Hannah Lee, Visual Designer, Chrome for Android: Our browser’s meant to be invisible, right? When you look at the omnibox in the browser, it’s just a box within a plain old box. It’s very simple at face value, but in that box is the world’s most sophisticated, secure search and rendering engine for the web.
Chris Lee, Interaction Designer, Chrome for Android:
We’ve explored so many wacky concepts for future-oriented features or UIs—we regularly do vision exercises where we suspend our reservations. But then we have to put ourselves back in the mindset of serving over a billion users with this thing. We often come back to, our browser really needs to start with simplicity.
… while keeping its users safe
At the same time, there are moments when our product can take center stage. We’ve done a lot of work on safe browsing, to protect people from malware phishing and social engineering, so at times we take over the whole content area to say, “Hey, we’re not going it’s to let that site be fully expressive right now, and here’s our recommendation to go back to safety.”
In the past we didn't mind if people couldn’t pick out Chrome from other browsers; we didn’t really want to draw a lot of attention to our brand. But now that we’re starting to think about security, and a lot of sites out there are trying to mimic Chrome, we’re questioning our need to be less invisible and finding more ways to be more distinct. We’re using things like our toolbar, which no site can draw over, to show users a trusted UI. We’re using some of our surface area to draw more attention to elements that can't be mimicked. We spent a lot of time thinking about the secure lock and how to make the URL more apparent, so that it's not buried in all this technical junk—something a lot of malicious sites will do to seem legitimate. With everything that we do, we have to constantly ask ourselves if what we’re designing is something another website can fake, to pretend that it’s trusted, to steal the user's information?