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Google Chrome to get redesigned buttons, dropdowns, colour picker and other controls

The company confirmed that while the older controls were styled to match the OS version that was being used, the newer ones were designed to share the look that was popular at that time. This indeed resulted in the UI looking “mismatched and sometimes outdated”.

The company confirmed that while the older controls were styled to match the OS version that was being used, the newer ones were designed to share the look that was popular at that time. This indeed resulted in the UI looking “mismatched and sometimes outdated”.
The company confirmed that while the older controls were styled to match the OS version that was being used, the newer ones were designed to share the look that was popular at that time. This indeed resulted in the UI looking “mismatched and sometimes outdated”. (Pixabay)

Google is making some changes in its widely used Chrome browser that is supposed to revamp the looks in the form of a new buttons, dropdowns and other controls. This also aims to improve the touch-friendliness and accessibility. In a blog post, the search giant confirmed that while the older controls were styled to match the OS version that was being used, the newer ones were designed to share the look that was popular at that time. This indeed resulted in the UI looking "mismatched and sometimes outdated" and often led to developers spending extra time in styling the control's appearance.

So, to fix this issue, Microsoft Edge (built on Chromium) and Chrome have worked together since last year to improve the functionality. "To help fix this problem, the teams at Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome spent the last year collaborating to retheme and improve the functionality of the built-in form controls on Chromium browsers. The two teams also worked to make the focused states of form controls and other interactive elements like links easier to perceive," stated the firm.

Also read: Microsoft Edge gets new features, Microsoft Teams gets a personal edition

As a part of the change, Google has removed gradients and has used more flat design that is inspired by the current design systems. As for accessibility and touch support, the Chrome and Microsoft Edge teams not just improved the default styling but also 'tuned up' the form controls' accessibility and enhanced touch support. There's a new focus indicator as well that can be used on both dark and light background by developers, resulting in less work than before.

The firm says it has also reworked the tap target sizes for devices like 2-in-1 laptops. These were until now designed only for mobile devices. The sections now have larger tap targets with more space in between them. In addition, the colour picker has also been improved. Earlier it was not fully keyboard accessible meaning users relying on a keyboard or switch device couldn't use it. However, the new appearance now also makes it fully keyboard accessible.

It has been mentioned that the changes will be visible starting today in Microsoft Edge browser and may arrive as a part of Chrome 81 update (under the 'experimental' tag). To enable this, users can visit chrome://flags/#form-controls-refresh and enable the changes. Also, this will be coming to Android later this year.