Tab View vs. Application View
August 22, 2008
I posted on Wednesday about why the new Control+Tab feature should be changed so that it both displays all tabs and looks native to whatever operating system it is displayed on. To make the point of the importance of native look and feel, I posted Control+Tab as it would look designed exactly like Cmd+Tab on OSX.
With that image I wanted to make the point that looking native to the OS is important. The final visual design of Control+Tab would need to factor in the differences between tab and application preview. So, here’s the version I’d actually like to see be in 3.1. Labels have been added to tabs, so that a user can perform textual as well as visual search. This is especially useful when tabs can look similar (application preview rarely results in indistinguishable icons). Also, I’ve decreased the opacity so that the text can be read on multiple backgrounds. This new opacity is the same as OSX’s opacity in “Quick Look” mode. I suspect that Quick Look is darker than Command+Tab for exactly this reason – text is displayed throughout Quick Look mode.
Also, being able to close tabs from this preview mode I believe is important. I suspect a use case will be that if the user has too many tabs open, accessing this Control+Tab preview will be a quick way for them to close the tabs they are done with without having to navigate to them individually. Because the user would only close a tab that they are targeting, the close icon does not appear on a tab until the user has targeted it.
Windows’ preview mode already has text, so the design there would be very similar to current Alt+Tab.