Uselessness of Full-Width Title Bars for Maximized Windows

Title bars are one of the best examples of wasted space in operating system software. They are usefull when your program window is minimized, so you can easily drag-n-drop it. But when your program window is maximized, too much space is wasted.

40319 pixels (excluding the top right window controls) on my 24-inch monitor, are used by small program logos, the name of the program and the name of the file.

For example, this block of Photoshop layer settings requires 37604 pixels:

Obviously, many software developers understand this behaviour and modify title bars for their software. The simplest example is likely your browser, if you do not use Internet Explorer. There is no title bar at all. You have tabs, a login name (if loged in) and window controls.

Another sample is Photoshop:

MS Office, screenshot from Excel:

It is not so usefull by default, but you have the ability to add many frequently required controls there, for example, for email sending, spell checking, pdf exporting, etc.

Mozilla Thunderbird (Firefox too):

When you minimize any of this software, they add additional space under their “title bar” space, so you can easily click and drag the window:

To improve your own productivity, you can easily place your operating system task bar to the left (preferably) or right side of the screen, so you don’t waste too much space and use the more logical vertical stacking of task bar icons instead of horizontal.

Truthfully, not all software requires additional UX designer and programmer work to redesign the default title bar space. If you develop something simple, that doesn’t have many controls, using default title bars is not bad. But if you develop something content-centric or highly functional with many controls and need all available monitor space, you definitely should consider using all the blocks of your program wisely.

Edit: it seems like Microsoft makes right steps to solve this task.



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