When Chrome removed the http and https from the start of URLs in their browser address bar, I wasn’t happy.
And I heard from other people that weren’t happy.
Despite a padlock before the URL in the address bar, the https in the address bar was reinforcement that the site was using SSL to encrypt HTTP requests and responses.
It added a level of trust to the site I was visiting.
Removing the http or https at the beginning of the URL made it harder for me to explain to non-technical people how to read URLs.
For example, how do you explain to someone they’re on the same site when the URLs look different?
Can you imagine someone who’s not familiar with URLs trying to figure them out?
- First check the beginning of the URL for http or https (remember, Chrome removed it)
- Next, look for the word that comes after the double slash
Wait, that doesn’t work in Safari, which only displays the host name. You have to select the host name to get to the path.
People Can’t Read URLs
In their 20-minute Google Chrome Developers video, Jake Archibald and Surma discuss and demo different strategies for making it easier for people to read URLs.
After showing example after example of the difficulties (and how someone might choose a phishing site), Archibald offers his proposal for making easy-to-read URLs.
Note: it’s his proposal, not Chrome or Google’s proposal.
I’m concerned about how much physically longer it is to read the URL.
Maybe I’d get used to it over time?
Watch the 20-minute video and let me know your thoughts in the comments.