Linked by Kroc Camen on Thu 4th Jun 2009 22:34 UTC
Opera Software Opera have announced the release of Opera 10 beta. New engine, new features, but I'm more concerned about where Opera 10 fits into Opera's history, and certainly their future. Opera have never made any massive strides in marketshare and is Opera 10 really going to change any of that? Read More to find out.
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Complaining that the black bar is too heavy and that it should be made to look like a uniform gray along with the tabs is foolish and misses the point of creating a user interface. While perhaps it is, for some, more aesthetically pleasing to have all of the buttons and tabs a uniform color, it is far less functional.

Human vision relies on differences in contrast, luminance, and color to perceive the presence of edges. By having a high degree of contrast, you are making it easier to detect the presence of an interface element, thereby assisting in the placement of visual attention. The time it takes to recognize a tab with a higher contrast against its background is far less than if you had it with low contrast as would be found with a gray background with gray tabs.

What Opera has done is a good idea as far as usability is concerned. Ultimately, helping the user find information that is relevant to the regular use of a piece of software should be the goal of software designers. That is what Opera has achieved here.

They could go further by making the tabs more useful by making it possible to colorize different tabs. The Firefox Chromatabs extension does this now (though the implementation needs a little help). If Opera set up the tabs so that the tabs were automatically given a tint, it would help to further discriminate the tabs. This would be even more useful if the user can select the tab of each color. This would allow the user to set the tabs apart by category, rather than individual page.

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