Cluttered site launcher

This Chrome extension needs to go back to the drawing board before it goes on the launching pad.

Launchr's developers describe the free Google Chrome extension as a sort of "speed dial" for Web services and tech blogs. It lets you quickly access a variety of popular sites such as Gmail, Facebook, and Twitter instantly with a single click. Unfortunately, you can't change the default selections.

Like most Chrome extensions, Launchr installs quickly. It placed an "L" icon in Chrome's address bar. Clicking it opened up a panel containing 3D icons linking to the following sites: Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Picasa, Delicious, LinkedIn, Orkut, Blogger, Flickr, WordPress, MySpace, StumbleUpon, YouTube, Digg, Gizmodo, Mashable, TechCrunch, ReadWriteWeb, and Lifehacker. Each site opened quickly on its home page, and even with our account logged in, where enabled. It's a neat thing, especially if your bookmarks toolbar is already full. However, we quickly realized what most of the people who've tried Launchr have mentioned in comments: It needs 1) the ability to add your own sites and remove sites you don't want; and 2) the ability to use fewer icons, or more, if you like. There are 20 icons in Launchr's interface, and although most of them are familiar to a majority of users, few people use them all, and it's a bit overwhelming visually to scan through unfamiliar icons to find your targets, especially since you'll probably never become familiar with some of them if you aren't already.

Of course, Chrome extensions aren't just easy to make; they're easy to fix, so here's hoping Launchr will get some tweaks. It's certainly useful as it is, but the ability to add your own favorite sites and remove those you're not interested in would help make Launchr more useful and less cluttered.

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