Jeff Atwood writes about five browser shortcuts everyone should know. I completely agree that shortcuts can be extremely productive. They give you a quick, unobtrusive way of invoking your actions. The problem is that they also quickly grow to a handful and negate their advantages. I have come to acknowledge couple of other shortcuts that might be more cognitive and easier for the everyday user.
The idea of gestures was brought in by Opera, and was quickly borrowed by a lot of other browsers. Instead of using the keyboard and mouse button combinations, you use clicks and movements to express your intention to the browser. Working with tabs, windows, and moving back and forward are some of the default gestures provided, but most of the browsers allow you to add new actions. This eliminates the need to remember a lot of those keyboard combinations.
Of course, many of us have not adopted gestures, it is a different way of doing things. But it is easier if you do more mousing than typing.
Smart bookmarks, according to me, are extremely innovative and user friendly. This is one of the reasons I loved Epiphany, they are implemented in the most user friendly way. And now I see them being used in new browsers, like Kazehakase.
There are also those web shortcuts which do what smart bookmarks do through a short code. For example, instead of using the search box, I use shortcuts like
mean for the Google search engine, Wikipedia and The Free Dictionary in Konqueror. I have also done a new shortcut,
roll, for the Rollyo custom search engine for this blog.
The web shortcuts and smart bookmarks have eliminated the need for a search box altogether. Firefox too supports the web shortcuts, but I think smart bookmarks are more intuitive.
Shortcuts are very productive, but I like them more if they are also cognitive. I still use the keyboard shortcuts a lot, especially when I am typing, but slowly and gradually I am getting used to these other browser shortcuts.