Friday, January 30th, 2009

Chromeless: Designing zen; a browser without a browser

Category: Usability

Alex Faaborg and Aza Raskin have been having some fun playing with a new design challenge at Mozilla, and it shows in their design review screen/pod/vidcasts.

The latest episode focuses on chromless browsing:

What would a browser look like if the Web was all there was? As the Web becomes even more ubiquitous, we’ll never have to leave it. Whether it’s on touch tables, giant wall-sized screens, mobile devices, or just our computers, exploring the interactions for browsing a windowless Web will become ever-more important in the next couple of years.

I really like how they use the video to not show talking heads, but instead add to their content.

As I was listening to them discuss the different between usability and discoverability it really resonated with me. Most of my favourite features are not discoverable at all. For example, I navigate tabs with Apple-1, Apple-9 etc.

But back to the topic at hand, imagine you are in full screen browsing mode, how would you get around? For me, I hope those Apple-# keys still work (tabs fade in when I hit apple?)

Posted by Dion Almaer at 12:43 am

2.9 rating from 15 votes


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Great.. I used a lot of chromless approach in my AIR software… so if some browser understood that I’m happy to use it. It’s useful solution for totem or something like that, for example.

Comment by nunziofiore — January 30, 2009

I use the MileWideBack extension for tab navigation.

Comment by Jordan1 — January 30, 2009

I think you want to link to design review episode 2:

Comment by manicexpressyv — January 30, 2009

Google’s new browser Chrome (“Chromium” open-source) aimed to address a lot of these issues by making tabs more prominent and stripping away a lot of the ui common in FF and IE.

Comment by adamschwartz — February 2, 2009

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