With the latest browser launched upon the great sea of already existing browsers, a common thread has begun to develop from numerous sources and blogs. While not uncommon for new, online products of all types, from all companies, I find myself with a unique and different opinion from most.
Google has just released its own web browser, Chrome. And everyone is telling Google to add more, more, and more. In most every other circumstance, especially as it relates to the products that Google produces, I too, frequently opine for more and better user experiences and features within the Google line of products.
However, now, for once, Google would be best served NOT LISTENING TO EVERYONE!
Many are asking for a lot more, from RSS and plug-ins to toolbars, to more buttons, and even ActiveX (something no browser, other than Internet Explorer will ever support).
The more that is being asked for is the wrong more. It is the more of buttons and toolbars and widgets and doo-dads. The right more for Google’s Chrome is in intelligence and intuition, in a minimalistic and welcoming environment, where the products of the Internet take center stage, and the browser with all its new found simplicity fades into the background.
Chrome has been designed with clear effort to provide a browser-minimalistic view. It is one in which the browser becomes more the portal through which the Internet can more closely connect with the user; a lesser point of interaction and distraction from the main goals of products and people online.
- The tabs, from their placement at the top edge of the window to the improvement of user interaction flow through the introduction of such elements as transition animations when adding and removing them.
- Faster and more responsive environment. From the opening of a new window, to the easy visual selecting from the most frequently visited sites, bookmarks and closed tabs — presented at just the right moment … opening a new window (not persistently taking up valuable window real-estate).
While many of the desired features from the masses may make sense, that should be considered within the new paradigm being presented by Google – making the browser and the use of the products of the Internet EASIER, MORE INTUTIVE, and more ACCESSIBLE to all. People don’t need more buttons and menus and other strange icons and graphics. Rather, people need a browser that will better understand the user, and better present just what the user wants, when they want (or need) it. That is the new experience, the new concept currently being presented by Google. This is a very challenging and admirable path to take. And hopefully, Google will be able to hold fast and not diverge, and become just any old browser, but a new innovation in web browsing that elevates the web experience.
- More intuitive integration of bookmarking concepts. Chrome did well in minimizing their presence, but does not currently do well in user interaction post- and during bookmarking.
- Other companies will want to integration and include plug-ins and other types of extensions for the browser. Google will need to spend a good deal of effort in introducing a new framework within which the developer community will be able to integrate with the intuitive and minimalistic elements of the browser, not negatively impacting the current minimalism that has been achieved.
People are comfortable with the same old thing. People knowingly, or subconsciously, will request and guide and suggest and desire that old familiar feeling. People like what they are comfortable with and will try to coax Chrome into a format resembling the Internet Explorer or FireFox experiences, but in a Google shell — — if that happens you might as well have just shut down the project.
The goal of Chrome appears to be in the desire to shift the online paradigm (as well as further seed the development of G1 apps) — making online interaction more inviting, easier, faster, and more intuitive – even in areas that people don’t realize these improvements are needed. Therein lies the true promise and value in the future of what has currently been presented as Chrome.
Chrome presents a wonderful opportunity, to show people a concept of interacting with the products of the Internet in a manner that perhaps none have imagined, and based on the advice being thrown around, may be near impossible for many to fully comprehend the implications.
But, if Google ever listened to anyone before, listen to me now — DON’T LISTEN TO THEM! Ignore the prevailing advice of the masses about what the browser needs and what interfaces and buttons are missing. Google has notoriously done a poor job of presenting a good online user experience (iPhone apps being the most notable exception).
However, now with the newest browser in town, Chrome, Google must strive to adhere to and strengthen its embrace of this new minimalistic paradigm of interaction with the online world and carefully decide where they, Google, should do more, and where Google should (definitely) not do more.
The Product Guy
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