There have been quite a few posts lately about the posting of concept images and video of the new Chrome OS in a tablet form factor. I’d like to talk about something a little more specific.
The picture posted above is taken from the User Experience -> Touchscreen Navigation portion of the Chromium Projects page, and is intended to give a glimpse of how Google expects users to interact with the Chrome OS interface. One notable thing from this picture is the location of the icons, located above the browser url bar. This placement would likely feel right at home on a tablet that was situated in the portrait mode, leaving plenty of room below for the user to look at the currently selected webpage.
The buttons appear large enough for the average user to hit one at a time even if they have large fingers. And overall the effect is pretty intuitive because users should already be used to having a browser with multiple tabs open at one time. However, from this picture what we can’t see is what happens when the user wants to open a new tab with a page that isn’t one of her ‘favorites’, in other words when there is no dedicated button at the top.
As far as the other concept pictures that Google has posted for Chrome OS they look promising, though I’d like to see a real-life prototype sooner rather than later. After all Apple is shipping their version of the tablet in less than a month.