
2 years ago
Reply to  samokhov

Is this still not working for you? If so, write to us at help@workflowy.com and we can help out.

Matt Birks
Matt Birks
2 years ago

Will the Chrome and Android apps be getting the same facelift? Love the new look, but I mostly use the Chrome and Android apps.

Jacob Green
Jacob Green
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt Birks
George Goodman (@gogoodman)
Reply to  Jacob Green

…and what about the Chrome app?

Adrian Bradshaw
Adrian Bradshaw
2 years ago

Excellent work, yet it is still the WorkFlowy as we know it.
Best regards

Stefano F. Rausch
2 years ago

Love the redesign — keep up the excellent work!

Stefano F. Rausch
2 years ago

By the way: The Show Completed button works inversely — while active it hides the completed items.

Stefano F. Rausch
2 years ago

You have been fast to fix the bug 😉

jmio
jmio
2 years ago

On new design unforunately I can’t use the TAB key for switching to results:
with ESC key I can jump to the search box, then I insert my search strings, and then I want to switch with the TAB key to the results. And this doesn’t work with new design. The old one works.

Jesse Patel
Jesse Patel
2 years ago
Reply to  jmio

Just fixed this, will be released Thursday

jmio
jmio
2 years ago
Reply to  Jesse Patel

Wow, you fixed very quick. Works fine. Thanks.
Now I can continue with testing new design.

marginview
marginview
2 years ago

Nice idea, but somehow it’s harder to read the lists on my screen even after switching to the old Sans Serif font. I think the text size might be too small. Also, I liked the old “page” concept that put gray borders around it. A bit sad to see that go.

Rob Jackson (@rcjackson)
Reply to  marginview

Totally agree. Too hard to read. Too small. Sticking with the old design for now.

Age Poortinga
2 years ago
Reply to  marginview

It’s still there. You can use the stylys extension and add a border to the .page class.

Eugene
Eugene
2 years ago

Noooo… great font but the kerning between bulleted items is too large. I’m scrolling way more than I was before.

Shane Hoffa
2 years ago

New design looks good. However I have two comments. First issue, and the biggest one, it needs dark mode. I will not use it unless it has dark mode. I spend all day in the app taking notes, and the dark mode is a must for my eyes. Second issue is that with the breadcrumb trail now towards the top, there is less horizontal room for it when you have a long breadcrumb trail since it needs to share room with other elements.

Besides those two issues, it looks great! Nice work!

Monica
Monica
2 years ago

Overall I like it. Cleaner, fewer distractions. My biggest issue is one a few people have mentioned already: the breadcrumb trail is too far away in the top left. Any way to anchor it closer above the actual list, like it used to be? The less mouse movement needed to get where I need to go, the better.

Other than that, good work!

Dustin Glendinning
2 years ago

I’m quite the fan of the the breadcrumb menu. Love everything about the new redesign. Only thing missing from the app is same as last version: need to be able to copy urls of our own WF from within the app. Keep up the great work!

Dustin Glendinning
2 years ago

A couple of quick things I’ve noticed using the beta today; when expanding some lists, sometimes the animation “bounces” at the bottom; the text that’s moved down, moves too far and then back to where it should. Not sure if that’s intentional or not.

I love that when the window is at a comfortable width, the search box collapses. That makes it super easy to tell if it’s selected or not. However, I can’t figure out a way to keep the search bar populated with my search and jump back to the lists, using only the keyboard. I can click in the lists, and use the keyboard to navigate what I’m searching, but have to click first. Maybe double tap ESC to clear the search bar?

Still loving it so far!

Dustin Glendinning
2 years ago

Oh, and super duper picky; I personally prefer the previous tag explosion animation; less 3D the better. I will be ok if the current animation stays. 😉

Jesse Patel
Jesse Patel
2 years ago

In the next release you’ll be able to hit tab to exit search without cancelling the search

Barbara
Barbara
2 years ago

I’m using Chrome, and the star and three dots to expand/collapse are hidden on top of (or underneath) the right hand end of the text in the first bullet point. it needs to be higher or further right or something.

Also, the search box feels really small – I liked the old wider one.

I like the star drop down in the top left.

Barbara
Barbara
2 years ago
Reply to  Barbara

Another observation…the old site had an indicator at the top that showed if your changes have saved or not. The new one doesn’t. Other than trying to exit and having it warn me that my changes haven’t yet been saved, is there any way to tell? It’s something I miss.

cflat7
2 years ago
Reply to  Barbara

I agree, I sometimes glance up to make sure it was saved.

diligentpig
2 years ago
Reply to  Barbara

+1 for showing the saved/saving status on top level. Currently, it’s inside the settings context menu which is not convenient to watch.

Matt
Matt
2 years ago
Reply to  Barbara

I agree – it’s really useful to see whether local changes are saved.
It’s really common for me to make a tiny change then put my laptop to sleep, and I need to know when it’s safe to do so.

Aaron
Aaron
2 years ago
Reply to  Barbara

One more vote for bringing this back, and for the same reasons as the other people already gave. I know minimalism is important, but I think knowing whether the data has been saved/synced OK is a high enough priority to merit bringing it back (e.g., in case the laptop’s battery dies, or in case I want to access it on another device).

Previously it was just a single word (“Saved/Saving…”), so it’s not much real estate. But if the word takes up too much space, you could also just use a floppy-disk save icon (versus a rotating circle ‘syncing’ icon?) instead.

Fabio
Fabio
2 years ago
Reply to  Barbara

+1. Hope this Save status gets visible on the WF new design. This is actually the only reason why I still use the old interface.

arcgeek
arcgeek
2 years ago

the design is cool, but the only thing i don’t like it that Home is kind of far where cursor is and you have to spend microsends everytime to move it up to that

Nate V
Nate V
2 years ago

My take: I don’t see much of an improvement, and what improvement there might be is overshadowed by new annoyances.

The new font and header style is kinda nice, I guess. But the noticeable increase in whitespace and apparent performance decrease is not: At its core, I use Workflowy for bulleted lists, and a list that requires scrolling down the page to read or that takes an extra second to expand is inferior to one that is fast, compact, and TRULY free of distractions, full stop.

Alexander
Alexander
2 years ago

Great job! For me, the redesign made Workflowy more enjoyable to use.

cijohn
2 years ago

yikes …. the new design took a good 10 minutes to load, and once it did load the page was stuck. I couldn’t scroll down.

I’m trying to un-save the changes now ….

other feedback: The new print is unpleasantly small for my eyes

(sorry – !)

Matt
Matt
2 years ago

The design looks really nice and clean!

There’s still a bug with the “Show Completed” button btw: it doesn’t get updated when toggling visibility via the keyboard shortcut. It ends up meaning that toggling via the keyboard inverts the meaning of the button. Like having 2 light switches for the same light bulb 🙂

Also, my eye is always drawn to the blue Show Completed button, simply because it’s the only use of color that I can see on the page. A greyscale option would be awesome, to help keep focus on the content.

Simon Joliveau
Simon Joliveau
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt

I agree, the blue toggle is pretty but as it is literally the ONLY touch of color in the whole page, it gets a little bit distracting !

Stefano F. Rausch
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt

You are correct — the button doesn’t update / toggle with the keyboard shortcut.

I like the touch of colour though.

Stefano F. Rausch
2 years ago

Just to clarify: the button update issue relates to the web version only.

Mike
Mike
2 years ago

I appreciate that you guys are finally showing some forward movement. The redesign looks great and fits in with your overall elegant aesthetic. Great job.

My one caution is this – please don’t focus solely on the “paint and polish” at the expense of features that folks have been asking about for years (dates/reminders, sorting, font colors etc…).

Simon Joliveau
Simon Joliveau
2 years ago

The redesign is subtle, but welcome ! Nicely done. I’m a bit concerned about performance though, see below 🙁

A few improvement points :
– Performance is really bad for me ; especially zooming in or opening a big bullet point with lots of content inside. I just measured 8 seconds between the time I click on the bulletpoint, and the time the content appears. When using the current macos Workflowy app, with the old design, it is almost instantaneous. The new version is barely usable for me…

– The “keyboard shortcuts” panel clashes rather severely with the new esthetics 🙂

– Switching between starred pages using the keyboard (command+shift+ “;” on macos) does not make use of the new top-left panel. It still triggers a different mechanism, based on the bottom panel ; this seems quite inconsistent.
About this switching mechanism, I think it could be greatly improved by letting users type the first letters of the starred page he / she needs to reach. Similar to the “Go to” palette of Sublime Text or the way spotlight works. You new top-left panel is already browsable using keyboard arrows. You only need to add a shortcut to trigger the panel, and a “search area” activated by default that would allow to filter the list of starred pages, then press enter to select the most relevant one.

Keep up the good work 🙂

Noah
Noah
2 years ago

There is a lot of unnecessary whitespace at the bottom; it’s even more noticeable than before because the footer is gone.

Noah
Noah
2 years ago
Reply to  Noah

Also, a keyboard shortcut for the search function would be nice.

Noah
Noah
2 years ago
Reply to  Noah

Nevermind, it’s esc! I clearly don’t know Workflowy well enough.

Jerzy Potocki
2 years ago

A small thing re the SEARCH field: To search I press Esc > type in the search field > in the old version press arrow down and navigate across bullets below; in the new version the arrow down key does not do anything (it does not exit the Search field). Can you please fix it?

George G.
George G.
2 years ago

I haven’t decided if I like the new layout’s fonts and controls any better. The old ones were fine.

I miss the box margins that helped to see the edges. Too much white all around.
I really miss the little phrase: “Make lists, not war.” I have always liked that over the years.
I miss the links at the bottom to the blog and system status.

Barbara
Barbara
2 years ago
Reply to  George G.

I miss the little phrase, too.

Asad
Asad
2 years ago

I really appreciate the effort to make the design clean but there are a few major flaws. Sorry but when the world is moving towards better readability, this has gone the opposite direction of pretty over usable.

Try zooming the default to 125%, that’s the minimum acceptable font size in current age.

Kimberly
Kimberly
2 years ago

Haven’t seen anyone mention this, so maybe it’s just me or there’s a checkmark missing somewhere for me, but my completed items used to have a strikethrough. Now they just turn light with no strikethrough, and the light font looks just like my tagged items. Any way to get the strikethrough back?

Lee Granas
Lee Granas
2 years ago
Reply to  Kimberly

This was an IE bug that is now fixed.

George G.
George G.
2 years ago

I see a strikethrough.

Fiona
Fiona
2 years ago

I love workflowy and I like the new design. However I’m another one who finds the font too small, I’ve had to zoom the browser. (I had my eyes checked recently!)

Something I would love to see is a different way of seeing that a bullet has notes so the first line of the note doesn’t have to be displayed. I find it really jarring and distracting when I have a list where some bullet points have notes and others don’t due to the different spacing, so ultimately I rarely use notes.

Franz
Franz
2 years ago
Reply to  Fiona

+1

jpallen211
jpallen211
2 years ago
Reply to  Fiona

Same here. 110% browser zoom is perfect for me. Maybe there’s should be some sort of dynamic scaling based on screen res?

I’m also wondering if we’ll ever see any actual feature updates … I had a look at Dynalist and some of the features there are awesome. Especially the internal linking and anchor text links; I have so many big fat ugly distracting links in my Workflowy it kills the experience somewhat (unless I use hacks, most of which aren’t fantastic). How Dynalist handles links is fantastic. But I’ll be sticking with Workflowy as it’s a snappier, smoother experience which is my priority

jpallen211
jpallen211
2 years ago
Reply to  jpallen211

Just to add… I love the new cleaner design overall, definitely a step in the right direction. Now if you could add some features without hurting performance 😉 Keep it up!

Rmn Gee
Rmn Gee
2 years ago

The Beta app doesn’t start on iMac with Sierra 10.12.6. There is just an endless logo shaking animation. I have the options toggled in the web settings. Any ideas how to get past that?

ER
ER
2 years ago
Reply to  Rmn Gee

I have this problem, too, on MacBook Pro app. Shaking logo has huge amount of vertical whitespace and obscures part of my list

Paul Repin
2 years ago
Reply to  ER

Had same problem. Fixed this by downloading previous beta from https://github.com/workflowy/desktop-beta/releases/tag/v1.0.20-beta.346

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