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The Next Firefox UI

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the let-the-arguing-commence dept.

Firefox 401

An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla has been constructing a new user interface for Firefox, and the layout seems to be revealed in new mockups that show the integrated Home Tab app and the streamlining of tabs and browsing buttons."

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Plane'arium (-1, Offtopic)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 2 years ago | (#36951568)

In that mockup [mozilla.com] , it depicts this stupid word for which I cannot pronounce the "t". WTF, Firefox?

I don't know what that means. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36952218)

The word "planetarium" is seen. And.....?

Please state the nature of your mental emergency, as I have no idea what you are complaining about.

when it's not broken, do not fix it. (4, Insightful)

allo (1728082) | more than 2 years ago | (#36951576)

when it's not broken, do not fix it.

waruuuuuuu! (-1, Troll)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#36951686)

somebody moved my water dish!
now I'm going to die of dehydration...

bonk!
bonk!

Re:waruuuuuuu! (3, Insightful)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | more than 2 years ago | (#36951834)

Observation: Thud547 seems to have no problem finding his water dish and it works very well for keeping him hydrated:

Firefox developer: I'll bet he'd like it if we put his water dish at a remote location along the Amazon river! I'll bet nobody has ever thought of this, much less tried it! This is going to be so f'ing awesome!!!!!11

Re:when it's not broken, do not fix it. (3, Funny)

Escape From NY (1539983) | more than 2 years ago | (#36951962)

My philosophy has always been: "If it's not broken, fix it 'till it is." I'm glad to see I'm not alone in this.

Re:when it's not broken, do not fix it. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36952046)

It isn't fixing something that isn't broken. It's improving something that could be improved.

Less clutter = less screen wasted on clutter = better use of your screen, whether it's a netbook or big desktop monitor.

Re:when it's not broken, do not fix it. (3, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952284)

Yes, personally I end up disabling these new UIs and putting it back to normal anyway.

The day they don't let me disable it and set it how it always was is the day I stop using it most likely, with each and every new design ever other version I'm concerned one day they'll see classic as too legacy!

Re:when it's not broken, do not fix it. (1)

Colven (515018) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952302)

... but it is broken ... w/5, I've got a "stop loading" x button in the toolbar that disappears when I move it.... but at least it lets me move it in customize mode, right? and then there's the "X" in the add-ons bar that I can't get rid of... and I'm in such a habit of clicking the edges of a window to bring it forward that I end up closing the frickin thing... and could rearraning the icons on the add-on bar maybe actually work at some point? and who picked the ugly green "loading" icon for the tabs? why isn't is orange... or blue? something in the icon maybe? or close to it? and wtf is an awesome bar?

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36951584)

Why?

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36951754)

New! Shiny! Are you st00pid?

The Next Firefox UI (5, Insightful)

zbobet2012 (1025836) | more than 2 years ago | (#36951590)

is Chrome.

Re:The Next Firefox UI (2)

Elbart (1233584) | more than 2 years ago | (#36951668)

The fork can't be too far away.

Re:The Next Firefox UI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36951786)

My thoughts exactly. It seems very familiar.

Re:The Next Firefox UI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36951824)

First IE copies Chrome... now Firefox! Next, Opera?

Re:The Next Firefox UI (4, Informative)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | more than 2 years ago | (#36951912)

They've been swiping bits from Opera for years. The most recent versions even have the right click "Paste and Go" for the address bar which was always one of my favorite obscure Opera-centric behaviors.

I'm quite happy it's there, too, but then I'm one of those freakish Opera fans and anything that makes Firefox more like Opera is A-OK with me.

Re:The Next Firefox UI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36952278)

cmd-l, cmd-v, enter has always been way faster than right click > paste & go :P

Re:The Next Firefox UI (2)

Fred Or Alive (738779) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952106)

As one of Opera's five users, I will say that its defaults are fairly Chrome / modern Firefox-ish already. Opera always had tabs above the address bar, not below, and newer versions have a minimalist UI (like a Firefox style single menu), as is the style nowadays. I wish they hadn't followed the general theme of making everything monochrome though.

Opera has a fairly flexible set of UI settings, and a reasonable skinning system so you can turn off most of this minimalism and go back to something more traditional if you want.

Re:The Next Firefox UI (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36951930)

Which is a good thing, finally getting rid of all the clutter. Unfortunately, chances are it won't use WebKit. On the plus side, the Firefox folks have so far always made an effort to mimic how other applications look, while Chrome looks like Windows Vista everywhere.

Re:The Next Firefox UI (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952294)

I've never seen Chrome, but this looked very much like Opera here.

I like Opera as a browser, I don't like its UI though that much, I actually prefer the simplest possible UI of like Netscape 4 or something of that type, so to me this looks just counterintuitive as a computer program. That's why I am not fully on Opera, but I force myself to use it because it works better.

Re:The Next Firefox UI (1)

INT_QRK (1043164) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952330)

Yup. Looks like Chrome.

Don't care for it, but... (5, Insightful)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 2 years ago | (#36951600)

As long as I can still get my tabs and shit below the even-more-goddamn-awesomebar, and put a status bar addon in, I'm not going to complain. Default layouts are fine-- it's when you suddenly can't modify them any more that I start to get tetchy.

Re:Don't care for it, but... (3, Informative)

Ghostworks (991012) | more than 2 years ago | (#36951760)

There's a reason my personal firefox config log is labeled "the hoops I jump through.txt". Every release they give me more of what I don't want, and break the add-ons that give me what I do want. It's getting pretty tedious stripping these things down just to build them back up again.

I think the home tab is a good idea... for people who use a home page and also only have 1 of them and also actually revisit it multiple times in the life of a window. So long as the other 85% of us can hide it, that's fine. But there comes a time when "you can customize it" stops being a feature, and starts being an excuse to ignore user wants and do whatever the hell you want. Really, is the UI something that needs to be continually re-defined? Couldn't we spend the effort on something else? Something other than badly imitating Chrome?

Re:Don't care for it, but... (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952136)

Honest question: Beyond "that's not the way it always has been", what is the problem with tabs on top?

I'll be the first to admit that I was very hesitant about putting tabs on the title bar, but after letting myself get used to it for a while I see a at least a couple distinct advantages. First the obvious, you gain some vertical screen space, which is always handy on modern widescreen monitors. Less obviously, you make it more clear that the UI elements at the top of the page are affecting the current tab. With tabs on top the URL bar, search bar, forward and back buttons all exist within the tab. With tabs on bottom you have a group of controls that exist at the browser level, which affect the current tab which seems more awkward to me. The effect is the impression that each tab has it's own URL bar, which is more accurate to how the browser behaves.

The Awesomebar I can kind of agree with, except to say that setting it to not use the history makes it much more usable (basically stock URL bar with the addition of searching bookmarks and tags). On removing the status bar I couldn't agree with you more though, it makes so many things so much more awkward. One of the few UI changes to Firefox that I've permanently reverted with add-ons.

Re:Don't care for it, but... (1)

JMJimmy (2036122) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952234)

Tabs on top isn't a problem. The problem is that the design harmed function.

Tailfins (4, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#36951626)

Browsers have now reached the maturity of 1950s American cars. They more or less work, still break too much, use too much fuel, and have lots of chrome and tailfins.

Re:Tailfins (1)

Teckla (630646) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952148)

Browsers have now reached the maturity of 1950s American cars. They more or less work, still break too much, use too much fuel, and have lots of chrome and tailfins.

Unless you've been living under a rock, it should be obvious that browsers have been trending toward less chrome (i.e., a less distracting UI) by removing a lot of UI clutter. The comparison to 1950s American cars seems completely wrong, at least where the UI is concerned.

Re:Tailfins (3, Insightful)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952160)

Yup. When the Mozilla developers say, as a reason for the new Home tab capability, that they want Firefox to be different, then tail-fins can't be far behind.

.
It is beginning to look like the Mozilla developers are now at a loss for new things to develop in order to feed the voracious appetite of the rapid release cycle that they pushed upon users.

Re:Tailfins (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952206)

And, American car companies lost their market when foreign competitors started focusing on *functionality*. So, when is the equivalent browser going to appear?

Creating a browser that blocks popups would be a great first step. Something insanely trivial to implement that everyone on the planet wants.

chrome is that you? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36951628)

Mozilla, Looks like Google beat you to it

Dear Mozilla (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36951632)

Please stop trying to make your browser fit on a 2" screen. I have 20"+ monitors. I can spare the pixels.

Further, burying the menu bar makes it very hard for me to support people who get confused when I say "Go to Edit and Preferences".

Innovation is not simply following Chrome's lead. Kthnx.

Re:Dear Mozilla (3, Insightful)

clampolo (1159617) | more than 2 years ago | (#36951820)

It's not just them. IE and Opera are also going the Chrome route. Personally I hate it too. The purpose of the frameworks an OS provides is to make the look and feel of all the apps look the same. And presumably since the user picked the particular OS, then they like the look and feel of that framework,

Re:Dear Mozilla (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36952026)

At least in Opera you can keep the original framework look if you want.

Re:Dear Mozilla (2)

Tarlus (1000874) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952292)

It's possible in Firefox 4/5/6 as well. The single-button menu can be swapped out for the traditional menu bar. It's also made temporarily visible (at least in Windows) by tapping the alt key.

Re:Dear Mozilla (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36951874)

I agree with this 100%. I have no idea why everyone needs an extra 20 pixels of height. No bookmarks toolbar in those screenshots, either.

Well, as long as there are addons and customization to make it functional instead of wannabe-Chrome.

Re:Dear Mozilla (2)

JamesTRexx (675890) | more than 2 years ago | (#36951992)

It's not how much inch the monitor is, but what the vertical resolution is.
Those idiotic HD resolutions meant cutting down quite a lot on resolution which means cutting down on spare height for menus etc..
I'm going to keep running my 1920x1200 laptop as long as possible, those screens just keep getting more expensive!

Re:Dear Mozilla (1)

revlayle (964221) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952224)

In the world of Chrome: "Click the 'Wrench', then Options" - also, I have less crap on my UI :)

Yeah, great (3, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#36951646)

Another new UI that makes getting to the thing I use regularly (like, you know, bookmarks) slower and more annoying.

WTF is up with FOSS developers these days?

Re:Yeah, great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36951848)

They let "designers" take over.

Re:Yeah, great (1)

JMJimmy (2036122) | more than 2 years ago | (#36951918)

I hate Mozilla's designers. First they screwed up Firefox 4 (still have not upgraded).

Then they did this to Thunderbird:
http://getsatisfaction.com/mozilla_messaging/topics/thunderbird_5_default_theme_on_windows_7_looks_like_a_pile_of_emesis [getsatisfaction.com]

Now this crap? Have they actually found out what they're users want/expect or are they just playing about with the lead designer's theme of the day?

Fix what isn't broken (2)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 2 years ago | (#36951652)

Who exactly is looking for all these crazy changes to the way browsers work? I am starting to think that browser design has become "art for the sake of art". What happened to function over form?

Re:Fix what isn't broken (3, Insightful)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 2 years ago | (#36951748)

What happened to function over form?

Well, they've had the function working right for a while. Now they're paying lots of extra attention to the form, they just happen to be getting it wrong!

Re:Fix what isn't broken (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36952032)

What happened to function over form?

Go ask Apple.

Re:Fix what isn't broken (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36952244)

What happened to function over form?

Most people realized that users care about having a good visual experience with using the software and thus are trying to make things simpler to gain access to the vast amount of functionality. Despite what nerds want, most people don't want to have to learn 100s of arcane keyboard combos or dig through 5 layer deep menus just to access functionality. Without good form, you can have the greatest functionality in the world but very few people are going to want to use it.

Think of it this way. Supercars have great performance, steering, etc when it comes to functionality. But at the same time most of the things are a pain in the ass to drive because all the work went into giving it this great functionality but with little effort being put into the actual form of the car. Most of them have either horrendous gearboxes or shitty paddle shifters. The seats are a bitch to sit in. Most of the time they are so low that you can't drive them on anything but the flattest and smoothest of tracks. This is why even if most people outside of hardcore gearheads, even if they had a lot of money to spend on a supercar, would pick a car that has much more reasonable form but less awesome functionality over the car that is basically built for nothing but function but has shitty form.

Re:Fix what isn't broken (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952350)

That's great if you are talking about introducing something new to people but by now a majority of the population understands how browsers work and would be put off by suddenly changing things around because some usability expert in a glass castle decides it makes more sense.

So long as plugins are not broken have fun. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#36951662)

So long as plugins are not broken have fun, I will stick with vimperator.

How about (2)

Hsien-Ko (1090623) | more than 2 years ago | (#36951672)

you just stick to the damn tried and true Netscape UI and stop "revolutionizing" anything we're familiar with by instinct.

Re:How about (1)

Megane (129182) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952030)

Seamonkey [seamonkey-project.org] at least so far seems to be keeping to the well-proven old-school browser interface. The main problems I have with it are 1: why can't I get rid of that stupid Print button by the address bar? and 2: why do I need an HTML page editor in a browser, and why do I need it bound to a freaking command key? (Ctrl/Command-E), which are a lot less problematic than "where did my interface go?"

Yu@o fail it? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36951698)

Re:Yu@o fail it? (2)

allo (1728082) | more than 2 years ago | (#36951814)

do not click.
> [goat.cx]

Whatever happen to UI consistency? (3, Insightful)

grumbel (592662) | more than 2 years ago | (#36951720)

Whatever happen to UI consistency? "Back in the day" UIs used to use the same toolkits, have their menus and toolbars all in the same spot and work consistently across applications. Today all those UI elements are kind of splattered around the application and there is really no consistency where you can find something anymore. There are also things in modern UIs that I really don't get, Firefox4 for example will present you different menus depending on if you click it with a mouse or if you activate it with the keyboard. What's the point in that? Didn't we figure out that changing menus where a really bad idea back when Windows tried it many years ago? Once up-on a time the menu was full of all the stuff the application could do, now its like playing hide and seek with the functions an application might have and hiding them from the user is really not helping.

Re:Whatever happen to UI consistency? (3, Interesting)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 2 years ago | (#36951940)

Whatever happen to UI consistency?

Beats me, but when Apple decided to throw their own interface guidelines out the window and pointlessly rearrange the window icons on iTunes for whatever reason, and then again made the window icons on their App Store app center on the toolbar instead of the top of the window like every other app, it's become clear that the watchword for today is "change for the sake of change."

Incidentally, I notice that at some point after screwing with the iTunes window buttons for absolutely no reason, they've reverted them back to be like every other window that's not the App Store. So apparently Apple is slowly learning their own lessons about interface consistency.

Re:Whatever happen to UI consistency? (1)

jeremyp (130771) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952126)

Incidentally, I notice that at some point after screwing with the iTunes window buttons for absolutely no reason, they've reverted them back to be like every other window that's not the App Store. So apparently Apple is slowly learning their own lessons about interface consistency.

Not quite: try pressing the green "make the window as big as it needs to be to display all the content" button.

Apple is one of the worst offenders at breaking its own UI guidelines. iTunes is a fail, the App Store is a fail, Quick Time X is a huge fail. I haven't got it but I gather Aperture is also a fail.

Re:Whatever happen to UI consistency? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36951944)

UX and Graphic Designers got uppity and obseesed with "sleek" - maybe in part due to Steve Jobs's insistence on no buttons anywhere, ever. It sounds harsh but I think this is the reason. People forgot users were the important ones, not marketing or designers.

Re:Whatever happen to UI consistency? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36951968)

The most frustrating thing for me is that FF 5 moved the Home button all the freaking way to the right. Where my mouse never goes. WTF? Same thing with the reload button, its far off to the side.

My mouse is often around the forward/back buttons and the beginning of the URL box. If my mouse is already there often, why can't the reload and home key button be there too? Especially if I never put the mouse out in that corner anyway?!

FF 5 = FAIL (for me at least)

Re:Whatever happen to UI consistency? (1)

R.Mo_Robert (737913) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952100)

The most frustrating thing for me is that FF 5 moved the Home button all the freaking way to the right. ... My mouse is often around the forward/back buttons and the beginning of the URL box. ... why can't the reload and home key button be there too?

You're kidding, right? Right-click the toolbar. Choose "Customize." Drag your buttons where you want them. Problem solved.

I'm not saying I like all the UI changes from Firefox 3.6 to 4/5, but this is one of the easiest changes to overcome if you don't like it. That being said, I did move the Home button back but am finding that I really don't stop/reload being where they are--plus, there are easy keyboard shortcuts for them both, anyway, that I normally use instead.

Re:Whatever happen to UI consistency? (1)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952314)

You're kidding, right? Right-click the toolbar. Choose "Customize." Drag your buttons where you want them. Problem solved.

That's great and all but most people don't want to have to change a bunch of shit like that to get something working right. Yes, in and of itself that is a minor annoyance but a bunch of those put together (and there are many that can be lobbed at Firefox) overall makes the software far more annoying to use than it should be. Now this does not mean that they should try to solve the problem by copying Chrome outright. This is why you come up with sane defaults that the vast majority of users will be comfortable and then you can let the customizers jack with their shit all they want to get it how the want.

Re:Whatever happen to UI consistency? (1)

Teckla (630646) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952268)

Whatever happen to UI consistency? "Back in the day" UIs used to use the same toolkits, have their menus and toolbars all in the same spot and work consistently across applications. Today all those UI elements are kind of splattered around the application and there is really no consistency where you can find something anymore. There are also things in modern UIs that I really don't get, Firefox4 for example will present you different menus depending on if you click it with a mouse or if you activate it with the keyboard. What's the point in that? Didn't we figure out that changing menus where a really bad idea back when Windows tried it many years ago? Once up-on a time the menu was full of all the stuff the application could do, now its like playing hide and seek with the functions an application might have and hiding them from the user is really not helping.

Web browsers are a special case, because they are increasingly being used to run web applications.

If web browsers were to keep all the chrome of a regular application, you end up with a pretty cluttered display: a full blown application (the web app) within a full blown application (the web browser). Yuck.

I, for one, am pleased that web browser UIs are increasingly getting out of the way so that I can concentrate on the web app they are hosting. However, web browser makers might be able to please everyone by making sure users can re-enable a thick, more traditional and consistent UI.

Dag Nabbit! (0)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952306)

Back in my day, all windows had a line on the top left and two arrows on the right [guidebookgallery.org] , and all the windows were uniform and looked exactly the same! And it should never ever change from that! Get off my lawn!

garbage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36951736)

simpler isnt better guys, really.

If it ain't broke... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36951802)

DON'T fix it. Good God. You do not need to change things just to change them. How the hell am I going to explain how to use that to my mother. She gets mad enough because her browser history is hidden under "Favorites" in IE. And don't say "Just hit Ctrl+B" because that is just one more thing to remember. What is the point of having a mouse if there is noting to click?

An any rate, I think Mozilla should make multiple official themes. Each to reflect what an old version looked like. Oh and keep a working version of the status bar in the code. Status-4-eva and the addon bar (or whatever it is called now) is a hack and does not fully replicate the functionality. Additionally, THERE IS NO DAMN WAY TO GET RID OF THE CLOSING X ON THE BAR. I DON'T WANT TO CLOSE IT THAT IS WHY I ENABLED IT IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Oh, this ought to be awful (2)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 2 years ago | (#36951812)

My first reaction on seeing the headline was "oh, this ought to be awful." But, you know, that's just a gut reaction. I should really give them the benefit of the doubt.

(click)

OK, first thing I notice is that there's now no forward button. It shows up again later, so I guess the idea is that it vanishes if you don't need it? ...uh, OK, but I kind of like having a UI that doesn't randomly change size based on what tab I'm looking at.

These are Mac OS X screenshots, so the menu shouldn't be in the window anyway, but it appears they've moved everything to a small cog. No, wait, later there's a Windows 7 version, and the menu is still the orange Firefox thing, so I guess the cog is Mac OS X only?

They're finally merging the search and URL bars, which I'm sure some Slashdotters will scream bloody murder over, but which I can't help but think it's about time. (Really, not too hard to tell a URL from a search term, and given that the "awesome" bar is already a search feature, they might as well give me more space so that I can see the entire URL.)

Over all it doesn't look too horrible compared to their current interface. May even be an improvement.

Now the only question left is how many extensions will be required to restore the toolbar so I can keep my NoScript and Firebug icons fucking available since I frequently need to use them. You took away my status bar, please don't take away my toolbar too.

Also, I wonder what new bugs they'll introduce to Firefox under Windows Aero. Gotta love Aero Glass freaking out whenever you mouse over a link. (How did you even do that?!)

Re:Oh, this ought to be awful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36952034)

They're finally merging the search and URL bars, which I'm sure some Slashdotters will scream bloody murder over, but which I can't help but think it's about time.

When I'm using a browser like this I type http://google.com/ [google.com] in the address bar and search from there. I'm not sure why anybody other than retards would do searches from the address bar? I sure as hell would never gift addresses or my complete browsing history to google via their suggestive search.

Re:Oh, this ought to be awful (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952174)

Then turn off auto-complete?

As it turns out, it appears that Firefox already treats the URL bar like a search bar. If you enter in a string with spaces, it will auto-search it in Google. (And not whatever you've set your search provider to be in the Search Bar, which is... interesting.)

Really, I think most people find that not having a separate "search bar" is more useful. If you want to enter a URL, start with "http://", and it will take you to any URL you need to go to. Otherwise, it'll do a search.

If you need to quickly search, just hit the bar, type in your search, and hit enter. I dunno, I like that feature.

But I will agree that if they do implement it, it had damned better being configurable. If you don't want to search in the address bar, that's fine and your choice. The option should be available, in my opinion, but it certainly shouldn't be forced.

Re:Oh, this ought to be awful (1)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952332)

Because that's an extra step that serves no purpose other than to annoy most people? You can always continue to go to google.com to search all you want.

Re:Oh, this ought to be awful (2)

JMJimmy (2036122) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952068)

Examples of why a combined search is terrible:

1) define:

Firefox treats anything with a : as part of a protocol so that search functionality is only available by first going to google.

2) I'm feeling lucky vs full search.

Currently address bar does the former and search does the latter. This allows me to dictate behaviour, use multiple search engines, and such.

3) Further to #2 tab behaviour can be dictated. Address bar with I'm feeling lucky = don't open new tab. Search with full search = open in new tab.

This is a feature I use daily and would not give up easily. It makes navigating so much easier.

The FF4 and 5 UIs do not solve any real problems users have/had. It's purely design over function with no benefit to the user.

Re:Oh, this ought to be awful (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952152)

"These are Mac OS X screenshots, so the menu shouldn't be in the window anyway, but it appears they've moved everything to a small cog. No, wait, later there's a Windows 7 version, and the menu is still the orange Firefox thing, so I guess the cog is Mac OS X only?

They're finally merging the search and URL bars, which I'm sure some Slashdotters will scream bloody murder over, but which I can't help but think it's about time. (Really, not too hard to tell a URL from a search term, and given that the "awesome" bar is already a search feature, they might as well give me more space so that I can see the entire URL.)">


"We appreciate your interest in our design experiments!
The UI mock-ups shown on these pages were part of a meeting, and were for discussion purposes, and to explore different design directions. Some of them are already out of date."


I suggest geting them your opinions while you can.

Mmm (1)

jackspenn (682188) | more than 2 years ago | (#36951836)

How Google Chrome of them.

Oh it's Chrome (1)

TarpaKungs (466496) | more than 2 years ago | (#36951844)

or is it April 1st?...

Re:Oh it's Chrome (1)

allo (1728082) | more than 2 years ago | (#36951878)

my thought was "opera" ... mh.

Just me here? (1, Insightful)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 2 years ago | (#36951856)

I'm probably alone, but I rather like the new UI. Reminds me of Chrome. I switched to Chrome recently because FF5 on OS X was just crashing too much and had gotten too slow, might switch back if this works similarly faster and is stable again.

If UI designers listened to the tech community we'd still be using something that looked like an early Netscape. There was plenty of room for improvement there, and a lot of things just don't make sense anymore and never really did anyway. Permanent status bars are a good thing to be rid of, for instance.

Like Ford said, if I'd asked people what they wanted they would have told me a faster horse.

Re:Just me here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36951958)

Like Ford said, if I'd asked people what they wanted they would have told me a faster horse.

Mozilla asked people what they wanted and apparently chrome was the response....lol

Re:Just me here? (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952044)

"...I rather like the new UI. Reminds me of Chrome."

That is the problem. Most people that want Chrome are using Chrome. Most people that are using Firefox like it better than Chrome.

Hideous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36951858)

At the point where we're all installing the stupidly named "status4evar" and replacing the default UI with something usable we may as well just fork the browser. Perhaps then someone in the ivory towers over at mozilla will stop doing UI experiments on trunk and stop trying to improve the user experience for people that are quite capable of installing Chrome if they want a crappy reduced UI.

Dear Mozilla (3, Insightful)

alostpacket (1972110) | more than 2 years ago | (#36951864)

I understand you are designing for the lowest common denominator. It makes sense, and I can see where you are going with this design direction.

However, please be sure to allow configurability at the very least, and even better resist the urge to remove UI elements and hide them behind menus.

I dont want more buttons hidden behind more menus that require more clicks. On my desktop I have a large amount of room and like all my important options in front of me. That's why it's a great computing device for work. On my mobile phone, a sparse UI is much appreciated. But I dont really need it, nor want it, on a desktop. It doesnt make any sense in keeping with the idea of easy "discoverability" in user experience design. It also could easily confuse users even more than you think.
 
Most users can learn to recognize that a little "house" icon is the home screen. However, many users will not understand that setting the home page is under [alt] > Tools > options > General tab. Non-tech savvy people dont understand all of this multi layered categorization. They may not think the same way the developers and designers do, and may not put the option under the same category if they were doing the organization. They also may understand what they need, but not what the categories mean. Simple UI controls work better for most people. As an example: almost everyone understand lists and scrolling, even if they are very long lists.

It would also be nice if the bugs regarding new versions of FF corrupting profiles be looked into. And I don't know of any users that really feel the new "rapid release" stuff is worth a dime. The people who know what it means think it's silly, and the people who don't wouldn't care anyways.

Don't get me wrong, you guys have done fantastic work over the years. And the world owes you *much* gratitude. But I feel the need to speak up at some of the recent changes in direction Mozilla has been making with FF and TB. A need I have never felt before regarding either product. As a fan I wish you all the best though and hope to keep using FF and TB as I have never been that interested in Chrome or Gmail.

Re:Dear Mozilla (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952004)

However, many users will not understand that setting the home page is under [alt] > Tools > options > General tab. Non-tech savvy people dont understand all of this multi layered categorization

If you want a flat list of configuration options instead of a nested hierarchy, everything is available under about:config. It's even searchable.

Next you will complain that "non-tech savvy people can't handle being bombarded by a list of hundreds of configuration options".

Re:Dear Mozilla (1)

alostpacket (1972110) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952298)

While certainly no one wants to be bombarded with 100,000 config options, I think you can agree there has been a movement to hide and simplfy UIs over the past few years especially, and that this particular UI looks more sparse than the last which looked more sparse than the previous and so on. I highly doubt we're just going to go to all text lists like in the past (and I wouldn't want that), but it was an example of a consistent UI element people have long learned to understand almost intuitively. There are others too, but it was just an example. The other point that's important to remember here is that everyone categorizes a bit differently. They may not think in the same terms as the UI designer.

And I use about:config. But I was talking about non-tech savvy users and how options are presented to them. Kind of an important part of the point.
 
And no, I wont be complaining about long lists, I'm saying that's one of the few things usability has taught most people over the years. It's (part of) why most webpages scroll down. People get that. Why would you think I would complain about the opposite? Anyways, I'm sorry but I dont get where you're coming from with that comment other than it seems like you're trying to be rude because you're frustrated at what you think I'm saying (which I am not).

Personally... (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 2 years ago | (#36951868)

If its still as modifiable as the previous versions of FF, I won't complain.

I like the extra space for my tiny screen, but I can afford the additional pixels on my large one. Looks familiar though...

Re:Personally... (1)

JMJimmy (2036122) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952122)

Firefox 4 vs Firefox 1-3.x with some simple modifications = 1px difference but then you also didn't have the annoying status popup over top of your page.

As a netbook user... (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#36951884)

I have 600 pixels vertical resolution. I need all the screen real-estate I can get!

Am slightly concerned about the menu bar though. Don't use it a lot but I d occasionally. Where is it?

Re:As a netbook user... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36951984)

F11

Re:As a netbook user... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36952102)

I have 600 pixels vertical resolution. I need all the screen real-estate I can get!

Then you should've gotten a real laptop then, rather than the bastard child of a laptop and a mobile phone (with the worst qualities of each).

Re:As a netbook user... (1)

CamD (964822) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952318)

I have 600 pixels vertical resolution. I need all the screen real-estate I can get!

Press F11.

Safari? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#36951926)

Looks exactly like Safari.

oh god, even more dumbed down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36951960)

it seems like the fashionable thing lately has to be removing UI features .. as long as there is some GUI way of keeping the Firefox 5 accessability,
i'll be ok with it. jeez. if i wanted a dumbed down interfaced already i'd be using Gnome...

Very original. Not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36951964)

Now I won't be able to distinguish between Chrome and FF without squinting.

Mindless complaining (0)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 2 years ago | (#36951974)

As I'm scrolling through the comments here, I'm seeing the same things repeated over and over again.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it: And ten years from now, the browser will be exactly the same as it is now. That's what you want, isn't it? Stagnation does not lead to a healthy project. Innovation does.

Re:Mindless complaining (1)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952056)

As I'm scrolling through the comments here, I'm seeing the same things repeated over and over again.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it: And ten years from now, the browser will be exactly the same as it is now. That's what you want, isn't it? Stagnation does not lead to a healthy project. Innovation does.

But... but... _everyone_ knows the surest way to improve your market share is to not do a goddamn thing, ever. Right?

More vertical space! Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36951996)

Okay, so it looks like Chrome, but it definitely a step in the right direction. I liked that they compacted all the browser application menu bars and left more room for actual content. I'm always trying to get more page visible on my netbook and this will fit the bill nicely.

*facedesk* (2)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952028)

Just...just fuck you Mozilla. This is the last straw for me.
As much as I've made fun of Opera users throughout the years, looks like I'm joining them now...

Quick tally (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36952080)

So a quick tally of the first 38 posts:
4 unrelated to anything
2 like/don't hate
1 poster making fun of the reactionary tone of the comments (who never actually claimed to like what Mozilla's doing)
3 don't care so long as it can be modified
22 hate/WTF Mozilla?
8 who chimed in just to point out that Chrome already did this (but did not express strong opinions on like vs. dislike)

So an approval potentially as high as ~3%, disapproval between 58-79% (swing due to "Chrome" posts).

I'm not a marketing guy, but that doesn't sound like a "win".

How about spending time on making it work? (1)

Misagon (1135) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952088)

How about trying to make the browser faster and more concurrent instead of spending time on unnecessary GUI changes?
I often experience a huge slowdown in Firefox when I have five or so Firefox windows -- of which all but one are minimized.
I often experience that the entire browser locks up to wait for a request ... in another window than the one that I am reading in.
I also get the feeling that the so called "awesome" bar becomes slower and slower with time.

How about fixing these issues instead?
I am seriously thinking about switching browser because of how slow Firefox has become.

Not too functional (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952124)

I keep clicking the "Click on a planet to start" button but nothing happens

Chrome sings Disco 2000 (0)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952134)

Well we were born within one decade of each other.
Our fathers said we could be sister and brother.
Your name is Firefox, Firefox.
It never suited ya.
Oh they thought that when we grew up,
we'd get merged, and never split up.
We never did it, although you often thought of it.

Oh Firefox, do you recall?
Your footprint was very small,
and popularity used to roll,
When I came around to call,
you didn't notice me at all.

I said let's all meet up in my own GUI.
Won't it be strange when you're all finally grown.
I will wait for you folks, three versions above.
How many times you'll get redesigned?
maybe its sometimes simpler not to try,
You know what, go and merge with IE,
Make Opera cry!

Hmmm... (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952142)

it looks like a mashup of Opera's Speed Dial and the embedding/customization of Apple's circa-1996 Cyberdog [wikipedia.org] .

Not surpising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36952166)

Having looked at the FF source, the hoops one has to jump through to actually get this thing to build (even more so on Windows, but thats a non issue if you cross compile), will serve to scare most developers away (not to mention the restrictive guidelines as to how one ought to write code for the project) I can see why almost all the "major" changes focus on reskinning the UI for the x100th time.

Much ado... (5, Informative)

iceaxe (18903) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952196)

Please read the comment appearing at the top of the web page [mozilla.com] , and then un-wad your knickers, folks.

We appreciate your interest in our design experiments!
The UI mock-ups shown on these pages were part of a meeting, and were for discussion purposes, and to explore different design directions. Some of them are already out of date.
Mozilla works in the open, and the way to get the latest in UI improvements to Firefox is to download the UX channel build for your OS, which will auto-update every night with various design experiments we're looking at.

Targeted advertising. (1)

jeremyp (130771) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952228)

For some reason my "disable advertising" button has got turned off, but that means I get to see the huge banner ad and the even huger ad on the right hand side, which both say in huge letters:

Download Google Chrome Now

Some comments on the new look: (1)

supersloshy (1273442) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952254)

1) What happened to the forward button? I understand it's not used much, but it doesn't take up that much space, does it? As long as you can do the same functionality by holding down the back button like usual, then I should be fine. Not sure how discoverable that feature is, though...

2) I like the new tab style a lot, even if they don't really look like "tabs" as much as before, it's still an improvement to me. It really makes it look like the tab owns the browser chrome, good for usability purposes. This is probably the best tabs-on-top design I've seen in a while.

3) Home tab! Finally!

4) I like the new menu as well. It would work better on non-standardized platforms like GNU/Linux, and it looks pretty customizable. A much better solution than the current Firefox menu and Add-on bar usability wise; I happen to like "mega menus" if they're done correctly, and the old menu from FF 4/5 was hard to navigate when helping people with the browser. This, not nearly as challenging.

5) The full-screen UI looks pretty nice as well; space-saving while having all the features you really need.

I'm really looking forward to this new UI change. Sure, it's inconsistent with other applications, but if it makes the program more simple to use for a majority of users (while still maintaining the ability to customize), I think it's for the better. Can anybody think of some more pros/cons about this that aren't "it's too different", "bring back the status bar", or "I hate tabs on top"?

"Creating an interface that is unique to Firefox" (1)

eepok (545733) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952274)

"... a few different reasons why we are exploring the concept of a Home Tab, including: Creating an interface that is unique to Firefox"

But why? If I were a group of program developers that is still trying to steal users away from another program, I would make switching as easy as possible. Learning curves brought on by unique interfaces work against that.

Oh well... just make sure there's the option for a more traditional UI and I'll just switch to that when I upgrade- Why yes, my Windows 7 installation looks just like Windows 2000.

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