I'd like to give users of a desktop app I'm working on the option of accessing their local code either through the Windows Explorer/Mac Finder or through the command-line, what's the best way to do this? I also want to display the local file path to their code directory.

Something like this but I think it looks kinda bad right now access local code

  • 3
    Without any context like who is going to use this, why and when, this is more a graphic design question than UX. Can you add some user stories or wireframes that give a broader view?
    – jazZRo
    Commented Aug 14, 2015 at 7:42
  • Hm yea in retrospect this may not be the most ux-related question This is for a program that lets users host local websites on a remote server and they need to be able to both open their local codebase via whatever file directory its in, and to open it through a command line program Does that help?
    – Gasper
    Commented Aug 14, 2015 at 13:19
  • WIll most power-users that want a console not simply make an FTP connection to the server instead? Where as the average-joes in the world would probably be better off with some wordpress kinda thing?
    – Xabre
    Commented Aug 14, 2015 at 16:54
  • Offering a FTP connection to the server is a possible action as well (just not shown in this screenshot. I believe the 'average-joes' of our product have some level of coding experience, so they can open up whatever files they need through the Explorer/Finder.
    – Gasper
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 14:16
  • It seems good this way, why do you think its bad? Commented Feb 9, 2016 at 12:44

1 Answer 1


SourceTree has a great example of the workflow you're mentioning. I'm not sure of the use case for your specific example, but in SourceTree, 95% of the time you're just looking to open the repository.

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As a result, SourceTree has created a default action of clicking on the item in the list to open the list, and has buried other actions under the right-click context menu.

Box.com more options menu

If you want to provide access to some other actions without using Right-Click, a "more options" button at the end could also work well. Box.com has an excellent example of the default action being to open, the first promoted action is to share and then all the other options are in the overflow.

In your example, I would recommend determining which one of the actions is the primary action, and then burying the other action in a Right-Click context menu (as you have said, this is a desktop app and right click is available).

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