Re: Epiphany interface proposal

Hi Jeremy,

I'm not arguing that the proposal I've posted should be adopted. It's a
speculative design experiment - something to be considered and
discussed. I'm certain a much better design could be done. That said, I
do think there are parts of my analysis which are worth hanging on to...

> The one thing that's tricky about this is consistency. Tabs for a
> multiple-document-interface is a well-established UI that virtually
> any user understands when they sit down at a machine. Gimp is moving
> in the direction of a tab-ui for MDI, Firefox, Chrome, and IE use
> tabs... gedit... everything.

Tabs for a generic MDI, yes. Tabs for a browser? I'm not so sure. Tabs
are used in different ways in different applications/interfaces, so
saying that lots of interfaces use tabs isn't the same as saying that
users know how to use tabs in the browser...

The evidence that I've seen suggests that many users (perhaps even the
majority) either don't use tabs in the browser, or don't properly
understand how to use them. I'm open to being proven wrong on this
though. ;) (I'd not sure whether this point is essential for what I'm

> When you have a group of associated pages you want to switch back and
> forth between quickly, putting them in tabs, and the tabs in a single
> window, is a great way to organize your workspace. Any redesign
> attempt should make keeping this strength a HUGE priority, or it risks
> alienating people. If they're going to give up tabs, it's got to be
> for something HUGELY better, with little or no compromise.

The question that my design proposal asks is: why are (some?) users
switching so much? I'm arguing that many tab/window switching activities
can be avoided with a different design, and I'm arguing that the
browsing experience will be improved if the need for those switching
activities is reduced.

I'd be interested in hearing about the situations in which you (or
anyone else) has lots of tabs/windows open and is switching between them
a lot. That would be a great place to work from.


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