CyberTech

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First look at Google Chrome's UI design refresh

Users of Google Chrome Canary, the cutting edge version of Google's web browser, have a chance to get a sneak peek of a user interface design refresh that Google may plan to launch in all versions of Chrome eventually.

The feature is hidden behind a flag currently but that is a common practice by Google; the company uses flags to hide future features from the general population. While there is no guarantee that features will land in Chrome one day, it is often the case that Google uses experimental flags to prepare the wider release.

Chrome's user interface has not changed all that much throughout the years. Google started a Material Design refresh of internal Chrome pages in 2015 and the process is still ongoing. The company changed the design of the Settings page in mid-2017, and the flags page in the end of 2017.

Google Chrome's UI design refresh



The screenshot above shows the new refreshed Material Design front user interface of Google Chrome. The very first thing you may notice is that Chrome's tabs are slightly rounded now instead of sharp edged.

Tabs retain the rounded look even if you create a tab overload situation in Chrome when you open too many tabs so that each is displayed without any site indicator (as Chrome does not use scrolling in the tab bar).

The tabbar itself has a white background now. Inactive tabs are displayed with gray text on a gray background, the active tab with gray text on a white background.

There are other changes:​

  • The design of the New Tab button changed to a plus icon.
  • The Chrome address bar has round edges, and its background is set to gray and not white anymore.
  • The profile indicator was moved from its original position near the window controls to the main Chrome toolbar.
How to enable the design refresh



You need to run Chrome Canary (version 68 or later) on Windows right now to enable the refresh. If the design refresh is not pulled again, it will become available for Mac or Linux as well in the future.​

  1. Load chrome://flags/#top-chrome-md in the Chrome's address bar. The address opens the experimental page of Chrome.
  2. The preference UI Layout for the browser's top chrome determines the user interface design. Click on the menu next to it
 

MeltdownEnemy

Level 6
Verified
The new chrome it looks a bit similar to firefox border wrapping model ui, chrome://flags and some menus need order. These icons and large buttons making the experience very intolerable, slow and complicated to set something up, about:config of firefox will always be better in that.
 

Prorootect

Level 53
Verified
You approve or not? You're quite critical of design changes. :)
It's also supposed to be more Touch-UI friendly.
Of course I approve this rounded corners: the return to the most human and soft design...I am not against the changes in general, of course, but against the bad dessign changes, which aggravate ugly, instead of embellishing (according to my criteria, standards of good and bad taste).
But my Iron 49, Cent 1.8.9.28 design is much better, and I prefer Firefox 52.7.3 design even more...best design is in my Nightly 55...

You know I love rounded corners, vibrant colors, 3D...no flat large unicolor washed surfaces.
I would like to see the use of shadows...

line_wood.gif

line_wood.gif

...and more saturated colors...
Avatar photo-31547.gif
...
Avatar photo-31547 sharpen Satur 200 scaled 96x96.gif
Avatar photo-31547 sharpen Satur 200 scaled 96x96.gif

So cause this return of rounded corners, I start to want to try this new chrome.
But the large unicolor flat surfaces of keys like Refresh, Enabled - do not please me, are not pretty!

I wish designers to work more in the sense of embellishing, we are not small children...
 
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