I get the point of this, but it looks backwards. If you want to take the origin out of the address bar (remember that it is an address bar first and an address bar second; the internet is not Google), at least put the origin on the left side where it logically belongs. Anyway, aside from that, showing just search terms (Google's bias towards search is clearly showing here) makes the address bar entirely pointless for websites that don't have search at all or websites that you rarely/never search (like most interesting web apps). Take Google Analytics (https://www.google.com/analytics/web/
). You'd show the shortened origin (google.com
) and then what... no search terms... so you get a blank bar that does nothing and
doesn't show where specifically you are on Google? This doesn't make sense.
In response to +Peter Kasting
's comment: If Chrome users don't understand that they can search from the address bar, that's probably more of a reason to educate users than to create an entirely new interface and experience that throws everything out the window. For the same audience you're trying to help with this, this exact change would just be different and confusing.
This is a lot like EV certificates. I expect that if this ever does last in Chrome, it will look just like an EV cert (and hopefully in the same logical location) that, instead of showing the company name is green, it shows the origin and is grey. With it like that, it would be clearly distinct and not editable (unless you backspaced that far or clicked directly on it, like email addresses in Gmail's compose window). Websites could then be able to opt-in to making a parameter the search bar's input using, for example, a meta tag. I think this would accomplish the same goal without any crazy drastic changes to UI or, more importantly, UX.