PvP Awesomology Awesomeness

If you don't know what Player vs Player is, then you are missing out on one of the best webcomics on the Internet today. Scott Kurtz, the artist, tweeted last week to remind people about the PvP Online Store. I have enjoyed his work for years and thought I should show my support in some way.

Now don't think that I'm being completely selfless here. I definitely wanted to get my hands on some PvP goodness. And when the box showed up today, boy was I surprised! I ordered the PvP Awesomology and I did not realize just how awesome it really was. The thing is huge and weighs a ton. For the sake of comparison, it's just about Xbox 360 size.

So if you're a fan of PvP and want to contribute to the future of webcomics then show Scott some love.

Google Chrome Instant Search Page Dancing

There is some interesting behavior in Google Chrome builds where Google Instant Search is enabled. I am not really sure whether I am a fan of the UI decisions that were made or not. I am actually a fan of Instant Search, and since I so rarely go to the main Google search page I do welcome the inclusion in the browser.

So as you can see below, entering text into the Omnibar causes the underlying page automatically navigates to the Google search results page. Now because the normal behavior of the Omnibar is to drop down a list of previous searchs, URLs, etc. and obscure the page, I immediately thought to see if there was a way to scroll the page to see what was under the dropdown.  Granted, if it worked the way I was expecting, the way every other web page worked up to that point, that would have been a horrible implementation. What Google did instead was to drop the instant search results down below the Omnibar list. Kind of clever.

But this approach feels wrong to me for some reason. I don't really have any better ideas, but the thought that content needs to be shoved around to make way for browser elements seems... intrusive?

What is even more interesting is that the page content only shifts enough to ensure that the Omnibar results are not covering up the search results. If there are only three lines in the dropdown, the search results are not moved down in the browser as much as if there are five lines. This results in a very weird kind of page dance. As you type, the page changes from what it was to the search page, the contents shift down, the Omnibar results change in number, the contents shift up, the Omnibar dropdown changes size again, content shifts again, etc.

It's a little wonky, but like I said earlier, I don't have any better ideas. At least nothing that doesn't involve a redesign of the Omnibar.

There is another little wrinkle to this. If the Omnibar auto-completes something you have typed and recognizes it as a URL (this typically happens if you have been to the site before), it will navigate from the Google search results page to the page it thinks you might be interested in visiting. This seems a little presumptuous. So not only are we page dancing some more, but I'm taking the hit for downloading a page that is likely not nearly as optimized for quick rendering as the Instant Search results page.

So in a very Google way we have a solution that is function over form. Don't get me wrong. I appreciate the function very much. I just think that it needs a little more work.

Any ideas? Have I missed something obvious? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter.

Interested In Art, But Don't Get Out Much? Check out Art Project by Google!

If you don't travel much or are just annoyed by crowds, but you are interested in art then I have just the thing for you! Actually Google does. Taking the Google Maps Street View to well over a dozen of the world's finest museums, you can walk the halls and browse the works of masters from the comfort of your living rooms, offices and daily commutes (assuming you aren't the one driving). Once you have "walked up" to a piece of artwork, you can then zoom in for a very high resolution look.

The UI is a little wonky, but once you get used to it, it's more than adequate. And since you can't beat the price (especially considering the costs involved in actually travelling to each location) you should at least give it a look.

Art Project, powered by Google