Below you can see a screenshot of a web-based page layout editor.
It is basically a drag and drop WYSIWYG editor for interactive apps, and allows the user to use a page backdrop and add a "layer" of interactive elements to it, such as image galleries, videos, etc.
New objects can be created by dragging one of the small "objects" at the upper right into the layout. After dropping, the new object will appear and can be edited.
The user interface below has 3 parts:
- The menu bar/toolbar which allows the user to navigate within the whole interface.
- The page editor area on the left, which displays the preview of the page and allows placement of objects (blue boxes).
- The properties-sidebar/palette.
This layout basically works, but I'm sure there are ways to improve the overall user experience.
With the creation of new objects: Is there a better/more intuitive way than having the static list of object types at the upper right? Would it make sense to move this to the left side, possibly as a thin column?
Most objects don't have very many properties, so a lot of space is usually wasted; although I'm not sure if that can be fixed without the use of modal dialogs (which I want to avoid, due to extra clicking). How could I avoid wasting space?
I'd like to hear from experienced UI designers if there are best-practices for this kind of user interface? I'm quite biased by Adobe software.