New Browser Opera Neon for Mac (opera.com)
over 6 years ago from Matthias Hoyer, Lead Engineer Website at STYLIGHT
over 6 years ago from Matthias Hoyer, Lead Engineer Website at STYLIGHT
I may be biased since I work at Opera, for a concept browser I love the concepts found here like split screen browsing and snap to gallery.
No it's not a bias. I think it was so interesting, that I moved from phone to mac to just install. I remember the last time I was excited was few years back when Rockmelt browser brought social integrations in to the browser haha
Yeah, these features are pretty handy as a developer. I was excited that it seems to be built on Chromium, but unfortunately there's not extension support, making the browser a false starter for me.
But it was fun to play with for 5 minutes ;)
There're some deep-level stuff that hasn't been sorted out for the split tab functionality. But as first pass, this is nice enough.
Really cool and fun to play with. That said:
Why are tabs mostly managed on the right while the new tab button is hidden on the left? Proximity is a thing.
I found myself try to create a new tab by double-clicking in the blank area below the existing tabs, right-clicking, etc. Took me a minute to figure out that there was a small button on the opposite side of the screen that did what I wanted.
What on the planet of Earth are any of these icons? Why don't they have labels or tooltips or anything more descriptive than a couple of triangles inside of a rectangle which overall looks kind of like mountains?
I love the way icons without labels look, but they often lead to poor user experience. I have absolutely no clue what any of those icons do. I could guess, but whether I get the answer correct or not doesn't make it an OK experience...it makes me lucky. At the very least, there needs to be a tooltip.
Once you learn the meaning of each icon it's not complicated and since users use a browser a lot, it's ok to dump the labels. I always felt that icon+label is redundant. Why use two elements (image and text) to convey one action?
I saw this design pattern a little while back (can't seem to find the link now), about dynamically disappearing icon labels.
For the first few times the user uses the app, the label would appear under/beside the icon. But over time, with more frequent use of the app, the label gets smaller and eventually disappears, leaving behind a label-less icon.
It was really interesting to me since the interface grows (or in this case shrinks) with the user's familiarity of the app. This is meant to work better for mobile interfaces (a la a bottom tab bar) but I feel like the pattern can apply on desktop interfaces as well.
The concept is called Progressive Reduction. The Infamous Layervault (aka ex Designer news company) had that in their product. But I think they removed based on customer feedback.
Ah yes! Didn't realise it was from Layervault. So customers didn't like it?
I asked Layervault back then if they were still using it and why: https://www.designernews.co/stories/25957-ask-layervault-what-about-progressive-reduction
I'd be really interested in a cite on the removal and accompanying rationale. I always wondered whether progressive reduction might have the opposite of the intended effect; instead of getting out of the user's way, maybe it forces them to relearn the changed elements of the interface.
Hi Daniel, thanks for feedback. I'v just spend almost a year designing Opera Neon - I was an UX Designer behind almost all interface decisions.
I fully understand your doubts about the "+" icon on the left. Actually that was one of my biggest concerns - based on intuition it should be on the right, near the "tabs", right? But after UT with almost 50 users it tuned out, that right top corner is a blind spot and if most of users can not add new tab in a browser, thats a real problem. Almost no one could find "+" there, I know how it sounds, but we really tested it properly wits UX Researchers on board. We even tried the "fat +" as big as "bubble". In a process I decided to test plus on the left side in a toolbar and give it a try... and it was it. Most tested users found it intuitively in first seconds.
After all I had those two options: 1. go with the + on the right and take risk of not finding it by users on first look. 2. go withe the + on the left and be sure that most of users will find it in "first experience" even if it is not the most "distance" effective place.
I decided not to risk and (whats really important) add two more ways to go back to the home screen: 2. a) click on active tab shows home. 2. b) add "_" icon on the right top corner of window.
After collecting data from clicks we will probably get rid of "_" icon, but I need to be sure about the usage of it.
Hope that helps, thanks again for your feedback :)
Have you tried moving the tab bubbles on the left side and test that with users?
Yes, we tried that but it is really hard to test actually - you might like it at a short term but in a long run hate it.
We decided to put them on the right to keep the visual balance of a browser and do not distract those users who read from left to right. List of bubbles is visually heavy and if websites are also "heavy" on the left the balance of the browser would fail. It is not, lets say, hard argument but visual side of a product is also worth considering in such decisions.
This was one of the most interesting things I've read here in a long time. Thanks Marcin!
Just a thought. Give users the option between big bubbles for tabs, or small bubbles for just favicons. As I personally find the right sidebar takes up much more real-estate than need be.
Other than that, I found everything intuitive. Read the icons perfectly from first glance. (I'd assume people could question what the camera is, but I caught the screen snap hint from the website).
Well done overall!
Thanks Darrell, you are absolutely right - small bubbles would be a first choice for most users. In my opinion, after a months of working on that project, users would go for them because they are just used to old, small, normal fav ics - as they see them daily. That is when you design something that is already there and no innovation happen. There is also a reason for keeping pictures in the big bubbles - picture means more information for user, more information means more control and more control means less mess in a session. It is just easier to change and close tabs because you can boost your memory by visual information - you just remember whats there only by looking at the bubble, with no need to click it - after some time with Neon you will se how hard it is to switch back to "normal" browser - you will just miss those pictures, I can promise you that :)
Definitely see your point already after using Neon all day yesterday and trying back at Chrome this morning.
Incognito mode delighted me :D
anyone has link to the wallpaper of the incognito mode? it's really cool
I like it. Very immersive web experiences.
No complaints from me. I love using Neon. Literally learned the interface in about 20 seconds (what each icon does, where menu button is, how to minimize, and windows). Some things are unconventional, but everything makes sense after light usage.
It's crashing for me when in full-screen mode on Mac. But its a really cool concept browser either way. Hope they keep working and updating it. It's a space that could use some innovation.
I'm so pumped. Finally back to the Opera innovating in the browser space which is the reason I've been using Opera for the past 15 years.
So many neat ideas were lost when they switched to Chromium a few years back, and finally good ideas are coming back.
I would think they'd have learned from their past mistakes that some people LOVE bookmarks, and to not have them is disappointing.
Update: The browser wallpaper copies whatever my desktop wallpaper is, noticed on dual screens where my two wallpapers are different. This is amazing since everytime I change wallpapers on my desktop I do it on Opera. (Hopefully it's a setting for those who don't like it.)
This thing looks amazing, but performance wise I can't switch to this from Safari.
I only see the option to import settings from Firefox; would love to see Chrome in that list. Great experience so far.
Funny that you can't even import settings fromthe regular version of Opera it self.
Popping out a youtube video into a floating player is really sweet. Really enjoying some of the decisions made here.
Also exists on the standard Opera for at least one version now.
That's also built into Safari in Sierra. You just have to right click twice due to Google's context menu hijacking.
Really enjoying this. The ability to watch video from another tab is really useful.
At the very least, I thoroughly enjoyed the 30 minutes I spent mucking about on it this afternoon.
I imagine an import from Chrome & Safari will make this more appealing to more folk.
Browser don't need to be fixed, websites do. It don't know what i have to think about the concept, can't use it i am on mac. But why not, bck in the days opera was quite good so lets see what they cooking.
One more thing - I can't find tab navigation when I'm in full screen on Mac. Am I missing something?
My only gripe so far.
Really liking this, however it took me a very long time to notice the bottom left hamburger menu!
Looks like this is available for Windows too for peeps who are interested.
Surprisingly impressed. Looks nice on the dock next to the TOR icon.
This looks so neat! Can't wait to get home later on and try it out.
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