All posts tagged ‘tabs’

File Under: Browsers

Chrome 7 Shows Off Hardware Acceleration, ‘Tabpose’

Google’s Chrome web browser will soon gain hardware-accelerated graphics — the latest trend for web browsers that has already shown up in early builds of Internet Explorer 9 and Firefox 4.

Hardware acceleration allows the browser to offload intensive tasks like image scaling, rendering complex text or displaying scripted animations to your PC’s graphics card. It has the benefit of freeing up the PC’s main processor and speeding up page load times.

Today’s faster graphics cards have created a new playing field for hardware acceleration. Microsoft has been trumpeting IE9′s accelerated capabilities since the first developer preview was released, and Firefox 4 will also take advantage of the new technology. Both of those browsers should be released before the end of this year.

Chrome 7, which is currently available in developer build form, is the latest browser to take advantage of hardware acceleration. Chrome’s tightly sandboxed rendering model — which prevents web pages from interacting directly with the OS — means that hardware acceleration is a little more difficult for Google than it is for IE or Firefox.

Of course it may be some time before any of these features make it to the stable release of Chrome. Chrome 5 is currently the shipping version and Chrome 6 — which features a considerably revamped interface — is currently in the beta channel. Thus far Google has not confirmed any release dates for Chrome 6, nor when Chrome 7 will move to beta status.

But If you’d like to test the early builds of Chrome with hardware acceleration, you can do so now. Grab the latest developer build of Chrome 7 and launch it from the command line with the new --enable-accelerated-compositing flag.

As with Firefox, the hardware acceleration features in Chrome are only available in the Windows version.

Hardware acceleration isn’t the only new trick up Chrome’s sleeve. The Mac version of the browser is also experimenting with something Google calls “Tab Overview” or Tabpose. Tabpose is similar to Mac OS X’s Expose; it allows you to visually pull back and see all your tabs as thumbnails and quickly switch between them.

Some early reports have compared Tabpose to Firefox 4′s new Panorama tab organizer, but Firefox’s version is considerably more sophisticated, with extra features like drag-and-drop organization and the ability to group tabs and switch between groups. If you’ve used both Panorama and Tabpose, the differences are obvious.

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File Under: Visual Design

Get Your Tabbed Design Right

Tab DesignSince the time Amazon made a tabbed interface popular, web designers have been talking about the design pattern. Are tabs good? Are they bad? How do you make them?

Amazon has since removed tabs from their site, but it’s still a useful metaphor when done right. So what’s right and wrong? The Usability Post shares 5 tips for tabbed navigation:

  1. Connect the active tab to the content
  2. Make other tabs a different color
  3. Change the font color on the active tab
  4. Have the link area span the whole size of the tab
  5. Make sure the landing page has its own active tab

Each step is illustrated with the right and wrong way, and explained. That’s helpful. Now you can include tabs on your website without the wrath of the entire design community (you’ll never avoid all the wrath, no matter what you do). Just don’t look like Amazon in 2000:

Lots of Amazon tabs

If you’d like to implement tabs and don’t know how to do them, you can’t miss with this classic A List Apart tutorial.

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