It seems that most of us Brave users at this stage, are probably more on the techie end of the spectrum than the “average web user”. To that end, I thought it might be helpful to point out some things in Brave that have tripped up my partner, who is maybe slightly above “average user” in terms of tech, but only just. So in no particular order…
She opens a lot of tabs (as do I), and so quickly went over the page limit for tabs. Brave of course started a new page, however she had no idea what had happened. She simply thought all her tabs had disappeared, and so for weeks (I had no idea until today) has been re-opening the same sets of tabs again and again thinking the browser just eats her tabs for some reason. She had seen the little red squares but had no idea what they meant, and had also seen the arrows to the left and right but again had no idea what they were. I know the current design trend seems to be all about turning discovery into some sort of game where users are expected to just click and touch everything to find out what it does, but personally I can’t stand this approach. This is a perfect example where someone who isn’t going to just start clicking everything to see what it does, had their user experience seriously crippled. In my experience, most “average” computer users are not going to go through every menu item and try every button/option to see what it does. That’s more for weirdos like me. LOL
The shield settings are great and are why I encouraged her to give Brave a try as much as possible (she’s less aware of the nasty stuff that goes on online than I am, so a little extra protection could only be a good thing). However she has no way to know why a particular website or aspect of a website won’t load when it’s just due to shield settings (embedded Youtube videos are a prime candidate for this issue). I’ve tried to educate her on what to look for in terms of broken behavior and what shield options to try disabling when things go wrong, but those steps are not at all obvious or intuitive for her and tend to trip her up. It would be great if somehow Brave could detect when something isn’t working fully due to shield settings, and maybe suggest to the user what to try. Of course those suggestions should be able to be disabled for “power users”. Sort of like tooltips and such in many programs.
When a new Brave update is available, it displays that little alert at the top of the page. She tends to not even notice these and so doesn’t update until I eventually notice it and tell her to do the update. I think maybe defaulting to a dialog for these update notices might be a good idea. Or at least do more to call attention to the update. At this stage in development, things are progressing fast and the fixes are generally pretty important, and I feel users should stay on top of them (markedly different from my opinion on things like iTunes, iOS, Skype, OS X, etc.!)
There are more but I can’t remember them at the moment, will post again if they come back to me. Overall though I will say that she really likes Brave a lot, especially the tab preview feature (hover over tab and get a snapshot of the content). She’s never really had anything good, bad, or indifferent to say about Chrome, Firefox, or Safari so for her to actually point out something she really likes about Brave, really said something. Keep up the great work team! =)