Ruthlessly prune the UI down to its most commonly used, most
important items. Put the remainder into their own page or section.
Hide that section by default; on the newly-simplified UI, put a
clearly-marked button or link to the remainder, such as "More Options."
Many UIs use arrows or chevrons, ">>", as part of the link or button
label. Others use "...", especially if the button launches a
That section should have another button or other affordance to
let the user close it again. Remember, most users won't need it
most of the time. Just make sure the entrance to and exit from this
"extras" page are obvious.
In some interfaces, the window literally expands to accommodate the
details section, then shrinks down again when the user puts it away.
See the Closable Panels
pattern (Chapter 4) for one way to do this. Various desktop UIs
provide another mechanism: a dropdown for fill color, for instance,
contains a "More Fill Colors..." item that brings up a separate