This is just a quick concept image of what the URL bar would look like if it used buttons instead of text for a path. It's not intended for people to just stumble upon, and will most likely bore anyone who did not intend to view it.
In my opinion this would only appear when a page has already been navigated to, on the opening of a new tab the standard URL bar would appear.
A reference of what it looks like now (taken from the blender website - art gallery):
What the same site would look like with buttons:
There would be benefits and deficits to this design:
- Less issue with 'information overload'
- Would integrate more fully with the modern operating system (the button design is taken from Nautilus in Ubuntu, but a design could be made using the Vista 'arrows')
- Aid usability enabling 'drag and drop' onto the tab bar, etc.
- Easier to go to a higher level of the site.
- Difficulty implementing (with many weird URLs involving numbers and automatically generated content, e.g. this blog ends in 'post-create.g?blogID=944926393326072880'). This could hopefully be overcome using intelligent programming.
- When a user wants to type a URL on a page that already has content, it would require an extra mouse click (This could surely be overcome by someone good at interface design, i.e. not me). Alternatively all users could learn to use 'CTRL + L' :).
- Some users would not accept this very readily, we saw this with the Awesome Bar.
I'm sure there are other positives and negatives, please feel free to comment. Please note that I am not necessarily talking about the near future, but I feel that eventually the interface will go this way and it would be good if we were first.
P.S. Just for anyone who is registered with Ubuntu Brainstorm, and haven't yet voted for this idea (but want to):