Browser redesigns

Browser redesigns are so funny to me. How much more rounded can we make the corners? Flat surfaces or gradients? More animated spinny bits and customizable colors. Let’s bring back themes. Whoops hold on, that’s too much work for our army of designers at our feeble megacorp, let’s break themes again.

I understand in this zero sum game you’ve got to keep shaking things up, but I find it tedious. New designs need to be subtle, operating under tight constraints lest you alienate your users. But because of these constraints, you end up with the same old boring interface. It reminds me of the landlord special, where you just keep slapping on paint until the lightswitch is more of a sculpted bump on the wall than a distinctly functional item.

It is hard to keep designing for something that fundamentally does not change.