Tabs have become integral to Web browsing yet have changed little since their introduction nearly 20 years ago. In contrast, the internet has gone through dramatic changes and increasingly used to support complex sensemaking tasks. This paper investigates how tabs today are overloaded with a diverse set of functionalities and issues users face when managing them. We uncovered competing pressures pushing for keeping tabs open (ranging from interaction to emotional costs) versus pushing for closing them (such as limited attention and resources). We further developed rich design implications for future browser interfaces.
ACM CHI 2021 (N=2844)