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Google Is Testing a New Chrome UI (bleepingcomputer.com)
20 points by Mononokay on April 23, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 21 comments

> The new "Refresh" design looks more closely to a user interface designed using the rules and guides from Google's visual design language known as "Material Design."

That's the most worrying thing about it. Material Design has serious accessibility problems (motion and color) and is full of some really bad design ideas. It encourages people to abandon aesthetic restraint. If you walk around smashing cymbals together, your data will show that you are getting people's attention, but it won't necessarily mean that it's a good idea.

I have a hard time telling which elements are clickable, and which are not, with material design. Flat buttons , of course, are similar to labels.

Using underlines for input boxes is not clear. And the animation everywhere is very disturbing. I have high sensitivity to visual motion, which is a useful thing in most other situations, but the web is becoming increasingly difficult to use.

Even worse, both Chrome and Firefox have been building Material Design style animation in to the browser rendering, and I haven't figured out if there is a way to turn it off. Even on my own sites, where I don't want any animation, the pages are rendered with unpredictable animation.

> I have high sensitivity to visual motion, which is a useful thing in most other situations, but the web is becoming increasingly difficult to use.

Designers seem to not realize that the human brain is fantastic at doing visuals diffs. We don't need animation hints anywhere near as much as they seem to realize and in many cases will actually undermine the brain, like when the change is to slow for the brain to register it.

I think it might be more a case of that you seem to be misunderstanding that the web is there to show you ads, not information.

That web design seems explicitly designed to make your normal way of looking at things fail is not a bug. Also I bet those designers judge themselves (and get performance evaluated) based on how long people look at those sites.

Considering how obvious the other buttons are, the flat ones feel really out of place. I didn't even know what you were talking about until I went here: https://getmdl.io/components/index.html#buttons-section

Yup, those are the ones I'm talking about. And they aren't rare. They show up in Gmail quite a bit.

To each their own, but I’d hate the firefox-style scrolling tabs UI suggested by the article.

1. I don’t want to be surprised to find some old tab hidden by the scroll.

2. Id like to be able to close tabs without first scrolling to it.

3. If I control tab past the last tab does it scroll to the first tab? Id then have to scroll back to find my latest tabs?

4. Again, personal preference, but if I had 50 tabs open and wanted to go back to the 24th one, id rather navigate to it through a search engine or bookmarks, rather than trying to locate that particular tab.

You can see all open Firefox tabs, including titles, with a button to the right of the tabs.

You can move a tab to the right with ctrl-tab and back to the left with ctrl-shift-tab. If you go too far, just ctrl-shift-tab.

How would you go to the 24th tab in Chrome, if no title is visible? With Firefox, you can use the button to the right of the tabs to view a list of all tabs, with titles, and find your tab from there.

Another useful tool is onetab. When you have too many tabs, send them into onetab and reopen them as you need them.


Regarding point 3, you do know that holding shift allows you to go back when ctrl tabbing, right?

I've never had an issue with old tabs being hidden. Although in general I rarely have more than 8 or so open in a window since I'll generally have multiple windows open across several workspaces

> "Google designers should definitely take a page out of Firefox's book and use a side-scrolling system, which keep tab names visible."

What? God no, that's the worst anti-pattern in tabs. Keep all tabs visible all the time. If there are too many tabs, then the user can choose to clean them up however they like (by closing some, splitting some off into another window, etc.) A scrolling window of tabs is horrible from a usability perspective. You have no concept of how many tabs are open, you have a convoluted experience to switch between tabs on different ends of the tab list, etc.

> that's the worst anti-pattern in tabs.

Worse than that is Chrome's way of animating tabs long after you close the tab. You close your tab, go back to what you're doing, and then the tab row animates to slide into a new position after an unnecessary pause. It's extremely distracting, because my brain sees the motion and interrupts my new task, thinking that there might be something happening in a different part of the screen that I should investigate.

It's a serious problem with UI animation in general that keeps getting worse.

The pause is actually a feature, the tab resizing is delayed so that the next tab's close button will be positioned under your cursor.

FWIW Firefox and Edge both do the same thing.

I'm referring to the after-close animation. To reproduce, open a Chrome window and open enough tabs to fill the top (ctrl-t), and then add a few more. Then click on a tab in the middle somewhere to select it. Close a few tabs quickly with ctrl-w.

The tabs will close quickly enough, but then there is an artificial delay before all the other tabs shift over to fill the space on the right. It only a second, but I work quickly and have usually started to move onto a new task by then. The animation breaks my concentration. It's a problem for people who are especially aware of visual motion. If there were a way to turn it off, it would be fine, but I haven't found a way.

I personally find Chrome's current tab style very geometrically pleasing. I'll even admit that it was one of the reasons why I wasn't using Firefox back in the day (it did have a Chrome skin, but it couldn't replicate the animations). Why give up the iconic shape? Wouldn't flattening suffice?

The images posted in that article look pretty bad. Why are they adding so much wasted space above the tabs?

The current chrome UI is quite good at exposing necessary functionality without wasting space.

That's not part of the new design.

You're probably used to seeing a maximized Chrome windows, which don't have that space.

The space is present in free-floating windows to provide space for the mouse to grab and move it around (because grabbing on a tab would split the tab out into a new window).

At least, this is how it works in Windows, and (iirc) quite a few *nix window managers. Can't say for sure; I'm currently on i3 with window decorations disabled and my floating windows don't have it (and I can drag using any part of a floating window with alt+drag). Don't know how OSX behaves.

pretty sure that’s a windows thing, compare with the screenshot of current cheome in the article.

Funny. These new tabs in Chrome make me think of the tabs in Firefox before Quantum, although in Chrome they are more rectangular. This would be a mix of Firefox Quantum and pre-Firefox Quantum tabs.

I'll possibly feel like I am using an old Firefox version when running Chrome the first few times.

Are they going to call it Austral-ish?


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