Holloway UI Concept

Vol. 01. Desktop.

Max Kalik


Probably you don’t know yet about Holloway. It has been launched couple weeks ago. This is a new type of publishing company who publishes fully digital Guides to high-stakes, complex subjects. This product made by Joshua Levy and Andy Sparks and bunch of other contributors. If you want to learn more about the product you can follow them here.

So. I heartily fell in love with what guys are doing and decided to make my own contribution such a ui designer with their front-end developer Dmitry Kharchenko. Let’s see want how it was.

I want to show you my vision of Holloway product. I’ll show a core idea how to make it more comfortable to use and read, how to interact with big data and quickly understand what it is about. I tried to pin some thoughts of people who really love to read books, ebooks and every time to find some information in the net. Let’s get started.

1. Introduction

I saved general elements like in the current prototype: left menu and content. It splits the screen on two parts. In the menu we have all we should have like menu: search, table of contents, userpic (works like a user profile) and main links ‘About’ and ‘Dark mode switch’. The right side has generally main content text, menu burger and navigation tips (bottom right). I’ve touched everything what you had already: logotype, fonts, colors etc. I ment I’ve change a bit everything for the main reason: to make order and neatness.

In the screen above I show how we can orgonize general elements: left menu, main content (guide text) etc. In this case I came up with a text select with hover contains 2 ways of sharing: Twitter and Bookmarks. User wants to make his own bookmarks for ease orientation in these tone of information.

An opinion by Vera:

By the way. My name is Vera. I often read articles and some materials in the net and know about it everything what the typical user needs. So I will sometimes grab the keyboard from Max and write down my opinions about new sketches. Don’t mind? :)

2. How to make addition

Some users have rules to write additions in the guide. When we hover on some paragraph on the right side we can see a bubble with 3 icons: Add an addition, Share via Twitter and add this paragraph to your bookmarks.

Note from a booklover:
In this case I’d like to leave my own additions only for me (personally) because I want to note something everytime when I read tons of difficult texts. I’d like even to make additions and to send a part of text or whole guide to my friends or share with my additions.

3. Search

Search flow is not typical. The problem is that a user wants to see the search result and current text simultaneously without much changes on the screen. But the main content (text and additions) spreads 70% of screen. We can use only menu part. Another important thing is the input search field should be visible and work like assistant for user.

The field is on the top left side. When we click to the search field we can see instant suggestion: Popular questions from the other users.

The active of the search field.

When we type something then the area below changes into the results split on 3 types: Guide (results only from guide text), Links (results of links) and Additions (results of additions what the authorized users put them in the guide).

Guide’s results.

While we are scrolling we can see the menu appears with sharing, likes and bookmark from above and it rolls up in the top if a user doesn’t move the cursor.

Links’ results.

Let’s see animated flow:

Search and scroll.

4. Scrolling

In the design, each detail is important. When a user reads a very long text roll he sould make breaks for a while especialy for his eyes. I made kinda ‘page turning scroll’ for more interest and convinient reading process.


Note from a booklover
I understand where I’m in the menu left. But I hope I’ll can save my carrent page for the next reading time.

5. Menu

The left menu has been simplified. I’ve removed the indicating vertical lines which pointed where user are now and just left the color of the current selected link. It looks more clean and simple. We need simplified everything because we have a lot of texts.

Left menu tree.
Another example with menu tree.

Another thing what we have to do so like that it’s cleaning the screen at all exept the main content. It makes more comfortable user focusing to the current text. And let’s add new feature when the user doesn’t want to press the burger icon. Let him just hover on the burger menu and a part of menu will appear from the left side.

Hided menu
How hided menu reacts on hover

Other types of menu works like tooltip.

Personal menu
Help menu

6. Emoji

User wants to pay attention to some part of text. The emoji can works like pointers where the user has to remember or take a look more carefully. Emoji will be made uncountable amount.

Note from a booklover:
I want to take the floor: the emoji in the the text is unconvenient for reading. It will be annoying. It won’t help me to pay attention. I won’t may concentrate to the text and I’ll stumble upon these emojies.

I might agree with foresaid. I’d suggest to make emoji beside of the text let’s say on the left.

7. Darkmode

We are all use computers. But we use it differently. For example a lot of people likes PC meanwhile we are all love Apple Computers. What do I mean. Maybe it will be news, but many users like to read on a dark screen. That’s why I made dark mode. We can turn it on in the left bottom menu nearby userpic. Check it out.

Dark mode

9. Conclusion

With UI and Visual Design we can approach the product to the high level. You know it. If we dive into the details we can make something really useful and we can help a lot of people to understand this product more faster. In the next step we can design onboarding, personal cabinet, bookmarks, user types, comments etc.

Note from a booklover:
I’m reading a lot of information online and today I can’t find ideal solution for me. I want to send my thoughts with part of text to my friends and I don’t know how I can do it fast. I want to save part of text some where (getpocket I didn’t find it convinient for me). I want to read the text everywhere — online and offline.

Thanks for reading. Have a nice day.