Address bar usability

Despite having used the Internet Explorer 8 beta 2 for several weeks now, I am still annoyed about a usability problem with the address bar. I often use the dropdown list of most recently used addresses in an almost mechanical way: Click the dropdown arrow, move down to the scrollbar, find the suitable line, and move a tiny bit to the left to click that line. Then the desired page would be loaded.

With IE8 beta2, nothing happened. Worse: When I tried to do it once more, I could not even find the line again. After a few such failures I thought I had to do it slowly and consciously again (so the software has already violated the usability commandment of “Don’t make me think”). I noticed that just before clicking at the usual spot, a delete icon (red cross) appeared under my mouse pointer — and it did what is said.

Even after knowing this now, I must pay attention to think of the trap each time when using the MRU. Why are people not protesting? Mainstream user’s, according to this post by Read Write Web, don’t know the address bar, at all, and type all addresses into the Google search box, which has big economical implications. The address bar has already been devaluated by Vista’s habit to clutter the MRU list with folder navigation history. And Chrome goes one step further and removes the separate address bar altogether.

For users who do not want to be patronized, software is getting harder, at times, rather than easier.

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