The new find bar shifting down content
Tim Van den Eynde
tim_vdeynde at hotmail.com
Thu Aug 22 16:39:36 UTC 2013
First of all, I'm very happy to see the find bar get new attention :) I
like a lot of the changes being planned for the new find bar (like
automatically enabling "highlight all", showing the total number of
matches...), but I don't agree with moving it to the top. I waited a
long time to reply because I wanted to see other comments before, but
there still are a few things I noticed about this change that aren't
mentioned. I will also include other reasons, for completeness' sake.
- Page overlays that can't be scrolled out of their way, are annoying. I
strongly dislike the find bar in Chrome for that reason, and also the
URL hover that is default in all major browsers nowadays.
- Switching left/right is a band-aid to try to avoid overlaying
important content, but that breaks knowing where to look and forces you
to think about it.
- Shifting content in any way is visually confusing and should be
avoided as much as possible. This might happen both at the top and the
bottom of the window (best example is Facebook, which has them both: the
blue bar at the top and the chat boxes at the bottom), but I think we
all agree it is a lot more common at the top. In the end, that's what
this whole thread is all about.
- A little weird argument maybe, but I think it's something that should
be taken into consideration. My browser is set-up to have three bars at
the top: tabs, navigation toolbar and bookmark toolbar. I think usage of
the bookmark toolbar is widespread enough to count this as a use case we
care about. Three bars are easy for my mind to grasp as "top", "middle"
and "bottom". Adding a fourth one, changes this to "top", "upper
middle", "lower middle" and "bottom", which is for some reason much
harder to pinpoint straight away. Because the find bar only appears when
you call it, it also makes my mind switch between those two groups,
which doesn't make it easier. At the bottom, I only have one bar (and
most people none), so it's very easy to just focus at the bottom of the
- To finish: the placement of a UI element probably doesn't matter all
that much for a user. Sure, it might be easier to spot at the top the
first time, but I have never seen anyone ask where the find bar was
after opening it, because they couldn't find it. And afterwards, it's
just a habit and doesn't really matter anyway. As far as I know, this is
the only "real" reason for moving it to the top, and in my opinion, it
doesn't even come close to being worth all the bad side effects it brings.
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