I've been inspired by the new Ribbon interface design that is being developed for MS Office 12. You can read some background information on this admirable piece of work
So I wanted to see what you get in Opera, when doing away with the normal top-menu, panels and toolbars. Without sacrificing access to all the functionality Opera has to offer, of course. Each function will be available in one, easy to find, place. Without the need to explore context menus! Well, easy for mousers that is, the keyboard accessiblity of this setup is very poor.
I haven't thought of a catchy name yet, working title is Twelve. Suggestions are welcome.
The first impression of Twelve is somewhat more 'bloated' compared to the lean default UI in Opera. But it should be very easy to find all the functions you can use during browsing, and it doesn't get worse then this: there is no need for panels, for example. Who wants three ways to access bookmarks?
Here are some screenshots. Note that I can't make it as pretty as the MS Office Ribbon, Opera's toolbars are more limited and I didn't create a special skin with extra buttons.
The windows starts with a toolbar for the most important functionality of a browser: back, forward and address field, and a search field. And furthermore access to all other functionality with buttons for the three hidden toolbars, a microphone for Voice control, and a Tools menu. Then you get a Tab bar. With the icons on the left of the web page tabs you get access to the main functions: panels, mail, RSS, chat, new webpages. Choose right-click, 'Remove from toolbar' if you don't use these functions. To the right of the web page tabs you find the 'Tile' and 'Maximize all' buttons, and the normal tab trash bin. I've added this Tile button after reading Lawmune's article on Quick tabs in MSIE. The status bar gives access to the inline find and zoom widgets.
The Go bar gives access to all the places you can visit or have visited, starting with the Rewind button.
The View bar contains all the commands to improve or customize the display of websites. This includes a button for 'Block content, a new feature in Opera 9.
The Keep bar makes it possible to store information permanently: create a bookmark or note, the transfer dialog, all the printing options, etc.
All mail functions, including managing accounts and filters etc, can be found here. Using the Mail panel for easier navigation between the various mail views makes sense. So a button to open the 'sidebar' is included.
Here you get the 'Chat manage' page with enhanced functionality, so the Chat panel is needed at all.
The hallmark of bad interface design: a bucket of 'other' actions. You shouldn't need it much though.
To try this setup yourself, install both the menu and toolbar from here:
Edit 2007-04-17: the links point to 9.2-compatible setups now