Obsidian October 2021 daily progress and learnings

Workspaces Plus plugin

Workspaces Plus is an Obsidian plugin that extends the functionality of Obsidians core workspaces feature (description from Obsidian help site).

This project is a collaboration between Johnny :sparkles: (UX Research and Design) and NothingIsLost (Design and Development).


I was inspired to share this idea mockup for a workspace switcher menu after being frustrated by not knowing which workspace I was in. NothingIsLost saw the opportunity to develop this idea further with a fuzzy search modal using Obsidian Theme Picker by Kenset as inspiration.


Our development process is mostly ad hoc with priority given to fixing bugs. We have been working asynchronously using Github’s issues and project boards.

We also shared a survey with the community (which you can fill out here) to gather feedback about how we can improve the workspaces experience in Obsidian.

I use Penpot to mock up most of my design ideas.


Adopting the fuzzy search modal to use for workspace switching and other features lead to many small design challenges and bugs. Some examples include:

  • design challenge: should there only be one modal for switching workspaces or a modal and a switcher menu? (we opted for both to make switching accessible via mouse and keyboard)
  • design challenge: should edit and delete buttons be present when workspace rename input field is active? (we chose to hide them to reduce visual distraction)
  • bug: edit and delete icons would remain shown when they should be hidden upon switching from keyboard to mouse navigation in either menu

You can see all of the decisions we made in the closed issue section of our GitHub repo and current designs are being discussed in open issues.

Current State

Here is a brief overview of the current features of our plugin:

  • workspace signifier shows the workspace your are in
  • workspace switcher modal can be opened via hotkey
  • workspace picker can be opened by clicking on the workspace name (located in the status bar)
  • workspaces can be created, renamed, and deleted from either the switcher modal or picker menu
  • workspaces can be assigned to and opened with hotkeys


  • per workspace metadata (on hold until API)
  • workspace modes
  • mobile accessibility


I feel that the most important thing I’ve learned while working on this project is the importance of paying attention to details in design. This is one of my first projects collaborating with a developer and being this close to development has not only made me appreciate the process more, but also given me a more thoughtful perspective when I make my designs. There are so many small interactions that, as a user, I would take for granted. Examples from this project include: the spacing of items in a menu, active hover states over focused buttons, the behavior of scrolling in a menu, and more. There’s a rationale behind all of these little design decisions and I’ve had great enjoyment learning how to craft a useful and usable user experience. - Johnny :sparkles: