This feature is dedicated to workflow efficiency and performance.
Browsers degrade computer performance due to tab <> memory management inefficiencies and a lack of proper design to maintain low memory footprint usage while browsing. It’s just not that clever of an idea to open a flat structure of tabs across the top bar.
Browsers should provide a more tree-structured approach whereby users can “go into” and “come out of” workflows. For example, if I’m doing research, I need to be able to drill down into topics, sub topics, etc. but then when I’ve found my answers, I want to close those things and come back up without leaving the tabs open and leaking more memory into my session.
If performance is the goal, good design is the solution. We need to be able to work with the browser the same way we work with apps - one screen at a time.
Navigation on browsers needs to be completely re-designed to provide better user experience. We can do this by removing tabs entirely and focusing more on the concept of “state”. Think about it… when you are on a tab… you’re somewhere. When you’re on that tab you are on a website’s user experience. But the concept of one tab might be related to an interlinking of multiple tabs. (Ex. Website Admin > Blog post editor > Wikipedia article > link to some reference article.) If those are all tabs sitting side by side, how do they signal correlation and how would the user have any way to work with those tabs in a single state of completing a goal? The solution would be to:
- We should only need one window
- We should be able to go anywhere from that one window
- We should understand what our goal is for browsing (what am I trying to do? Research a topic?)
- We should make links go on a Z axis instead of horizontal tabs on a X axis
- We should get rid of the concept of pages and start thinking in terms of tree structures (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tree_(data_structure))
- We need to include vertical navigation (within) the window (think about a tree to the side of the browser where you can zoom in and out from where you are in the session?)
- We need to introduce the concept of hold & check which is whereby a user hold’s their current link open with reference between that link and another link in order to cross-reference those two pages between each other. hold & check UX needs exclusive design.
- We need dedicated UX tools to browsing - I should have multiple UX options for how I want to navigate - we should not be forced to use tabs
Thought: I should not have to go looking for a tab somewhere to get back to that page. I should be able to have a dedicated place in my workflow where I can get to specific branches of the tree. For example, in Evernote I use CMD+K to open up quick search where I can get to any of my notes, notebooks, or anything else. Should be the same way in a browser. We need to have a way to quickly get to nested structures of pages.
The goal with this new design is to increase performance because there will be less tabs needed and less memory being used on the computer. It will also be more efficient in terms of browsing experience because users will not have to go looking for a tab instead they can simply navigate the tree, on the bases of new UX tooling. Overall people will work faster, and work smarter.
That’s all my ideas for now… but what do you guys think?