Answer to BS-Harou's blog post
Sorry, no solution here, just more questions ...
Originally posted by BS-Harou:
(...) Opera needs to hire more people.
Not for development, I think they have already enough to cause frictional loss, but for listening and talking
with - not to - their user base.
Look at the usual browser development blogs at Microsoft
, Chromium / Google
, Webkit Apple
and compare it with ...
... the Opera Developer Relations Team blog
The frequency of posting is almost the same (Opera lately increased the posting rate drastically) but the sublime messages are different, and, what is more:
The other articles do not read as if there is a hardcore developer on the other side but a person really loving to make the browser the user wants - if true or not, but they somehow convey the message that they do it for the user.
Take Chrome Experiments
(with user participation!), IE testdrive
, Safari Technology Demos
, where you can find optical appealing cool stuff and then compare it to Opera's GitHub Startpage
or Opera's shinydemos
*1). Yes, they are all cutting edge, but take for example the beach
: If I were a normal user, I would expect, that the sound would start and stop by pressing the switch to open and close the shutter too (yes , I know that this would afford some JS, but hey! It is a showcase!). This is characteristic for Opera in the whole:
Fantastic ideas, but the polish is missing. It looks like some developer made it, not a designer. It is something like a Proof of Concept, where you stop at the point at which you have proven that something works basically - but don't do the extra step to make it
because "it works as it is".
btw: Sometimes the other browsers must really fail
in these demos and the message must
be absolutely clear: If you want to see this demo in all its glory, you need
Opera.Show off to the public
There is pure technical information overload in almost any of the Opera blog posts. Technical information and specifications can easily be linked in a blog post (that is what links are good for) and should be avoided if they are not there to make a point
, i.e. to show what cool things you can actually do
with the provided information.Stuff for independent developers
(the ones who actually feed the hunters and gatherers with extensions and other browser related stuff)
If I have to look up some JS stuff - and JS is basically the
language for extension / app / widget (yes the other browsers start having stand alone widgets) - the best source is the Mozilla(sigh!) developer network
- there you can find
what you need if you have a problem (apart from the pure Opera characteristic problems). I usually despair if I try to find something in the Opera pendant of this.About the look (and feel)
(the very first impression of every new user)
The Opera browser still has no formal graphical language - or identity - it looks like something cobbled together, sometimes like a clone of some of the younger browsers. There are at least 3 different UI styles used in one and the same product, which is not good.
No, hiring an external designer is not
the solution - as least not as long as you don't trust him and don't try to overrule his decisions. Good designers are rare and very special. The ones I know have a concept of what they do in their mind and then start developing the interface or whatever. The developers have to follow them
by writing code that supports the design. Slapping a design over a poor interaction logic never
works. If you stop that process before it is finished, you never get a decent result.
The main error when working with external designers: Let another person, who believes (s)he is capable of doing a design, look at the developing process without being directly involved in it. That is the best recipe for a catastrophe. *1) Mark Schenk created a page quite similar to the start page of shiny demos - in 2003!