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I remember talking to a friend who owns a Mercedes recently and he was telling me how he had to take his car into the shop and they gave him a fancy loaner (an ML 63, IIRC). He talked about all the cool gadgetry in there like blind-spot monitors, side rear view mirror wipers, and such.

He also mentioned that the cars are pretty much impossible to work on on your own since you need to have the right diagnostic equipment, as opposed to a car one might have bought 15-20 years ago, where a good manual was all that you needed to get into the thick of it.

While I agree that knowledge of the inner functioning should not be required for using a product, I think that it would be nice if there was some sort of effort made to allow one to poke inside. I am guessing that with Chrome there will be some sort of setting that you can use to undo this change (I use Firefox, and rarely, but occasionally, use the about:config tool).

This concept is something I've been playing out in my mind and that I'm starting to explore in my programming. A simple interface that "doesn't make me think" (me being the user), and a well-tucked-away "Advanced" button that, having given the proper warnings, allows the user to poke around on the inside.




> and a well-tucked-away "Advanced" button that, having given the proper warnings, allows the user to poke around on the inside.

I simply don't understand that this point, which is bloody obvious, is completely lost on the so many UI (re)designers. I don't mind you simplify (and most of the time thats all we need) but what is the point behind cutting-off all access for good for those who wish to tinker?

For example in the recent Firefox 29 release, the add-on bar has been taken out. They might argue most of the people don't care about it and even though I disagree (I spent 20 minutes trying to put FoxyClocks (to display world time) everywhere else and it simply didn't fit), its ok as long as you put an option in the Preferences to turn it back on (I ended up doing that via installing an extension/add-on). I don't even mind if you turn the option off by default. It is incredibly frustrating to see the designers think that their way is the only way and their use case is the sole case.

Sorry to hijack your point but I suppose you made it well enough to elicit a rant.


Shifting the add-on bar to an extension is the right way for Firefox to head. The core product is simplified, removing something that a very small fraction of its target audience want, and the feature is shifted into an extension. You can still have it, but it’s shifted out of the core. The maintenance burden is then shifted from its being something that might be accidentally broken in the core product to a separate extension that can focus on that one feature, and do it better.


A browser doesn't have much in terms of visible elements, (excluding the main display area) beyond the various toolbars and buttons on them.

If we start considering even those as optional, where does the simplification end? Then why don't we take out the bookmark bar, navigation bar, menu bar, status bar etc and attain supreme simplification by displaying a single text field which should lead to search. Surely the user can search for add-ons from that field and get whatever they want. It'll have the side benefit of helping users attain UI nirvana as well.


>why don't we take out the bookmark bar

Go for it, show bookmarks on the new tab page.

>navigation bar

It could certainly stand to be shrunk at the very least.

>menu bar

Yes please, I have my browser configured to no menu bar, saves a nice bit of space.

>status bar

There's a popup when I hover a URL and otherwise I get to save space.

More on point, the add-on bar was a dumb idea and behaved weirdly. Good riddance. While a built-in real status bar would be nice, an extension to provide one is pretty good too.




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