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Desktop new design is nearly ready, please cast your final vote!

We’ve narrowed down the possible options quite a bit and we’re now down to two choices, regarding what blue colour should be used. I think both options have pros and cons, so your vote and feedback would be much appreciated!

Option A

Option B

  • Option A
  • Option B

0 voters


B option makes it more visually accessible for users with disabilities (the color difference helps a lot).


Reasking/commenting… Has anyone checked the color contrast for accessibility? It’s not that hard to do. Seems like that’s a better way to decide a color than just outright voting. A perhaps looks a little nicer to my eyes, but B seems to have better contrast (though I could be wrong about that).


Those are good points. Following the feedback on the previous poll, all UI elements have been checked and adjusted so that they pass at least WCAG AA on WebAIM contrast checker.

The blue colour, which wasn’t final, hasn’t been tested yet but whatever we pick in the end, we’ll adjust the background/foreground as needed so that it’s at least AA.

We don’t aim for AAA because for that it would best to create a separate high contrast theme, which would be easy to do so I’ll probably add one at some point.


I would like to see a class for these css elements.

The difference between those 2 designs is not huge. The color that is used (lighter blue/darker blue) is used for several elements, so we can use a default class (main-color, theme-color, base-color) that one can change the blue to whatever color they like better. But there should also be specific classes so one can change a single element. e.g only the New note button.

At least that is my vision for the future. I just think that adding these classes along the way is easier than adding them all later.


Hi all,
nice are the twice design. I’ve choosen A, because it seems lighter for everyday use.
I hope the B could be usefull for users with special needs. I’m not yet concerned… at the moment.

I prefer option B simply because the visual hierarchy of A seems off to me:

  • The blue checkbox at the bottom calls the eye’s attention more than the gray highlight of “Welcome to Joplin”, so I had to think hard about which note is actually selected. Of course, just making the checkbox gray is an alternative solution.

Suggestions that apply to both options:

  • The << chevron at the bottom of the tags suggest that if I click on them, the bar of tags will scroll as if there are some hidden tags to the left of “tag1”. I think the chevron can be removed, as I think most people know from all other apps that hovering over pane dividers allows one to resize (haven’t we learned to always try hovering to see if the mouse pointer changes?)
  • Most people don’t know what WYSIWYG is. The modern term “Rich Text” seems a safer bet.
  • I think that “New note” should come before “New todo” because notes are more common—they’re why we came to Joplin in the first place and Todos are the bonus variant.

is the ship for not having the ‘tag bar’ on the bottom already sailed?
I’m very used to have the bottom of the screen corresponding with the end of the note.
The ‘In: -> Notebook’ row seems to be pretty empty except for that text. Maybe tags can be moved there.

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I agree. Also it’s inconsitent, because there isn’t one for the sidebar (folder list).

I’m more concerned about the fact that WYSIWYG is selected, even though this is clearly the Markdown editor.

Hmm, I think because New note is more common is the reason for it being there: It’s closer to the title. Thus when you click on it, you have to move the mouse less far to enter the title or body text.

IMO it makes more sense the way it is.

Awesome! Thanks.

That button is supposed to be for the one-click collapse of the note list. I agree that its position makes it seem related to the tags instead. I think it should be in the middle. Also, we need one for the sidebar too.

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I apologize, I’ve missed earlier discussions so maybe my comments below were already answered. Am I right that the question isn’t which color scheme is better, but instead which is better as a default? If so, that should be driven by market and metrics. Specifically:

  1. Who’s the design for?
  2. What does “better” mean?
  3. How do we know it’s better?

If both options will meet the same level of accessability (the market in this case being “the most people”–a difficult market choice), then “better” is being measured by votes from a specific subset of users. That is, your users who are in the forum and care enough to vote. They’re a particular market. Are they the right one? Since other colors aren’t in the choices, I assume blue is also a branding choice.

What I’m getting at is that people who open the app the first time and don’t like the colors will want to change theme. How easy is that? If one of Joplin’s missions is “notetaking that works for you,” can theme choices more obviously support that philosophy?

For example, there are a bunch of common themes in this arena today that come from something of a standard, e.g Solarized). What if Joplin users create and promote themes that are named for the problems they solve (and markets they address)?

  • Red-Green Blind
  • Blue-Yellow Blind
  • Gray Galore
  • Paper-Like
  • Low Light Designers
  • Outdoor Journalers


It would be interesting to capture–with permission–what themes users choose and use most of the time. That’s going to tell you what your users really think.

Yes that’s just for the default theme, and users can easily change the theme in the settings.

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Got it. I like the new design. One suggestion you might consider is adding a button–perhaps in the upper right area–for switching note types. It’s something I do surprisingly frequently because I set a To Do to research something, then convert to a note in order to preserve that research.

Joplin has been a great ally in reinvigorating my Getting Things Done practice. Thanks for all your effort.

Option A is easier on the eye but contrast the blue in Option B provides makes it easier to differentiate the UI elements from content. Also, for the default theme shouldn’t the color scheme be closer to logo colors? Or it doesn’t matter?

I preferred B because it was easier to read. Better contrast as people have already mentioned.

My vote is for A. While I can see that B might be helpful in terms of accessibility or usability for some, that classic HTML hyperlink blue just has much too strong a bite for my taste. Nice job and thanks for your kind consideration of user feedback!

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How will this change affect the Dark theme?

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My understanding is that the difference is in color. The Option B color looks too “electric” and less natural. I prefer Option A.

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I hate to be “that guy” but neither of these seems an improvement over the existing design. My use case has numerous depth levels in the left index and if the index panel shifts back to monochrome it’s going to make navigation problematic.

For the first few rollouts you might consider making this a selectable option instead of the default.

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