Nowadays browsing the internet is a matter of browsing informations.
Informations open our minds, optimize our business and can also entertain ourselves.
The concept of handling independent web pages is obsolete. Moreover, to answer the requests of dayly uses of the Internet, we have to handle pages as informations, because that is what they are : informations.

Informations can be linked, thematized, organized, shared, used, searched… These are  the basic features that a modern browser is requested to offer.

E.g. I’m a Political Sciences student and I have to search on Philippe Breton’s work. I will soon find that there is more than one Philippe Breton known on the Internet. I will find that, in fact, the one I was looking for exists, but there is also another man, who is an artist and a painter. As I love arts, I decide to also look for the work of the artist, so I’ll have to note as main theme in my browsing session «Politcal Sciences» and «painting». To easily switch from one information to another one,  I don’t need tabs that will display a few amount of unrevealing characters but organized informations classified among smart themes. I will typically, at this point, have 2 revealing themes : «Political Sciences» and «Arts». As I go further in my research on Philippe Breton, I soon understand that he has often written on manipulation through communications and the media : as a consequence, I have then 4 revealing themes : «Communications», «Manipulation», «The Media» and «Arts». I want to browse through those themes. That’s why themes’ concept is at the heart of our vision.
Themes are automatically defined by a combination of text mining (on the document, opened pages and visited pages) and social mining by retrieving linked informations on services like Delicious. Of course, the user can refine the result by specifying a document’s theme.

Let’s go back to the Political Sciences student : I am reading a document on the work on communications produced by Phillipe Breton and something that I read reminds me another document. I know that the document is on the main theme that the current one and I just have to go through the thumbnails of the opened and favorite documents that deal with the same theme. Or I could even easily just make a search. The search will go through all my opened documents, my favorite documents, my social places and some search engines. All the results will be shown in a comprehensive and effective way so I can easily find the informations I was looking for.

Those modifications, in the way we browse, will make browsing more faster, easier and more effective.

When we found this new way of conceptualizing the browsing, we also found a lot of improvements that can make the usage of the web a lot smoother.

Switching between documents.

Switching between documents is still a real pain in modern browsers. An efficient switching method have to include the document’s theme as in most cases, the user will switch to a logically linked document. But it also have to make a switch between themes as a breeze.   That is what we are doing with our ribbons. Each ribbon lists the documents related to a theme and allow you to navigate through the thumbnails of your documents. You can also easily pass from a ribbon to another to navigate through other documents.

Multi documents on a single website.

When browsing on a theme, there are chances that a lot of informations came from multiple documents on a single site. In that case, there is no need to display a lot of thumbnails that will finally lower the benefits of the presentation. So it is wise to have a global approach of the problem. We display only one thumbnail per site (the thumbnail of the last consulted document) and we allow a quick navigation between the different documents of the site. Of course, a document can be isolated from the group so it can be accessible directly from the list of opened documents. Another cool feature of that method is that it not only lists opened documents from a website, but suggest interesting documents for the theme on the current website.

Ending despotism

One of the most frustrating behave of nowadays’ browsers is that they block all the documents they are handling if one site use a modal dialog. In fact, there is no relevant reason to block the use of the whole browser only because of one website. It will be smarter to block only the documents from the website (with a visual reminder of why they are blocked) and let all the other documents free for use.

A little more cohabitation

I have found a great website and I want to send my friend Nicolas a mail to recommend it so as to he visits it. I have to open a new document, go to my webmail and start typing. What a mess for a simple mail! What I want is an option in the contextual menu of my navigator which links to my favorite webmail or mail client and automatically paste the selected text into the message body. But if, after all these things, I want to add some others quotes from the website and switch between my webmail and the website, it is truly too painful. I also – like a lot of people – have a flat screen that gives me a lot of screen place and that surface is entirely unexploited by the website, I therefore have large monochromic bands on the sides of my favorite site. Can anything be done to tidy that big mess ? Yes, something could, can and have to be done. We frequently use two or more websites at the same time (to do mailing while surfing as an example, but also to blog with a reference, chat while browsing, compare products…) and documents’s separation makes the process really uneasy. So why don’t we permit the separation of the browser window in two so that the user can use two or more services at the same time ? A window containing multiple documents have a thumbnail representing all the contained documents so as to it can be easily retrieved. A document can be draged out of the window to create a new window or on the sidebar to create a single document window.

Mockups can be found on flickr and the presentation video is hosted by youtube