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Chrome OS - consistent look of web applications  (View post)

Franta H. [PersonRank 6]

Sunday, December 27, 2009
14 years ago5,991 views

One of the biggest problems of Chrome OS will be that its "applications" won't have consistent UI look. This is sometimes problem in Linux, where there are two dominant desktop environments – KDE and Gnome – I try to avoid using KDE apps because they don't fit in into my Gnome desktop. For web apps, the problem is obviously worse, since there aren't just two UI styles, every web app uses different style. Similar issue is with Chrome extension's options pages – I find it very annoying that every options page looks different, it takes longer to orient in them and it's just an unpleseant experience... What do you think about this?

Above 1 comments were made in the forum before this was blogged,

Éric Senterre [PersonRank 1]

14 years ago #

I agree about the plugins. They can surely enforce some standards via the plugins API.

But about the online apps, I don't think they can do anything about it, except by building the best apps around so everybody will use Google Online Apps with Google Chrome, just like a majority of Windows users uses Microsoft Office and many other MS Apps.

They may also develop some Online Apps API to use with Chrome. But it'll be hard to enforce it on the web. But one shall not underestimate the Google Force.

I think it's just a Monopoly game behind all this.

TH [PersonRank 0]

14 years ago #

what is familiar to you is the "window chrome" and the "theme", experience is most always different...

"I find it very annoying that every options page looks different, it takes longer to orient in them and it's just an unpleseant experience..."

All desktop apps option pages look different and take time to orient in. Sometimes you can't find the option when it was just under your nose...

JEShack [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

Oh dear. The Chromium team (or atleast all web os including jolicloud)should provide a ui/ux guideline about this which includes navigation, logo/icons, and so on.
Let's make the web-apps consistent and user-friendly.

Pau Tomàs [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

I think that's one of the points of releasing the Closure Library and Web Toolki since they both provide a set of "googleized" widgets (dialogs, buttons, toolbars, menus, etc.).

Also, as JEShack, says they should provide some UI guidelines just like Apple does.

Franta H. [PersonRank 6]

14 years ago #

On the other hand people today browse the Internet most of their time, and they don't complain about lack of consistency, so this might not be such an issue. I'm quite curious if (and how) will Google tackle this problem...

ahab [PersonRank 5]

14 years ago #

One can say a lot of things about Microsoft, but at last they have GUI Design Guide (e.g.

Google totally lacks such an design guide resulting in interface designs that are 'innovative' but also confusing (links that act as menus, buttons that act as links, buttons that change meaning based on context [which is really bad design]). A living example is the Google Docs interface which was never designed – it was just added to and changed – resulting in an interface which is totally under par.

Google should start the new year with creating and publishing a design guide for all their developers.
Those who think a design guide will be restricting creativity, should realize that most engineers are not concerned in designing an interface while they are still developing and debugging resulting in interfaces that are usable for testing but very inconsistent within the larger application. By forcing such engineers to at least follow the design guide for releases of their software that are public a tiny bit more quality may be added to their innovations.

misha [PersonRank 1]

14 years ago #

Well, I think not a lot of people could create such applications such as Google Docs, or Gmail, and UI for them is intuitive, for example, who was confused switching Yahoo to Gmail? I doubt there were any.

More on that, I think web apps will have more intuitive UI, since programmers has no opportunity to make my browser window as a star or move tab close button to status line.

So, I think there will be no problem at all. Major webapps already exist, future major ones will be created by huge corporations with UI people inside. Small and cool apps will be created by hackers who already know what is good UI, and won't mess up with it. Other things will die anyway.

Ludwik Trammer [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

From Google Chrome Developer's Guide:

"We plan on providing some default css styles to encourage a consistent look across different extensions' options pages. You can star to be notified of updates."


Gamer_Z. [PersonRank 1]

14 years ago #

I agree that this might be a problem if they are thought of as "applications", but I they are thought of as just web pages, then it is expected that they will have different interfaces. On the other hand, the inconsistencies with Chrome extensions settings pages is annoying to me, but that is because many are just badly designed.

Guu [PersonRank 0]

14 years ago #

And there is a javascript google library to build common UI elements

Sam [PersonRank 3]

14 years ago #

"sometimes a problem on Linux" pfft.

Problem for whom?

These armchair pundits love to raise this issue and talk about the mythical "grandma" who is confused by this and it's utter nonsense. The grandma that's confused by a button that looks different doesn't exist. Grandma is much more confused by general interaction and doesn't even notice the way things look.

Then they'll tell you that Apple spends Milllllllllions on making sure their UI is as consistent as possible: more hogwash. Odd that they don't seem to mind that iTunes and Safari look different on their precious mac os or windows. Also odd that their desktop and mobile phone OS are as inconsistent as anything else out there.

You'd think this company that cared so much about it would make those apps look the same on their own and the other operating system they support, but no. Safari and iTunes look just as crappy on Windows.

Alan Jackson [PersonRank 1]

14 years ago #

Meh. Microsoft Office has a hugely inconsistent look and feel. Every app operates differently and there is very little commonality in how the commands work or where you find them. It is not a killer issue.

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