Google Simplifying Chrome UI, Hiding URL Bar

Google chrome is getting a new look. In an e-mail sent to the Chromium-dev mailing list, Jeff Chang, Google Chrome Product Manager, hinted at four new designs being considered for the browser, including removing the address bar from the product.

Wait.. what? How will we enter addresses in the browser?

According to the Chrome designs being considered, the address bar will be there, just hidden a bit more. Currently on the table are four distinct designs. The design with the “hidden” address bar is described as “compact navigation,” the address bar that contains the URL will be taken out as a toolbar and have it pop-up under the currently selected tab while the URL is loading or when the tab is clicked.

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The descriptions suggest this layout will allow for a larger viewport and will give users more flexibility and a better experience. It also suggests that lack of an ever-present URL could be a drawback and a more compacted navigation bar could be considered “crowded.”

Navigation with a left-side tab navigation area and touchscreen-optimized designs are also being considered.

Many users have always considered Chrome a very stripped down browser. The new, compact design consideration will only augment that perspective. While this idea is fine for Netbooks or tablets (like an iPad), I have never noticed a major screen real estate issue on my work desktop. Design considerations aside, no one can accuse Google on not trying to be innovative on the Web experience.

What do you think? Do you want a more simplified browser?

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