Have you noticed this button (new tab) on your Chrome Browser, does it make any sense to you?
Chrome meaningless button
This symbol/button has been out for quite a while now, and we haven’t heard much about it.
Look, It’s empty and it has no distinctive element to fully understand its main purpose. It goes against any U.X fundamentals, and only rely on its shape to suggest it can do something. However, I click on it when I want a new tab on my Chrome browser, this or CTRL+T.
Why do we click on it?
In fact, and this case, Chrome (Google) is inheriting from years of habit people had on previous browsers.
It has nothing to do with the work the designing team put in this symbol. Somehow, a sort of “because it’s there” feeling takes it all and makes you give it a try. Even though you have no indication whatsoever on what consequence or impact it could have, not even a pointer when hovering the symbol.
What does it mean?
It means humans have the ability to consider behaviors based on “no other” possibility, but also we mainly and often rely on our previous experiences to make a judgement, even with flawed design such as this one. I just found-out Internet Explorer also has an empty tab while Firefox and Opera have an explicit “+” symbol.
As an SEO manager and user, I was wondering what would happen if we were to avoid writing words when making links, replacing them by empty spaces instead (joke).
I think Google’s results pages would be pretty much useless.
IN SHORT: Meaning is POWERFUL!