Tab Interface Design [Response]

I recently read an article that talked about different behaviors in browsers when it came to closing tabs. You can read the article here. I read this article from start to finish and it is a well written piece.

The article talks about the placement of the close button on the visual tab interface in Google Chrome vs. Apple’s Safari browser. While I can appreciate the points made (and obviously Chrome’s interface is better) I found myself wondering the whole time “Who uses the close button on a tab?”.

This thought kept occurring to me because the gist of the article is about not having to move your mouse to close multiple tabs whether from the right or the left of the tab bar. Turns out, Chrome puts that little circle with an X in it right below your mouse cursor so multiple reptitions of the close action do not require any mouse movement whereas Safari’s close buttons move causing the user to re-position her mouse in order to continue closing multiple tabs.

This entire point can be made moot by the usage of keyboard shortcuts in both browsers. Why move your mouse at all to click that close button when you can just hit ⌘ + W to close a tab? You can hit this shortcut to your heart’s content in both browsers (and also in Firefox, Opera and newer version of Internet Explorer) and never touch your mouse at all. This is one of the reasons I’m a huge advocate of keyboard shortcuts. They save time and reduce mouse usage (or eliminate it completely). They also save your sanity when it comes to interface differences between apps.

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