3

Points of reference, please, for documents and/or discussions that supported the design rationale.

I'll add one answer, I don't know whether it's ideal.

Background

A brief, two-screenshot introduction to how the bar responds to a click on the title/URL:

The following screenshot (source) exemplifies a clearly presented title and address, complementing tabs with favicons:

A March 2014 screenshot of Web

From Apps/Web - GNOME Wiki!, a more familiar shot of a single window without tabs:

enter image description here

UX Stack Exchange answers such as https://ux.stackexchange.com/a/26055/16809 and https://ux.stackexchange.com/a/4879/16809 help me to know that the current design of Web is pleasantly consistent with relevant parts of the Gnome Human Interface Guidelines (HIG). I'd now like to find discussions that demonstrate/reinforce the value of those consistencies.

Personal opinion

I love the design of the header bar in the current Gnome Web.

I dislike what Apple has done, publicly, to Safari 8 in the first four developer previews of Yosemite – up to and including build 14A298i of OS X 10.10. Where previously we had a title bar (with a visible title) and address, now there's neither.

Whilst there's personal dislike of that design, I would like potential answers to be fairly free from bias …

Ideal answers

Links to discussions that demonstrate:

  • healthy argument with multiple points of view
  • logical conclusions.

Keyword:

  • rationale 

Thank you

  • Please, can I have a comment to explain the down-vote? Thanks. – Graham Perrin Jul 29 '14 at 14:14
  • 1
    This question is primarily opinion-based. Your answer is probably the best evidence anyone is ever going to get. And even with this information, what are you going to do with it? See ux.stackexchange.com/help/dont-ask . – Joshua Barron Jul 29 '14 at 17:21
  • @JoshuaBarron thanks. I could have been more specific with the bounty … an authoritative answer would be great, but any answer other than my own will be appreciated. To a degree, I tried to avoid a leading question but here goes: I imagine that amongst the things that encouraged the developers to choose this design, there's research-based evidence to show that working without an immediately visible URL – and/or without a page title – can prove counter-productive. Maybe evidence to show how and why it's counterproductive? I guess, a UX expert will know of unbiased reference material. – Graham Perrin Jul 29 '14 at 18:22
  • If what you're really after is research about how usable different schemes for title/url display are, why not reword the question to be about that? Right now it's asking why a specific set of designers made a certain choice. – Joshua Barron Jul 29 '14 at 18:49
  • Whilst I'm not averse to a change of title – to attract a broader audience – I'd like to avoid an over-focus on research … or authority. Perhaps the chat in IRC made reference to an archived e-mail list discussion (not necessarily in the epiphany or Gnome areas)? Perhaps the designers' own experience caused them to arrive at the current header bar design? And so on; I can only guess. Thanks again for commenting … maybe throw in (below) a suggested title or two, and I'll sleep on it, then build upon the suggested titles for a reword of the question. – Graham Perrin Jul 29 '14 at 19:02
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Notes from chats with developers

kov in irc://chat.freenode.net/#epiphany wrote:

grahamperrin, it was based on personal preference and workflows, if I remember correctly; … and myself were explaining how we use page titles to quickly find a specific tab while cycling through them

… my recollection was … arguing with aday or mccan that we used it to cycle through bugzilla tabs to find the one we're looking for, essentially

KaL in IRC wrote:

… the title in the tabs is usually not enough

for example, I usually have several bugzilla tabs opened, most of them start with Bug 1234 - [GTK]

I found myself having to scroll up to the top of the page to see what bug current tab was until we finally added the title to the header bar

… there were more, like not having title at all for the case of single page (no tabs)


Both writers quoted with permission.

Gustavo Noronha Silva (kov) is a developer at Collabora Ltd; a maintainer for WebKitGTK+; very experienced with Debian and GNOME technologies.

Carlos Garcia Campos (KaL) is a Software Engineer at Igalia; a GNOME developer; reporter of the bug on which the earlier answer focused.

1

In the Bugzilla for Gnome

Seeking phrases such as header bar and title in relation to Epiphany found a few items of interest.

Primarily

Bug 711408 - Difficult to see web site title with the new toolbar/header bar

As a bug, it was high priority (seriously broken …) and critical. Raised on 2013-11-04, resolved by a fix on 2014-02-17.

A few highlights:

… problem. It isn't great that we can't see the page title. …

Then:

… Sometimes replace the location bar with the title of the web-page …

… 

… know where the title widget finishes in the toolbar.

I think the entry should be shown on button release instead of button press, when there hasn't been any drag or double click. 

… space in the toolbar to show the whole title, but we are truncating the title for apparently no reason. …

… help and the review (in irc).

I would appreciate if the reviews are done in bugzilla, so that we all can understand the reasons of the changes 

Would you mind explaining here what actually changed and the rationale behind these? We're all in different timezones and with little time so we need to be more careful if we want this to move through quickly.

Pushed as a9e6505 - Replace the location bar with the title of the web page

I did not believe it would happen ;-)

There's plenty of logic in what's above but unless I'm missing something, no explanation of why it is both:

  • critically important to show the titles of titled web pages; and
  • critically important to also show the addresses of such pages.

Also of interest

Bug 680021 - URLs should be grayed out to be less proeminent than page titles

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