Defaults are important because so few people change them or even notice them. Hiding the URL bar by default will make some new Chrome users not even realize it is there, and yet more will eventually neglect to use it properly. The web then becomes like a HyperCard stack, with Google as the top card (by default). I'm sure this is exactly how Google wants the web to be, but it's not going to help create knowledgable web users.
I'm sure you've heard of users that google "www.nytimes.com" to go to the New York Times, because they already don't know how to use the URL bar or what a URL is and equate Google with getting anywhere on the web. Think about how this change is going to influence people of that technical caliber.
I did just think of one problem though. Phishing will be even easier so they'll really have to step up their detection and warnings for those.
Of course, I also think this is a pie in the sky mockup that won't ever make it to prime time due to numerous usability problems, but who knows?
For the most part, Chromium development happens in the open. There are many interesting ideas, but more newsworthy would be actual (recent) developments.
(in fact, when Chrome is maximised the space above the tab disappears, saving another 15 or so pixels)
Would be very happy with a little more room though. The compact mode looks good, as long as the keyboard shortcuts (Ctrl+k or Alt+d) still work.
Edit: Thanks, will look into your suggestions. These are the basic installs of Chrome and FF however, so I think it's a fair comparison.
Since I'm using a 16:10 monitor it works out nicely. Opera also has a problem of not clicking the tab if you put your mouse all the way at the top of the screen when the tabs are at the top of your browser. However if your tabs are on the side you can throw your mouse to one side and be guaranteed to click a tab.
If you bring up a window, and it's too small, you could either:
A. Drag it to where you want it, and then fiddle around resizing it so that it's big enough and doesn't overlap anything else important, or
B. Maximize it in one click, do what you need, minimize it again.
Additionally, Windows windows have lots of chrome when unmaximized, and this tends to discourage heaps-of-small-windows layouts.
Try out Winsplit Revolution. The help page gives a nice overview of the functionality: http://www.winsplit-revolution.com/help
It's free and works great for positioning windows. You can position windows using hotkeys and create custom positions/window sizes. WIN+ALT+Numpad 7 will place and resize a window in the top left of the screen, WIN+ALT+Numpad 6 will place a window on the right side of the screen and take exactly half the width, etc. It's become second nature to me and I rarely have to worry about manually placing a window.
How on earth you work with Twitter always visible onscreen I don't know. Do you get anything done!?
I was referring to the very few 16:10 monitors available now, almost all of them are 16:9.
Also, the applications I use are already highly inconsistent:
- Gimp has an interface which discards the patterns present on every platform in existence
- Browsers are already all different - Safari, Chrome, FF
- Kate, Komodo and Notepad++ are all pretty different - then there's vi.
Do you say that because of the multiple windows? If so Apple's Interface Builder seems to follow the same convention.
If I may be so bold, I'd wager this author is using Arch Linux, since awesomewm is very popular with that group of users, and because of the rolling-release cycle nature of Arch, resulting in the latest builds of Firefox.
That's not the status bar, it's a couple of toolbar buttons dropped on the right side of the tabbar. Minefield doesn't have a status bar anymore. It's renamed to "Add-on Bar" and is used only for placing addons' icons.
I don't know that I've seen the "tabs on top" preference... they're always on the top, with plugins doing side-tabs. I'll look for it some time though.
I think they enabled it by default a while back to further match Chrome ui.
I put the start bar on the left. My chrome window also seems to be more compact. The vertical space extends all the way to the bottom of the screen (no bars).
The one thing that I missed the most in the status bar was not seeing the URL links were going to. Chrome actually has a good solution for that. (it shows on top of the page at the bottom when hovering a link)
An even more minimalistic browser is Plainview. (http://barbariangroup.com/software/plainview)
Some examples of a desktop without window decorations:
Likewise, early versions of Netscape also hid the URL bar by default, and used Command+L to present a URL dialog box (behavior that's still present in Firefox today, when the URL bar is hidden).
The important part of what Marlinspike showed is that you don't have to. He ran his setup on a Tor exit node, the users of which are presumably more security minded than the rest of the general population, and not a single user balked at the lack of positive feedback.
HSTS is a real solution, but not a scalable one.
If I recall correctly, Compact Navigation looked like IE9, with a mini omni box that fit on the tab row. I thought it was ugly, and the tab strip is cramped enough already without the omnibox, navigation and certainly not extensions.
Also, the multiple profiles thing isn't new.
As a random note, does the Chrome team have something with ponies? The mockup shows the url google.com/ponies (just checked, 404). One of the Cr-48 hardware versions is named Pony.
Yeah that's a nice list of reasons not to do the obviously right thing.
Take that very page. Its viewable area is 985px by 4701px. Even my little 1280x800 screen has huge gray bars on the left and right sides to fill up the wasted horizontal space. I have to scroll vertically seven times to see it all.
Do Chrome devs not use widescreen monitors? What makes them think cramming weird, non-idiomatic UI elements into the window's precious vertical space makes any sense at all?
That sidetab version is beautiful.
// DO NOT ADD YOUR CRAP TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS FILE.
// You were going to just dump your switches here, weren't you? Instead,
// please put them in alphabetical order above, or in order inside the
// appropriate ifdef at the bottom. The order should match the header.
I'm running '11.0.672.2 dev' on OS X and don't see such an option.
I wonder what the usage numbers are for how often you focus on the URL bar and change it within one tab. I notice in my own usage, I pretty much ALWAYS open a NEW tab to go to a new site and never touch the URL bar, so compacting it or hiding it behind an extra click seems like good UX design if it's backed up by usage data.
Reading the article, though, I'm very interested with the way they're going to handle multiple users - mainly this:
> If a user closes three windows with three different identities and the reopens three windows, the windows would assume the identity of the three identities again, Google said.
One of my biggest gripes about Google's account management, is that you are logged in automatically across all Google properties. I use multiple accounts all the time. Just because I'm logged in to one account on Gmail, doesn't mean I want to use the same account when I visit AdSense, or Google Checkout.
This new capability would at least allow me to work around Google's flawed global account sign-in.
It will be interesting to see what it results into - a frustrating experience or more vertical space and distraction free UI.
[EDIT] My biggest beef: remembering to substitute underscore for space in Wikipedia search terms.
(I don't think plain OpenSearch descriptors can do it themselves though)
For instance, if I want to edit the current page's url, I type "y o <cmd v>" to paste it in the status bar.
having no url bar at all but if you press let's say Ctrl+g (put whatever is available here) the url bar appears in the center of the screen and it disappears when you press Enter. Do you think that something like that could make sense?
The compact UI is very confusing. The current UI is fine, don't screw with it just to save an extra 10 pixels of vertical space.
How about freezing feature changes for 3 months and fixing bugs?
As well as the height of it is over what it really needs to be, The download bar in Chrome really shouldn't need to be any taller than the tab bar.
Seriously, no always-visible url and I go back to firefox.
I'm still running Chrome, but only until I get around to switching. I won't install it again. Not that Google cares at all what J. Random Hacker thinks.