- Their "omnibar" works fine - except for a one thing. When you start typing and the list of suggestions pops up underneath, you have to move your fingers off the home position of the keyboard to the arrow keys in order to select them. This may be the "standard" way of doing things, but Firefox already showed it isn't the best. In this special case, override the tab key to move focus to the popup list. Fingers stay in the home position, and a touch typist can do a search and execute it in a fraction of a second.
- It is great that chrome supports incremental search - but considering that they learned from Firefox, I wish they had gotten it right. Instead of a single key to start search ('/' in Firefox), you need two (Ctrl-F). And if you search to a link and want to follow that link, there is no way to do so with the keyboard. Pressing the 'Enter' key in Firefox while search has highlighted a link follows that link. Chrome should do the same thing.
September 3, 2008
Chrome (Google's browser that was released yesterday) is all the rage, and as I've said for years (i.e., flow [pdf], notelens), user interface speed and responsiveness is crucial and a fundamental part of not getting in the way of tasks users are trying to do.
So, I hope it is an oversight and not design that led Google to leave out two crucial keyboard.
These issues may seem minor, but they are activities that people, literally, do hundreds of times per day. Multiple a hundred million people by a hundred annoyances a day, and that is a lot of distraction, and slowing people down. Considering that there is also no cost for doing so (i.e., it doesn't hurt the user experience in any way), let's hope Google continues to polish their chrome, and adds these shortcuts.
While they're at it, they should be thinking about the next (lower priority) feature which is to add a rich mechanism for people to customize chrome to speed up their own idiosyncratic tasks. How many times do I do repetitive tasks on websites that I can't automate or shortcut for various reasons? A lot. Example: one website requires three clicks to get where I'm going *after* I log in - meaning I can't shortcut to that page. I could use third party software such as Quickkeys to automate this, but the browser should have a built-in mechanism to do so.
Anyway, Chrome looks promising - let's just hope they go from great to perfect.