What Pop-ups? (An Opera Story)

Advertising.com revealed that people click on annoying pop-up ads 13 times as often as they do passive banner ads. This will surely translate to even more sites using pop-ups for generating ad revenue, but I’ll still never see them because the software developers of the web browsers Opera, Netscape, Mozilla and Safari care about user experience. They’ve integrated intelligent pop-up blockers as part of their feature-rich browsers. What I mean by intelligent is that these browsers will still allow pop-ups when you request them (by clicking a link) rather than indiscriminately blocking all pop-up windows (like the 3rd-party, parasitic add-ons to IE do).

I Heart Opera

Speaking of user experience, Opera7.1 is the most user-centric web browser I’ve used.

  • It loads in a heartbeat and uses very little memory.
  • I search google by typing “g [terms]” (similarly for
    Amazon, E-bay, etc.)
  • While I read, I open links in the background so I can look at them after
    finishing an article without having to wait as they load. Meanwhile they
    sit in a convenient, tabbed interface instead of in individual windows.
  • When researching something, I can create simple text notes that automatically
    remember where I was when I took them.
  • To go back I just hold the right mouse button and click the left (and
    vice-versa to go forward again).
  • If text is too big or small, I can zoom a whole page in 10% increments
    with [+/-].
  • I can “skin” the browser when I feel like a new look. (see
    or Azurino)
  • I can toggle images, javascript, java applets, plug-ins (like Flash),
    cookies, animated GIFs, embedded sounds.
  • It’s the most
    compliant browser with regards to modern web standards
    , letting me see
    sites as the designer fully intended.
  • If sloppy designers make broken web pages I can turn their style off with
    one click, giving me access to the unadulterated content of the site.
  • The latest version is only a 3MB download.

I could go on and on, but, basically, Opera innovates in ways that put me in control rather than leaving me at the mercy of the web. It’s all in their vision:

We believe in respect for our users.

Users have since the beginning shaped Opera’s features and spread the word to the uninitiated. Thanks to this interaction Opera Software exists today, both as an organization and as a technology leader. Opera Software will never forget that its main focus is the user.

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