I'm working on a collections-based interface (think Pinterest or Dropbox), and we're implementing a feature that allows users to add Notes/Comments to various elements (folders/boards, files/pages, highlighted text, etc...).

These "notes" would be accessible either via an icon (say, a small Post-It note with the total count), or a sliding tray somewhere (there could be multiple notes for a specific item). Additionally, they'll need to access any notes they've added to specific text they've highlighted on a page. Should this be included in the standard Notes, or be treated differently? Not sure...

I'm having a hard time finding inspiration for this, and would love to see examples of Notes being handled really, really well.

Does anyone have any screenshots they could share of existing apps? Or any thoughts on how we should be handling this? I'm a bit stuck here and could use some inspiration :-)

Thank you so much!


1 Answer 1


Not sure I love Medium's implementation but it's the example that comes to mind right away.

enter image description here

I do wish that the sidebar offered more utility. Maybe multiple comments or several stacked highlights would improve it.

I built a system like this a few years ago (not comments specifically) with "notes" referenced to areas of content. In most cases it was enough to change the text visually to be obviously a link. People picked up on it being actionable pretty quickly.

Here's some of our exploration. Note that there are multiple different types of items in each scenario.

Tool tip interaction

Linked to footer

And the one we ended up testing

Final designs

  • Yup, the Medium site is the example we're basing the Highlighting from, although it's not perfect, as you mention. In our case, we're dealing with Folders within Folders, Pages, Files, etc... all things that you can add a "note" to. What I'm struggling with is where to indicate that there's a note on each specific item ("note" icons on each individual board, perhaps?), and how to access them in an elegant way (a sliding panel on the right? inline notes when you click on the Notes icon?).
    – Lynn Cyr
    Nov 20, 2019 at 14:58

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