Product updates
October 17, 2020

Navigation updates

Buttondown’s navigation has... not been ideal. For a long time.

The navigation itself has barely changed since it got set in stone in early 2017; you can see it in action (with slightly different CSS, and no dropdown menu) in a blog post from 2017!

I say it’s not ideal for a handful of reasons:

  • The mobile experience is trapped in a state of “trying to be cute” and looking like a tab bar
  • There’s a weird bifurcation between the primary navigation of “Write / Subscribers / Archive” and the secondary navigation (to, say, tags or scheduled emails) because I wasn’t smart enough to figure out an extensible navigation.
  • Important links (say, to documentation, or pricing details) are hidden in the Footer and completely inaccessible once you’ve logged in.

I’ve been meaning to take another stab at navigation for a while now: every time I add a new settings subpage or nested modal the situation grows a little more dire, and it is finally time to tear off the bandaid.

Behold!

...Oh wow. That’s rather spare, isn’t it?

Let’s dive into these two new affordances.

Omni-search

As you might guess from the title of this heading, “omni-search” is a universal search bar. You can search for all sorts of things:

  1. Subscribers
  2. Archives
  3. Internal and external pages
  4. Documentation

The search bar is fast, it is accessible, and it is always a keystroke away (just hit /).

The big ol’ dropdown

This dropdown should look pretty similar to the old one, except with, well, more of it. Gone are the weird sub-navigation hierarchies: everything is just here.

Change is hard, I know.

I’m fairly sensitive to the fact that changing workflows and interfaces is onerous and painful. Adjustment takes time! This is a pretty opinionated interface, but it feels scalable in a way that the previous interface certainly was not. I apologize for whatever short-term friction this causes you, and please send me feedback if you’d like: I’m always open to methods for making Buttondown a better experience.

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