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Desktop Application Ideas, Opportunities and Observations

Kyle Chipman
Kyle Chipman Overachievers

Hi all - have been using the Desktop Application since just before public release (the first round of EAP comments) and have had ideas and opportunities slowly stack up while using it.

Before I share the ideas, an overarching statement - I am a huge proponent of desktop applications over browser versions of a tool. I much prefer launching and closing an application with intention while retaining open tabs. Also, just a hunch, but I think RAM Management is better in the app than in browser.

This turned out to be longer than I was anticipating. I have not searched to confirm if any of these ideas have already been submitted. If so, please provide the link to upvote.

If any of these features exist in the app and I'm overlooking them, please someone holler :). I'm using a PC with Windows 11, if that impacts anything.

  • I would love a "Reopen closed tab" function. Every so often I will mistakenly close a tab then let loose a sigh when I remember I need to manually navigate back through Browse, Search or Favorite to return. This is a significant advantage browser has over desktop
  • Zooming is a cumbersome process in the desktop application. To start, I would like to zoom past 100%, but I have not found a way to do this. Additionally, once I start zooming out via Ctrl + "-", I cannot zoom back in with Ctrl + "+". I need to press Ctrl + 0 to return to 100%. Finally, I would like the ability to hold Ctrl + Mouse Scroll to control zoom. Once again, these are all advantages of browser over desktop
  • The experience and feel of moving tabs has a lot of friction. The height of the tab lane is pretty tight, and it's super easy to miss movement left and right when repositioning. I think it would feel better to expand this vertical range (give a 10%-screen-height grace range when clicking, holding and respoitioning). Additionally, only showing a vertical line to indicate a reposition feels tight and constrained. Animating the movement of the other tabs' repositioning would make the experience feel better. Finally, moving tabs to and from other new windows feels abrupt and unreliable. I have defaulted to right-clicking and choosing the new window but would prefer a more satisfying drag-and-drop experience.
  • From time to time (I think it's tied to moving tabs to new windows) I lose the ability to press "x" and close a window. I think there's some kind of overlay that's preventing my cursor from interacting. Closing other open windows and tabs, or even launching a current tab into a new window, can fix it, though I haven't been able to identify a consistent solution or cause.
  • This is a little less specific, but I feel the refresh button is only semi-reliable. It's either on sheets or reports that it works infrequently (I want to say sheets). If anyone reads this and is curious, I can track the experience more closely and reply to this thread.
  • It would be so helpful to have a single-click access point to copy a url rather than navigating up to the "File" dropdown. Even a keyboard shortcut would help. Seeing the url would also help confirm when I'm copying filter-specific url's. It's never failed me but I'm always left wondering and have to visually check when I paste.
  • When duplicating tabs, particularly when pressing Ctrl + Left Click, I would prefer to stay on the initiating sheet rather than immediately switch to the newly launched tab. When I'm pressing Ctrl + Left Click, I'm often launching multiple tabs with intention, and immediately dropping me into the newly launched tab forces an unnecessary click on my navigational experience.

Those are all the direct observations and ideas.

The opportunities are largely centered around tab management:

  • I think the desktop application has a massive opportunity to rethink the way tabs are launched and maintained. Could start with launching tabs in batch and closing tabs in batch across the top tab lane. Options for control are: all resources within a folder, all resources carrying a specific tag. I recognize that the Solution Panel serves a similar function, but that requires an additional level of navigational decision making. This batch tab launch approach would allow for quick scanning and access across associated resources.
  • Views could be introduced to the Desktop Application. Kind of an extension of the batch tab management opportunity above, but with the added benefit of switching across pre-sets; I could pick a specific client or program and it would batch load specifically-tagged tabs, then switch to another client or program.
5
5 votes

Idea Submitted · Last Updated

Comments

  • Thanks Kyle, we appreciate your insights and all the effort you've put into Smartsheet. That's some serious dedication on your part. I'm sharing your feedback with the desktop app team who will use it to help inform future optimizations to the desktop app. The PM and I are discussing your notes RN as a matter of fact.

  • Kyle Chipman
    Kyle Chipman Overachievers

    Wicked, thanks John. As mentioned, these observations had been building up slowly in my head over time. Something tripped in me last night where I felt compelled to share them all in one fell swoop.

    Even with all these points of friction, I choose the desktop application over the browser experience (save for my home-office projector where I need the zoom to help with legibility). The ability to open, close and alt-tab a dedicated application that leaves my browser reserved for browser-exclusive resources is essential in my personal workflow.

    Happy to jump on a call and discuss or review any of these points in greater details, or even spitball some more lateral thinking and outside-the-box opportunities :)

  • Thoughtful insights are always welcome. If you have more you want to spitball, please spit away. I'll keep the PM in the loop as well, he'll reach out if need be. This is valuable feedback and we take it to heart.

  • Kyle Chipman
    Kyle Chipman Overachievers
    edited 02/16/24

    One additional, hyper-specific request - I have a Logitech MX Master 3 mouse that features a scroll wheel for horizontal navigation. Consistently in the Desktop App, this scroll will lock up, but if I navigate my cursor to a different window, use the scroll wheel there, then return to the Desktop App, I will be able to scroll without issue. It happens at least once an hour, probably more (likely tied to a specific condition, like new tabs or windows or something).

    Out of curiosity, have any of the items raised in this thread been taken on for consideration or implementation by the product team? Is there any means of communicating status beyond this a response in this thread? If helpful, I could rank these or help apply points or what have you.

    Thanks all!