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I am designing an editable page that has a floating 'Notes' on the right section that follows users down the page.

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

I have different layers of controls:

  • page level (publish)
  • tab level (save, revert, cancel)
  • section level

Should the floating notes section be saved, along with everything else, when the user clicks it at tab level? My inclination is to say no as users can post notes to the page and that it should have it's own control as they are meant to be editorial comments regarding the page

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I would work the save for the notes in two ways.

  1. Give it an explicit save button and time/date stamp so that the user knows that the feedback has been captured and trusts the system.
  2. Allow the notes section to save once it looses focus and also include a time/date stamp in the notes header.

Because your notes seem separate from the general workflow leveraging both of this options will allow the user to focus more on the task at hand versus having to wonder what to do with the notes that have been captured.

  • Thank you - I completely agree. The notes section already has it's own button but I'm not sure it differentiates the section enough so that save explicitly doesn't apply. I think that a combination of yours and Tony's suggestion (below) would probably do the trick. – J4G Nov 2 '16 at 9:55
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It depends on your intent. Are notes a distinct element that should be uniquely saved at any point? It sounds like you want it to be.

From the way it looks in your image, the notes are contained within a tab's content area. When I click on a different tab, I would expect a different note relevant to the new tab. Thus, I would expect notes to be saved if the save button was clicked, based upon my assumption of dependency.

If you want notes to be a separately saved component, I would redesign the container. If you shorten the width of the tabbed area on the right and let the notes float alongside it, then I would associate notes with a page-level control.

enter image description here

  • A great suggestion that I had sort of dismissed for no reason - I think that this would solve the problem. Thank you! – J4G Nov 2 '16 at 9:55

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