What’s Wrong With the Opera 11 Address Bar, And How to Fix It.

Opera 11 made some drastic changes to the addressbar. I think the thought is good, but the execution leaves quite a bit to be desired.

Opera 10.63

Here you can see the classic method as it is in 10.63: full URL. You could say that the security information is somewhat detached on the right.

Opera 11

This is Opera 11, with the changed addressbar. The favicon is removed, the protocol and query string are hidden, and the security information is made more prevalent.

Generally speaking I don’t care too much about http vs. https; secure vs. insecure certainly is a better way of presenting that, lest https give you a false sense of security. Then again, I think that keeping the protocol and simply moving the security indication to the spot of the favicon (while still getting rid of that) would’ve accomplished the same effect better without losing out on such information. After all, if I notice some site uses https, but is insecure, I should probably notify the site, right? The lack of something like ftp is slightly more annoying, but the lack query strings is the absolute worst. I realize that some query strings can be overly complex, but I fail to see why the lowest common denominator should get rid of the good query strings as well. Seeing or not seeing it is only part of the issue: it also kills the ability to easily select the relevant part of the query string that you want to change (like a search term).

Opera 11 as it should be

And here is my combination of both. Remove the favicon, which might give a false sense of being on the real site (and is already visible on the tab), and move the security information to where the favicon used to be. The rest of the URL can remain fully accessible, displaying information for those who can use it. Domain highlighting can take care of those who have trouble spotting the domain they’re on (and on Windows it already does, making the removal of the query string even more peculiar). No extra step is necessary to select parts of the URL.

I feel that this is a fair compromise: it makes the security information more accessible without compromising existing functionality.

1 Comment

  1. […] already wrote down some thoughts about the addressbar changes in Opera 11 a few days ago, and it got me thinking that the addressbar could definitely be improved, just not […]

    December 4, 2010 @ 13:22Permalink
    Opera 11 Addressbar Revisited | The One with the Thoughts of Frans

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