Some 23 years of browser experience insights/tips
Greetings fellow users, and buddy coders!
After some 10+ year long Chrome "session" with additional adventures played on many other browsers I've decided to move on. Opera, an old friend, was my choice and I've been using it for some weeks. Opera is a always had great potential, and still does! Unfortunately after years and years of looking at other peoples pcs I rarely see Opera there, the reason for this I believe is the lack of some basic features and some others that could be improved. So if I were the jedi master behind this app these are the things that I would change/implement.
Tabs - The ability to choose which tab will show after closing the active one would be nice. With some nice options such as 'previous tab', 'next tab', 'last active tab'.
Tabs - When SHIFT is pressed the little X icon used to close the tab could turn into an arrow icon that when clicked would force the current tab to pop out into a one tab new window.
Address Bar/Button Bar The decision of blocking the editing of the buttons was EXTREMELY unfortunate I dare to say short sighted, specially on the OS X environment. The share button is to some a pest, like a termite that you can't get hid of. Not everybody "share" things like that, it is bulky and can be useless. All these buttons should be editable add some other cool ones too like 'devmode' ,'home' (obviously),'' the address bar MUST be visible at all times, that's ok.
Address Bar/Button Bar - Also would be very nice to bring into this bar the ability to right-click/middle-click these buttons. The general browser action default for middle-click is to open a new tab, with this implemented the back/forward buttons when middle-clicked would open the last/next page in a new tab. Handy! As for right click a menu is the default, so for back/forward buttons a list of the tab activity would be a gem, reload could simply reload without the cache, yet another handy thing to have there.
Bookmark Bar/Shortcut Item - This is almost flawless in my humble view. The only two things I would change is less spacing between icons and also the ability to save favorite items with NO NAME. I've seem a lot of folks doing this, removing the names from the top bookmark bar favorites icons. And I agree it is very effective. The person ends up with a stream of well known icons there as it is easy to identify which fav is which by the favicon of the page, like facebook, twitter, deviantart etc.
The whole Bookmark segmentation ordeal - Three kinds of bookmarks (My Bookmarks, Speed Dial, Bookmarks) can AND WILL be very confusing. Simple use users can AND WILL "lose" favorites in this system. First things first, pretty please drop the year 2000 "My ..." from names! Now that I got that out of my system, a single bookmark will suffice! This thing is almost nice, would be a matter of concatenating all three subsections in the bookmark editor into one single bookmark thing, and implementing two more overlay icons (similar to select/edit/remove). We could have 'Speed Dial' and 'Bookmark Bar' overlay toggles. When checked these items would show in these sections.
Keyboard Shortcuts - Try to avoid creating weird (hand bending) shortcuts for important tasks, such as 'reload without cache' (ALT* SUPER+R). Apple and Google got it very right this concept. Chrome uses SHIFT+SUPER+R. Prefer combinations such as SHIT + SUPER or ALT or CTRL, they are easier on the finger twisting gymnastics as our wrists and hands are designed to turn outwards (like the hands of a clock when it is 4:40), not inwards (as in 10:10). Also consider the different laptops/desktops keyboard sizes and layout, such as Apple for instance, their keyboard keys are spaced and positioned in a different manner.
Speed Dial - This is cute, and pleasant. I would only add the ability to make boxes smaller (for laptops) and also implement a better editing of the tiles, with options like color change, or even jpegs. We could also have the name for the tiles inside the title, on the bottom (or top) and to give emphasis to the title a a small height slightly opaque black background strip, like many picture galleries today.
Download Tab - Love the design of this tab, well done! But lacks the ability to associate filetypes to applications. This is a MUST HAVE feature, I could not find it. Of course, for security measures these associations should only be added manually. Other than that, awesome Download Tab.
Settings Tab - On the darker link column on the left Extensions should be present. It is a vital part of the browser configuration, as Chrome does. Simpler, effective, even if you don't use any icons of the the left icon bar.
Well guys, at first glance after a long long time using Opera, this is my opinion about what could make this a killer UI for this browser and thus bringing Opera to the status of killer browser.
Cheers and thanks!