So you’re in your web browser, researching a topic you’ve come across for the first time. Or perhaps you’re just following a few juicy links from your various news feeds. Anyway, you know what comes next.
A multitude of them. Many of which will spawn additional tabs, as you fall further down the rabbit hole.
The ‘favicons’ and webpage titles have long departed your tab bar. They’ve left a nondescript sea of collapsed tabs in their wake.
Your mail application sends a new email notification. It looks important. You switch applications to your mail client and begin typing a reply.
Then it starts. A video contained in one of your Chrome tabs has decided to auto-play, blurting audio in the background. You switch back to Chrome to silence the video. But as you do that, everything seems to stall. Your computer’s becoming unresponsive.
Okay, so we’re stuck in Chrome. "Right, well let’s try and get a hold of the situation", you say to yourself.
But looking at the sheer number of tabs in front of you, the anxiety begins.
Do you voluntarily declare bankruptcy and close the window, losing all of your tabs in the process? Ha, you think. You can just restore the tabs again when you restart your browser. Then you consider what ‘restoring’ four windows containing 97 tabs will do to your computer. This is not an option.
"Well I’ll just bookmark some of the stuff I want to return to!" Says no one. When was the last time you returned to your bookmarks folder?
"Okay well I can at least save a few to read-later in Pocket. I’ll get to these on Sunday, when I finally have a chance to blob on the couch…" No. You know won’t get to anything in your Pocket queue for the longest time. You remind yourself that Pocket is like your Netflix queue. It’s best viewed as a personalised StumbleUpon, curated by your past self.
The frustration of the situation sets in.
Oh, and did I mention your boss is now breathing down your neck? She’s wanting you to reply to that ‘important’ email you received a few minutes ago.
You take a micro-break to make coffee.
A while later, you return to Chrome. That sea of ambiguous tabs looks as scary as ever. Only this time you have that air of determination about you, the coffee is well received.
You begin clearing your tabs; one after the other.
I’ll close this tab. It’s no longer relevant.
Ah, I’ve already read this tab, but I want to keep it. The question is, where should I save it to?
I haven’t read this tab yet, but it’s related to the task at hand. I don’t want to lose it in the abyss of my Pocket queue. I’ll keep it open.
Wait, why is this tab open? Where did it come from?
Curse you, past-self. You shake your fist at the heavens.
"Just close your damn tabs already" the critics say. "You shouldn’t have let it get that bad in the first place" they hiss.
But as more of our work (and life, for that matter) moves into the internet, this is easier said than done.
Distractions appear left-right-and-centre. We’re forced to multitask and tabs accumulate accordingly. But then they stay open because we’re not done with them yet.
Web browsers are our modern office desks; browser tabs are like the stacks of paper that once accumulated in piles around you. We want to be visually reminded about them, our tabs are our todo lists.
The problem is that like the stacks of paper of yesteryear, many of your browser tabs aren’t relevant to the current task at hand. Worse, they hog your computer’s resources and they create visual clutter.
This has to change.
Browsing the web is great. But at Twingl we understand the web is for working in as well.