08 September 2008

Google Chrome: Search and the User Experience

Google Chrome opensource browserBen Goodger, Google's software engineer said that in Google Chrome, the primary piece of the user interface (UI) is the tabs. As soon as they started thinking about it that way, the design naturally followed. They began rebuilding the UI, so the tabs were on the tab. We could detach the tabs easily because of the separation of the browser and tab processes move it from window to window and the tabs state goes with it. And because the tabs are the most important part of the UI, each tab has its own controls and URL box which around here we've been calling the OmniBox.

The omnibox handles far more than just URLs. It also offers suggestions for searches, top pages we've visited before, pages we haven't visited but are popular and more we have full text search over our history. If we found a good site for digital cameras yesterday, we don't have to bookmark that page. Just type "digital camera" and quickly get back to it. An auto completion inline will help us because it will never flicker, never flash, it's perfectly aesthetically non-distracting. Plus it'll only autocomplete to something we've explicitly typed before. Just type C + Return you might go straight to (for example) cnn.com, but never to cnn.com.politics/2008/07/27/campaign.wrap/index.html?ref=mp. And we search on sites like amazon, wikipedia or even google the search boxes on those pages are captured on our local system so we can search those same sites with different term later on, stright from address bar, by starting the site's name and pressing "tab".

Open a new tab in most browsers today, and we'll get our homepage. Some users have a blank page because it opens quickly but the action of opening tab is a statement of intent: we want to go some place! Maybe we don't know where, maybe we don't know and need to search. The team shows a page that is designed to be fast but also help us complete that action Google's team default experience, then, is the new tab page with our nine most visited pages are on the left side and the site we search on most of left side of interface. We type into the URL box. Google Chrome uses our behavior in the omnibox to feed into that page. We might open it and be, but after a while we see this page and it's just our browser. Google Chrome has a privacy mode. We can create an "incognito" window and nothing that occurs in that window is ever logged on our computer. It's a read only mode: we can still access our bookmarks, but none of your history is saved in the browser. And when we close the windows, the cookies from that session are wiped out. There's no concept of a drive-by pop up in Chrome. Javascript has no way to force a popup into our world. Pop ups are scoped to the tab they came from and confined there. If you want an audio palyer (for example), just drag it out and it'll be promoted to its own window.

Source: http://www.google.com/googlebooks/chrome/

1 comment:

  1. I like Chrome. It really speeds up my browsing but still lack of add ons.