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.