I click on a tab to switch to that tab. Meanwhile, that tab has media playing and the media is now muted. One click does two things because of a mute button appearing on the tab.
My objective is to switch tabs, or do other tab-related operations. Contrary to user expectation, media that is contained on the page is now muted.
Steps to reproduce:
- A broswer has various tabs open, of which one is playing media.
- Click on the tab that is playing media.
- Hear the media mute.
The tab switches as expected, but contrary to user expectation, the media is also muted. A mute button appears out of nowhere when the mouse hovers on the tab, and users can't help but click on this mute button.
There is no way to disable the mute button that is on the tabs. There used to be one in Opera. There is no longer such an option, so you cannot choose not to use this annoying mute button.
A setting under Options to disable the mute button that appears on tabs.
All media related settings should ideally be grouped together in the same logical place, while all tab related settings should ideally be grouped together in a similar logical place too. This is why it is sloppy user interface design to put a media-related control like a mute button on a tab. The logical place for a mute button would be with other media related buttons (pause, play, skip, volume - hey, actually not the kind of thing a browser should be doing in the first place), while tab-related settings are expected to appear on the tab.
This is why it's a good idea to put an X on the tab, for closing the tab. This is a tab-related setting. Or putting a new tab button on the side of the tabs where the new tab is expeted to appear. Also a tab-related setting. Or putting a pin tab option in the right click context menu, but there's no sane reason why a mute button, which is not even a tab related setting, should enjoy preference over any tab-related option on a tab.
Furthermore, Nielsen's heuristics offer the suggestion that user control and freedom are paramount. It's perhaps a good idea to read over Nielsen's heuristics before putting something unexpected like a mute button on a tab, and then making it do surprising things when in reality all that could be argued for is a system status notification there. For example, showing which tab is making the noise is a good idea. Making it suddenly change into a button when the mouse hovers over it and then mixing in media controls with tab controls breaks so many common sense user interface guidelines that the person who implemented this feature creep was clearly acting on a limb.