I'm developing a UWP app to remotely access linux machines, and it includes a remote file explorer, and a simple editor. On both of those windows, I've got a status bar at the bottom, but they don't at all display the same type of info:

File explorer: enter image description here (pressing on "0 Items selected" opens a flyout with actions such as Select all, Invert Selection, etc...)

File editor: enter image description here (pressing on "C#" opens a flyout that allows the user to choose syntax highlighting for various programming languages)

These look very similar, but don't display the same type of info. Is it an issue? And if so, can I fix it? I thought about changing the color, but it's set by the user (The Windows 10 theme accent brush).

  • 3
    Just being honest here, I would never ever imagine I could even click on those menus. To me the status bar only displays information, it doesn't allow you to interact with it. Then again, Word / Excel break that paradigm. But I'm just not so convinced they features are so easily discoverable in this app. Maybe add a little up triangle glyph to indicate there's a menu here?
    – John
    Jan 10, 2017 at 19:35

5 Answers 5


Conventionally, there won't be any clickable element placed on the Status Bar. In general they would be used as an information bar to display the current action which user is performing. Some of the application even hide the status bar by default for better visual experience. User need to deliberately make it visible.

Even in your case 50% of the area in the bar is file info. so I'm sure most of the users would assume that "0 Items selected" is also an info text, but not a clickable element.

Coming to your original question, since you are placing an clickable option consistently on all windows, this might learn it by the first click. Hence there is no issue on that. Only the first click would take the user effort.


I'm not sure this is an "issue" per se - I have seen similar menus in a similar position in other apps, and they function to some extent as a "contextual menu," whose contents changes to suit the needs of the user within that environment. The only issues will come if the actions available do not map properly to the expectation. If the user knows what to expect from that menu, regardless of what environment the options refer to, it will be easily learned and understood as the environment changes.


I think it is actually really good that you are showing information based on the context.

It seems like you have thought about what is useful for the user and picked the information based on that. I wouldn't worry about this.


I don't see a problem here at all. Many applications do that and there is a good reason behind this decision namely the user doesn't have to search for the information if the context changes. It's always there, in the status bar (or whatever UI component you are using to place the information on the screen).


Your design is good. Users will only look at the status bar after they know what's in the main window, so it's fine for the formats to resemble each other. Users care more about the content.

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