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3 February, 2006

IE7's out - and?

A certain Mac fangirl makes the (absolutely correct) observation that the IE7 interface looks awful, the probable consequence of having been prepared by a coder rather than a graphic designer.

However, Siobhan's missing the point: it's Inert Exploder, FFS.  Of course it totally ignores accepted UI (GUI and otherwise) design standards

I haven't downloaded IE7 myself (and won't whilst it's in beta), but I don't see a single thing advertised in the demo that isn't already covered by Firefox and the main extensions. It mystifies me why Microsoft's attempts to catch up with the functionality of real browsers would be sufficient motivation for people to consider switching. Being 'as good as' real browsers simply isn't good enough; it'd have to be better.
I suppose I'll need to install it eventually, for testing purposes, but I doubt I'll use it any more than IE6 i.e. less than monthly.

Not that I think a Mac designer would have done a better job of the IE7 GUI.


Actually Asa Dotzler's review of IE7 is very good. He's a Mozilla developer and he makes a note of where IE is better than Firefox - things like feed support and page zoom.

Posted by Neil T. at February 5, 2006 11:56 PM

Okay, I suppose I was thinking in terms of the way I (and, by extension, a large number of 'typical' users) use a browser. Page zoom wouldn't exactly be a selling-point for me!

Maybe feed support is a feature I just don't 'get' (possibly a bit like tabbed browsing – for the first day or so, I couldn't see the point, but I wouldn't be without it now), but I read feeds via Bloglines, so native support within the browser isn't especially relevant to me. It's not a selling point of any browser, so the Fx vs. IE distinction evades me.

More generally, aren't those details covered just as well by Fx extensions? If not, what's the chance that they will be by the time IE is finally released?

I like the sound of the combined 'Back/Forward' history, but it's a nice detail (cancelled-out by the otherwise nasty GUI) – I'd need more substantial innovation!

The main impression I get from Dotzler's review is that IE7's implementation of features lifted from Fx is interesting, and might prompt refinements of Fx's own implementation. That's certainly to be welcomed, but I still don't see it as enough to consider actually using IE.

Posted by NRT at February 6, 2006 09:03 AM
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