July 9th, 2009

Tall ships (porthole)

Browser UI

A usability question for you all: of the four following layouts, which of the following positions for the address bar in a web browser is the best? Apologies for the quality of the screenshots - I hacked together the bare minimum of a VB program needed to make these.

Poll #1427428 Browser UI

Which address bar position is best?

1: Address bar, menu, toolbar, tabs
1(11.1%)
2: Menu, address bar, toolbar, tabs
3(33.3%)
3: Menu, toolbar, address bar, tabs
1(11.1%)
4: Menu, toolbar, tabs, address bar
4(44.4%)

It's interesting that the major browsers use very different layouts. Internet Explorer 7 and 8 both use layout 1, while Firefox and IE6 are closest to layout 3 (ignoring the lack of built-in tabs in IE6). Opera uses layout 4, while Chrome doesn't really fit into any of these (though it's most like 4).
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