Kevin Fox recently in a Google+ post highlighted the changes that Google has been making in to its Chrome browser, including: a ‘new tab’ chicklet in the Chrome tab bar, which replaces the ‘+’, leaving a little ghost of a button that. “IE 8 and 9 do it this way, with a small ghosted (but full-connected) tab, while Firefox explicitly retains the ‘+’,” said Kevin.
Second is Gmail’s conversation view, which flattens conversations completely, turning them into just a list of boxes, some of which’re grey (which means closed) and some of which’re white. The reply box at the end is no longer tightly coupled to the actual email you’re replying to, which is a problem if the most recent reply was to a subset of the original recipients.
Lastly, the new Gmail and Google+ ‘clicking on the logo no longer taking you to the top page of that site and/or refreshing content?,” Kevin said.
And, that clicking on the ‘News’ link from a search result page doesn’t carry over the search term, while clicking on ‘Images’, ‘Maps’, or ‘YouTube’ does.
Chrome’s Peter Kasting responding to Kevin’s question about the updated “new tab” button, said that “good design involves hav[ing] a clear and consistent vision for the product which is then informed by user input, not enslaved to it. I think Chrome as a whole shows a remarkable design consistency and focus that Google products as a whole have not always had. I don’t think that’s an accident. It’s a direct result of a process that uses a small group of consistent leaders, rather than endless end-user trials of everything, to make decisions.”
And, Chrome’s design lead, Glen Murphy, making it more obvious: “We’re trying to sculpt Chrome down to the perfect browser, and sometimes that means making painful consistency changes in aid of that long-term vision. While we want to minimize disruption for existing users, most people on earth haven’t used Chrome, and we have to make the best and most awesome browser possible for them.”