Neowin users IE 9 mockups

A few days ago we asked the great users of Neowin to send us their mockups of IE 9.  What we ended up with were quite a few designs that represent that particular users representation of what the next version of IE could look like.  All of the entrants won a copy of WinX DVD Ripper Platinum for the PC or WinX DVD Ripper for Mac.

While we do not know what Microsoft is planning for IE 9, they have hinted that its going to be a major overhaul to the interface.  But, if any of the past upgrades of IE are anything to judge the new version by, we can expect marginal tweaks and features to be added to IE 9. 

Any good competition needs to have a winner and for this round, it goes too R. Majid , congrats!

Winner: 

 

All of the entries can be viewed in the gallery below. You can also see who submitted the mockup by checking out the file name of the images (if they put their name in it).

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I still want to see a Metro UI theme in the browser but I know the chances are very slim and unlikely, but look at the zune software it looks awesome compared to itunes.

1. What's the point of the logo button at top left if you put all the settings in Chrome-style buttons on the right?

2. In said Chrome-style button menus, it seems like too many extra clicks if I wanted tools or safety, or favorites or feeds

Why hasn't anyone put some realistic thought into the mockups?

If MS changes the interface in any major fashion one can deduce that seeing they use the Ribbon in Office, migrated that ribbon to some apps (paint & word) in Windows 7 and now moving along to the new Live Services, one would presume they would follow suite and add the ribbon to IE also.

eangulus said,
Why hasn't anyone put some realistic thought into the mockups?

If MS changes the interface in any major fashion one can deduce that seeing they use the Ribbon in Office, migrated that ribbon to some apps (paint & word) in Windows 7 and now moving along to the new Live Services, one would presume they would follow suite and add the ribbon to IE also.

They have looked at the ribbon, they showed rough prototypes, it didn't work.

(So no need for mocking people for not being "realistic")

eangulus said,
Why hasn't anyone put some realistic thought into the mockups?

If MS changes the interface in any major fashion one can deduce that seeing they use the Ribbon in Office, migrated that ribbon to some apps (paint & word) in Windows 7 and now moving along to the new Live Services, one would presume they would follow suite and add the ribbon to IE also.

Ribbons make no sense in IE, read the guidelines for Ribbon based UIs...

#8 is not half bad. Though I'll be upfront and say I don't care for the tab colors. One question, where would you place the command buttons for addins. Inline with your tabs similiar to how IE today does it?

Congrats for the winning mockup. The idea is nice however I don't really like how the back/forward and search/go buttons are looking and the scroll bar does not go with the rest of the looks. But for the rest it looks good.

http://www.neowin.net/images/galleries/629/IE9.png looks good as well although i doubt that backstage is going to be used in IE9. If I am more realistic I think IE9 is going to be more like http://www.neowin.net/images/galleries/629/IE9Concept.png but with an IE9 logo instead of an arrow and some of the ideas with the menu buttons the winner has and some of the ideas 3-6 has.

Too low resolution on all these mock ups. Grats to the winner even though I can't see the finer details of your mock up that you spent great effort to do

Good pick on the winner. The only thing I don't like about the winning mock-up is the placement of the Refresh button, but the rest is nice.

I applaud the winner for their style and streamlined focus. However, consuming the title bar area with tabs doesn't seem practical. How would you move a window around (ex. in multi-display configuration)? This might be resolved if you limit the # of tabs displayed before using a scroller.

There are some missing pieces as well...
- "home" icon.
- "feeds" icon.
- where to display icons for add-ons?

I like how IE currently lets you customize the command bar. So, if you shortened the address/search textbox there wouldn't be any problem accommodating these other icons.

One aesthetic I would like changed is the scrollbar. The current scrollbar is a tad strong as it competes with the page contents. I wouldn't mind one that is more Zune like with some page transparency.

JohnCz said,
I applaud the winner for their style and streamlined focus. However, consuming the title bar area with tabs doesn't seem practical. How would you move a window around (ex. in multi-display configuration)? This might be resolved if you limit the # of tabs displayed before using a scroller.

There are some missing pieces as well...
- "home" icon.
- "feeds" icon.
- where to display icons for add-ons?

I like how IE currently lets you customize the command bar. So, if you shortened the address/search textbox there wouldn't be any problem accommodating these other icons.

One aesthetic I would like changed is the scrollbar. The current scrollbar is a tad strong as it competes with the page contents. I wouldn't mind one that is more Zune like with some page transparency.

Home could be hidden, so could feeds. And IE has not even got a confirmation for full-on extensions, but if it does. They could go next to the buttons like Chrome puts them.

TechDudeGeorge said,

Home could be hidden, so could feeds. And IE has not even got a confirmation for full-on extensions, but if it does. They could go next to the buttons like Chrome puts them.

Where would the Home/Feeds icons be hidden?

Re:Addons: I agree that they could do it the way IE already displays addons, at end of the command bar or in the optional more ">>" dropdown menu.

JohnCz said,
I applaud the winner for their style and streamlined focus. However, consuming the title bar area with tabs doesn't seem practical. How would you move a window around (ex. in multi-display configuration)? This might be resolved if you limit the # of tabs displayed before using a scroller.

There are some missing pieces as well...
- "home" icon.
- "feeds" icon.
- where to display icons for add-ons?

I like how IE currently lets you customize the command bar. So, if you shortened the address/search textbox there wouldn't be any problem accommodating these other icons.

One aesthetic I would like changed is the scrollbar. The current scrollbar is a tad strong as it competes with the page contents. I wouldn't mind one that is more Zune like with some page transparency.

Yeah, or maybe if you click and drag around the IE button in the top corner would work.

The home button seems to have disappeared. Maybe there's a way to bring it back.

And to access feeds, you click on the button that looks like four horizontal lines next to an arrow, and there is a feeds tab. A picture in the gallery explains it.

And yeah, I'm not a big fan of the scrollbars either. I mean, they're okay, but... I'd like something else. The Zune scrollbar would work.

JohnCz said,

Where would the Home/Feeds icons be hidden?

Re:Addons: I agree that they could do it the way IE already displays addons, at end of the command bar or in the optional more ">>" dropdown menu.

The Home button just turned off (Not showing) like you can do in other browsers. And the RSS button only appearing on RSS sites/turned off completely.

As nice as a lot of them are, there's a consistent theme whereby a lot of the concepts break the usability of the titlebar in Windows 7. You can't put the tabs in the titlebar, because then you can't drag the window around and have it snap to regions of the desktop. If you have a tab bar full of tabs (As I very often do), you no longer have an area you can grab to drag the window around with.

Ideas Man said,
As nice as a lot of them are, there's a consistent theme whereby a lot of the concepts break the usability of the titlebar in Windows 7. You can't put the tabs in the titlebar, because then you can't drag the window around and have it snap to regions of the desktop. If you have a tab bar full of tabs (As I very often do), you no longer have an area you can grab to drag the window around with.

well you could handly that by doing it like Chrome - at least the old versions of Chrome had a titlebar, that shrinked if maximized...

MFH said,

well you could handly that by doing it like Chrome - at least the old versions of Chrome had a titlebar, that shrinked if maximized...

It'll likely have a corner you can drag. Nearly all browsers now are going with tabs on top. Like chrome always keeps the area underneath the window controls free

about winner design: if it doesn't fit native windows environment - then it's no good and inconsistent. best idea is 3-6, but tabs should be on top.

х.iso said,
about winner design: if it doesn't fit native windows environment - then it's no good and inconsistent. best idea is 3-6, but tabs should be on top.

3-6 looks great -> hope Microsoft takes a look at those

Grats on the winner Nice simple design, very user friendly too by the looks of it. Cant say i'd switch back to IE thou, but that does have some nice eye candy! Hopefully M$ will take on some ideas from this and build it

Agreed, they need to be higher resolution. I can't really make out any fine detail.

But I'm glad an original design won, this latest Metro fad was not only irritating but comlpletely inconsistant with the Windows UI. Metro only really makes sense to my mind if you have large amounts of groupable functionality or data, potentially in a size constrained setting. Neither of these are the case with a web browser.

mail said,
Are you trying to save bandwidth ... post some decent resolutions ...
Neowin's new editing software resizes images so that they have a max width of 640. Sorry! In future we should store them off-site, on Flickr or something.

mrmckeb said,
Neowin's new editing software resizes images so that they have a max width of 640. Sorry! In future we should store them off-site, on Flickr or something.

Can't THAT software be damn modified instead of having to go outside? 1024x768 and we'll be ok. Doesn't need to be a wallpaper for 24" screens either.

mrmckeb said,
Neowin's new editing software resizes images so that they have a max width of 640. Sorry! In future we should store them off-site, on Flickr or something.

No Flickr please. Just turn on the 'non-retarded' setting in your software

All great entries. Not a fan of the Metro mockups, but that's not because they're bad, just because I don't particularly like the metro styling on a desktop.

The winner is a great mockup and a worthy winner too. However if it were the real deal there'd be no way of moving the window around by dragging the title bar, which would be a non-starter for me.

My favourite overall is http://www.neowin.net/images/galleries/629/IE9.png. If this were IE9, I'd definitely be jumping ship back, or at least ripping it off as a Firefox theme .

Ambroos said,

Same here! That really looks great!


Think that looks great, clean,...
But I also believe it's highly unrealistic that it will look that way - not native, backstage is not even available as a system library but is only part of office 14....

Congratulations on winning. But I wouldn't use IE9 if it looked like that.

Sorry but it looks the least native out of the browsers out there.

thartist said,
what is it about ultra-nativeness? i never understood that whining

Because I like my browser to fit in with Windows? It doesn't need to have a metro look, because that wasn't what metro was designed for. That and the baby blue colors are horrible ><

You can tell more people are wanting that because a lot more manufacturers are coming up with skins that fit in, rather than look different.

thartist said,
what is it about ultra-nativeness? i never understood that whining

Because that's one of the biggest problems in Windows UI-design?! Not native UIs should be forbidden and it's developers punished in the harshest way...

MFH said,

Because that's one of the biggest problems in Windows UI-design?! Not native UIs should be forbidden and it's developers punished in the harshest way...

Thats a bit drastic lol. Office 2010 has a non-native UI (well technically its an upgrade of a somewhat native to windows 7 ui), but it fits in and that UI works well for what its designed for. Zune (and part of the windows live suite) has the metro UI, and that also (to those that like it) works well.

In this case, it's like a hybrid 2010, metro design with some horrible colors. Doesn't fit in at all, though the menus are cool. And compared to other browsers like Opera 10.5+, FF4, Chrome that have changed their designs over time to make an effort to fit in..this just sticks out like a sore thumb.

/- Razorfold said,

Thats a bit drastic lol. Office 2010 has a non-native UI (well technically its an upgrade of a somewhat native to windows 7 ui), but it fits in and that UI works well for what its designed for. Zune (and part of the windows live suite) has the metro UI, and that also (to those that like it) works well.

In this case, it's like a hybrid 2010, metro design with some horrible colors. Doesn't fit in at all, though the menus are cool. And compared to other browsers like Opera 10.5+, FF4, Chrome that have changed their designs over time to make an effort to fit in..this just sticks out like a sore thumb.


Well Office was always something different - but you must admitt that many enhancements to the UI are derived from Office (backported to Windows). I really like Windows Media Player 12 more than the Zune software - hope I will start to like it when I get a WP7-phone. What part of Windows Live Essentials 4 does use Metro?

MFH said,

Well Office was always something different - but you must admitt that many enhancements to the UI are derived from Office (backported to Windows). I really like Windows Media Player 12 more than the Zune software - hope I will start to like it when I get a WP7-phone. What part of Windows Live Essentials 4 does use Metro?

Oh certainly, the ribbon came out on Office then came out on Windows. And yeh I prefer WMP12, its just so much more "elegant."

I didn't mean Live essentials used Metro, but like (with especially the new betas) you can see parts of metro fitting they way in with like buttons and such.

MFH said,

Well Office was always something different - but you must admitt that many enhancements to the UI are derived from Office (backported to Windows). I really like Windows Media Player 12 more than the Zune software - hope I will start to like it when I get a WP7-phone. What part of Windows Live Essentials 4 does use Metro?

Windows Live Messenger Wave 4 Beta uses the Metro UI in the social view. It's the first application that sports a new Metro UI hybrid design. It combines Windows Aero UI elements and Metro UI elements to create a more native-looking application of Metro UI.

Before all these services and products sporting the Metro UI, it was in the least native look. Xbox 360 and Windows 7's Windows Media Center. Then into Zune Software, and by Windows 7 going RTM, Zune 4.0 was released with a heavier application of the Metro UI and the Zune HD.

Since then, you have to admit, Metro UI is becoming increasingly better in every application of it. More and more native, more and more fun to use, it's a whole new experience. By the time of Windows 8, we might just get lucky, and receive a taste of a Metro/Aero hybrid UI. By that time, it will fit in much more and make it a complete native experience. It will happen, it is happening, but when we will see that might be longer than we might expect, it may be Windows 9 that has this UI.

The release of Windows to include this hybrid UI may also depend on how long it takes for Windows Phone 7's roots to be well-grounded. If it doesn't grow massively as quick as Microsoft expects, the hybrid UI might not show up until Windows 9 when it is much more matured and well-grounded in Windows Phone 7.

I enjoy the Metro UI on Windows Phone 7, I use it all the time in the Zune Software, and on my Zune HD. I disagree with those who believe it is designed for a small screen resolution. With the ribbon-UI, it's not much of a UI as it is a functionality solution. The scenic ribbon is a great improvement to the lousy ribbon in Office 2007.

I believe, that in time, the next revison of the ribbon will reach full compatibility with a Metro/Aero hybrid UI. Making a very functional UI altogether. With a ribbon full of functionality neatly sorted for ultimate usability, and a clean containment source of the application being Aero Glass, and the content delivered through Metro/Aero hybrid UI elements, they can create the most cleanest, most functional, most usable UI that Windows ever had. This could lead to a potential 3D Metro/Aero hybrid UI!

MFH said,

Well Office was always something different - but you must admitt that many enhancements to the UI are derived from Office (backported to Windows). I really like Windows Media Player 12 more than the Zune software - hope I will start to like it when I get a WP7-phone. What part of Windows Live Essentials 4 does use Metro?

Windows Live Messenger's main window has a very Metro-like look.

/- Razorfold said,

Because I like my browser to fit in with Windows? It doesn't need to have a metro look, because that wasn't what metro was designed for. That and the baby blue colors are horrible ><

Maybe if IE 9 looks like that, there can be an option to change the colors, like in Windows Media Player 11 and the Bing Bar.

I personally like the design a lot.

looks a little weird, those baby blues.
but the design of the menus in picture 19 is SMMMMMOKING hot! it deserves the prize for that useful dropdown menu alone, even if it looks as simple as it does!

...and to be honest, there were only a couple of serious entries