Friday, November 12, 2010

IE9 Address bar

Ditch the address bar as much as you can.

In current version of IE9, UI has moved from two textboxes to one.
Search box and Address bar are merged to one.

this is how the current UI looks like:

That's a great change from IE8, but it's just at the start of the design change path.

Why it should be hidden?

Address bar is not important at all when you know where you are navigating to.

Following are real-world use cases that account for most of users' browsing experience:

  1. When user have searched the web and she's looking at
    results, she doesn't need to see the URL.
  2. When user starts with a link from Favorites, she knows
    where you are navigating, she doesn't need to see the
    address explicitly.
  3. When user is opening a new tab from a link on a website,
    and it remains on the current domain, she still knows where
    she's navigating.
  4. when user entered a URL, and she's in the website. she
    doesn't need the address bar anymore.

In all above, address bar is just taking the space that could be used to have more tabs.
that's how it should be:

When do we need and Address bar/Search box:

There are only a few cases that you need the single box.

  1. A new tab/window is opened and user needs to search to
    type in an address
  2. A domain/protocol is changed
  3. pishing is suspected
  4. user explicitly wants to see the URL

In all above cases, address bar should be shown as (familiar) following image:

Other notes

  • IE9 feedback program is here.

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