I am designing an editing application in html/js. After a while, I end up with a lot of different "panels", and I am having trouble displaying them all to the user in an efficient way. Sometimes it seems like the user would want access to all of the info/controls at once, without having to navigate through hoops for each element.
Basically, I have a similar problem as Blender does: too many panels, and no efficient way to display them. Are there any good paradigms that I can follow to help alleviate these types of problems?
Here is a mockup of my current design:
As you can see, the presentation area is quite small, due to cluttering. Several of those panels are useful simultaneously; for example, editing the element can change many of the property panels, which the user would want to see immediately as feedback. Some of the panels are actually crunched together there so as to be almost not useful.
I also expect as I play around with it more, I'll have additional perspectives of properties to view/edit.