Firefox 4 home tab design challenge, winner announced

Mozilla has announced the winner for its home tab design challenge, where users get a chance to make a concept design of what the new opening tab will look like.  Mozilla asked the community to submit their concept designs, and after more than 3,000 votes, they are ready to announce the winner, and his design.

The winner, Yatrik Solanki, describes his concept images as “Identities, a website launcher, browsing sessions, and a task-oriented ultrasmart search box define my concept. And it’s cool!.”

The design includes a search bar, so users can search some of the top sites, rather than just Google.  The home page includes a launcher for recently visited websites and favourites.  The concept also includes login history, so users can see which of their favourite sites they are logged in to, or if the page requires login information.

The winning design may not reflect the final UI when Firefox 4 ships, but gives us a good idea what Mozilla is looking for in their new home tab design.

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119 Comments

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I hope they don't cripple the bookmark system like Chrome's. I'd use chrome if the bookmark bark could be made into a button and placed where I want it (on the left) like I can with Opera 10.5. Firefox's button acts like a sidebar which I don't like, I want a drop down menu as in the way it currently works (bookmarks).

So is Chrome still the only browser which has the tabs in the title bar at the very top of the window, without it every other browser is going to be space inefficient by comparison.

mad_onion said,
So is Chrome still the only browser which has the tabs in the title bar at the very top of the window, without it every other browser is going to be space inefficient by comparison.

Chrome had a very innovative idea of tabs on top , and Safari 4 Beta (Not final), Opera and now Firefox seem to copy it, but then what is wrong with it? Opera was first to bring tabs , Firefox to bring so many addons and i guess better popup system too. IE brought process separation and Safari brought,, ? ,, will tell after recalling :D

Edited by bogas04, Mar 3 2010, 3:19pm :

Shiranui said,
If Firefox 4 doesn't have an ie-tab-like feature built in, then they might as well not bother.

I don't see why that's needed, considering there is add-on for that.

Shiranui said,
If Firefox 4 doesn't have an ie-tab-like feature built in, then they might as well not bother.

What kind of feature? Tabs below address-bar? that is an optional design which user CAN choose without addons.
Or u are talking colours in tabs? Ah , that can be achieved only by addons or userstyles.

first time seeing mozilla incorporating this type of high end design. Really Cool.
better stick with it as Opera and Chrome has better design.

m-p{3} said,
Hmm, just wondering, but where would you type an URL?

That's not the UI completely. Read the topic. :P

"The winning design may not reflect the final UI when Firefox 4 ships, but gives us a good idea what Mozilla is looking for in their new home tab design."

Go here if you want to see the design:

https://wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox/4.0_Windows_Theme_Mockups

Sewje said,
lmao, its practically opera 10.5

Except with market share!

Not to mention the add ons system, which is a rather big deal IMO...

Maybe someone at Neowin could edit the article above just to make it even more clear that this is a home/new tab design not browser design.

Mike Chipshop said,
Maybe someone at Neowin could edit the article above just to make it even more clear that this is a home/new tab design not browser design.

Yeah, you would think a title like "Firefox 4 HOME TAB design challenge, winner announced" would have been enough, but I guess not...

If anything, this discussion has proven how few people that comment on the articles actually READ the articles...

M_Lyons10 said,

Yeah, you would think a title like "Firefox 4 HOME TAB design challenge, winner announced" would have been enough, but I guess not...

If anything, this discussion has proven how few people that comment on the articles actually READ the articles...

Exactly, i myself didn't have trouble but many it seems did.

@Lepton: Pretty sure it's just a UI concept. Obviously they aren't going to omit the navigation toolbar; otherwise, I'm sure they'd lose a nice fat chunk of their user base.

I find all of the Chrome and Opera copy comments rather amusing. I think people are forgetting that neither Opera or Firefox were original with the button on the top left. Last I checked, that first appeared in Microsoft Office 2010. As for the speed dial, I don't see people complaining about Google Chrome's implementation of it.

As a predominant Firefox user since the pre-1.0 days, I can honestly say that no browser is best for everything. While Firefox is dominant in the area of extensions, it's not so great in areas of memory usage and lacks multi-process browsing. Chrome on the other hand appears to be improving in the area of extensions, but has yet to see anything truly impressive. Perhaps that will change soon.

I can't speak for Opera because I haven't used it at all lately.

Hate it. Looks cluttered, unfocussed, and I have no idea what it's trying to present to me. It'll be one of the first things to go when I get FF4.

Slugsie said,
Hate it. Looks cluttered, unfocussed, and I have no idea what it's trying to present to me. It'll be one of the first things to go when I get FF4.
It's a contest winner. It is NOT an official mockup.

Edited by Kirkburn, Mar 3 2010, 12:31am :

Slugsie said,
Hate it. Looks cluttered, unfocussed, and I have no idea what it's trying to present to me. It'll be one of the first things to go when I get FF4.

Well, it LOOKS like it's presenting commonly visited sites and such... I might be crazy...

Kirkburn said,
It's a contest winner. It is NOT an official mockup.

I know, but given it was a contest run by Mozilla, and it's on their site it's a safe bet that the intention was to get some ideas.

M_Lyons10 said,

Well, it LOOKS like it's presenting commonly visited sites and such... I might be crazy...

Well, I have my commonly visited sites automatically open in tabs when I open the browser. I might be crazy, but that works how I want it to.

Where is the "File Edit View..." toolbar? I should not have to have to click and click to get these functions. Let us not forget...a certain amount of "operational action buttons/choices" around the periphery of the main window is a good thing.

TsarNikky said,
Where is the "File Edit View..." toolbar? I should not have to have to click and click to get these functions. Let us not forget...a certain amount of "operational action buttons/choices" around the periphery of the main window is a good thing.
They won't necessarily take more clicks. Stuff will just be organised differently.

TsarNikky said,
Where is the "File Edit View..." toolbar? I should not have to have to click and click to get these functions. Let us not forget...a certain amount of "operational action buttons/choices" around the periphery of the main window is a good thing.

I can't imagine these things aren't going to be there... Keep in mind that this wasn't an overall UI competition, but a design competition for the home tab... So, your concern doesn't have anything to do with this competition...

sigh now everything looks like chrome.. so frikin hate the locked interface.

lets hope they put the classic interface

eilegz said,
sigh now everything looks like chrome.. so frikin hate the locked interface.
It's not locked. Why do you think it's locked??

Lepton said,
Looks retarded. Missing all the things I click on or type into.

Ignore everything but the page design, this is not the browsers design, it is solely the design for the home tab

To be honest, I think Firefox is going the way of the dinosaur. Chrome has a lot faster development, and even the rumors on IE9 say that it might be really good too (remains to be seen). Firefox was great when it came out because it beat the crap out of IE6, and the extensions are amazing. I'm typing on it now :)

But now as we go forward and see closed source make a move faster than open source, how can everybody spout the benefits of software just by the sake of it being open source? I'm sorry, I'll use what is best -- open source or not, and I'm almost at the point where Chrome extensions are what I want to use, and I'll swap to that browser. If IE9 beats that, then another swap is in order.

Hercules said,
To be honest, I think Firefox is going the way of the dinosaur. Chrome has a lot faster development, and even the rumors on IE9 say that it might be really good too (remains to be seen). Firefox was great when it came out because it beat the crap out of IE6, and the extensions are amazing. I'm typing on it now :)

But now as we go forward and see closed source make a move faster than open source, how can everybody spout the benefits of software just by the sake of it being open source? I'm sorry, I'll use what is best -- open source or not, and I'm almost at the point where Chrome extensions are what I want to use, and I'll swap to that browser. If IE9 beats that, then another swap is in order.

Chrome? The Chrome that,
Chrome UI customability = null
Chrome Advanced Options = null
Spyware = check!
Scripts Work = No
Adblock = Adhide
Ability to have new tab to open to page x = nope
ability to disable new tab page = nope
etc.
???

Aside from that there is not much 'awesome' if anything at all from release a to release b of Chrome. Faster Development means nothing for Chrome.

FYI, SVGs are at least 10x faster in Firefox 3.7a3 and so is scrolling than Chrome.

Edited by Udedenkz, Mar 2 2010, 8:38pm :

Udedenkz said,

Chrome? The Chrome that,
Chrome UI customability = null
Chrome Advanced Options = null
Spyware = check!
Scripts Work = No
Adblock = Adhide
Ability to have new tab to open to page x = nope
ability to disable new tab page = nope
etc.
???

Aside from that there is not much 'awesome' if anything at all from release a to release b of Chrome. Faster Development means nothing for Chrome.

FYI, SVGs are at least 10x faster in Firefox 3.7a3 and so is scrolling than Chrome.

completely agree, the whole save space screen for a few mm its just BS, its not that we are using a netbook screen or something...

the only single thing that i like about chrome its that its very fast in some aspects but at the same time it consume more ram...

eilegz said,

completely agree, the whole save space screen for a few mm its just BS, its not that we are using a netbook screen or something...

the only single thing that i like about chrome its that its very fast in some aspects but at the same time it consume more ram...

Further: "Whoa! Chrome crashed + Opps Page Not Loaded Frequency" = infinity :D

Edited by bogas04, Mar 3 2010, 3:48pm :

<repetition>
This is a home tab design contest winner, not an official overall browser design mockup.
</repetition>

Christ, how many times is this going to have to be said during today?

Kirkburn said,
<repetition>
This is a home tab design contest winner, not an official overall browser design mockup.
</repetition>

Christ, how many times is this going to have to be said during today?

Yeah, I know... I don't think people read the article... Or the contest... Or any comments here...

God, did Chrome and Opera make out and this is their baby? I think I'll stick to the 3.x versions of Firefox if they continue with this.

Billus said,
God, did Chrome and Opera make out and this is their baby? I think I'll stick to the 3.x versions of Firefox if they continue with this.

Are you referring to the UI or just the home tab? Because this was about the home tab... :?

Billus said,
God, did Chrome and Opera make out and this is their baby? I think I'll stick to the 3.x versions of Firefox if they continue with this.

U can make Firefox 4 look like Firefox 3.x (tabs below , with bookmarks bar in middle and navigation bar @ top) when released with aero support and better icons, check mockups.
BTW do not worry much about customization , Firefox supports it to the fullest :D

RainArt said,
All of browsers abilities copied form Opera!

REally? Have you nothing better to do?
OMFG GUYS, A WEB BROWSER THAT CAN RENDER WEBPAGES HOLY!#@$ IT COPIED OPERA OMG

Kirkburn said,
Like?

Opera brought Tabs + Speed Dial
But yeah , app button was first brought by Microsoft in Paint and Notepad of Win7 , further , Firefox first showed previews of their app button.
Home tab button is by Mozilla and so is tab progress bars. I disagree with that "All"

bogas04 said,

Opera brought Tabs + Speed Dial
But yeah , app button was first brought by Microsoft in Paint and Notepad of Win7 , further , Firefox first showed previews of their app button.
Home tab button is by Mozilla and so is tab progress bars. I disagree with that "All"
Those "originals" are accurate btw.

Edited by Kirkburn, Mar 4 2010, 2:53am :

It's obvious that unnecessary UI elements have been simply turned off to take people's attention to the new page design.

I think it looks pretty good - has a search, allows you to easily add your favorite sites. User friendly too! Perhaps nothing all that new though, it's very much like Opera's Speed Dial but with better usability.

Like others have said, looks unusable or requires more than necessary to do simple tasks. Granted it's just started but still. The previous mock-ups posted some time ago (forget how long ago) looked much better and more usable. The theme I'm using at the moment (TwentyTen - http://boneyardbrew.deviantart.com/art/TwentyTen-v1-4-148735433) is perfect.

Kyle A said,
Like others have said, looks unusable or requires more than necessary to do simple tasks. Granted it's just started but still. The previous mock-ups posted some time ago (forget how long ago) looked much better and more usable. The theme I'm using at the moment (TwentyTen - http://boneyardbrew.deviantart.com/art/TwentyTen-v1-4-148735433) is perfect.
<repetition>This is a home tab design contest winner, not an official overall browser design mockup</repetition>

Edited by Kirkburn, Mar 2 2010, 8:54pm :

Looks great, but completely unusable. Address/search bar, tabs, bookmarks bar. Nothing more, nothing less.

ew2x4 said,
Looks great, but completely unusable. Address/search bar, tabs, bookmarks bar. Nothing more, nothing less.

agree. it's just a work from good photoshoper. but from GUI designer's point of view it's an absolute unprofessional rubbish.

Keep in mind that it was a contest for black page tab, not for the GUI design. He could have removed the other browser elements simply because he found them irrelevant for the screenshot, and wanted to keep the reader's focus on the actual page.

Also I don't see how Mozilla could remove such crucial elements of a browser, just because a contestant suggested so (as if he actually did).

(I haven't noticed that Kyang pointed this out earlier, before I scrolled down to continue reading the other comments :P)

Edited by Descartes, Mar 2 2010, 7:34pm :

Kuraj said,
Keep in mind that it was a contest for black page tab, not for the GUI design. He could have removed the other browser elements simply because he found them irrelevant for the screenshot, and wanted to keep the reader's focus on the actual page.

Also I don't see how Mozilla could remove such crucial elements of a browser, just because a contestant suggested so (as if he actually did).

(I haven't noticed that Kyang pointed this out earlier, before I scrolled down to continue reading the other comments :P)

+1

ew2x4 said,
Looks great, but completely unusable. Address/search bar, tabs, bookmarks bar. Nothing more, nothing less.

Bookmarks bar is still in Firefox 4, its just off by default. :)

ew2x4 said,
Looks great, but completely unusable. Address/search bar, tabs, bookmarks bar. Nothing more, nothing less.

You.....don't get it. This is a generic preview image that all the contestants had to work with :|

Majesticmerc said,
Infinitely better extensions support?

So well supported that they blow them away on update release days and that they are planning to change the entire way that the extensions work meaning they will all pretty much have to be re-done?

Least I don't have that problem with Chrome's extension support...

fiber0ptic said,

... they are planning to change the entire way that the extensions work meaning they will all pretty much have to be re-done?

Least I don't have that problem with Chrome's extension support...

Assuming that you're talking about Jetpacks, then you're entirely wrong. As yet, Mozilla have no plans for now or in the future to consider deprecating XUL based extensions. (Source: http://mozillalabs.com/blog/2010/01/the-future-of-add-ons/)

With regards to...


So well supported that they blow them away on update release days...

I don't mind this at all, since if they didn't block extensions that are (even theoretically) incompatible with the new release, people would blame Mozilla, when its not their fault, that extensions have become broken. The current system ensures that the onus stays on extension developers to maintain their work, the way it should be.

Edited by Majesticmerc, Mar 2 2010, 7:50pm : Added info source to comment.

fiber0ptic said,

So well supported that they blow them away on update release days and that they are planning to change the entire way that the extensions work meaning they will all pretty much have to be re-done?

Least I don't have that problem with Chrome's extension support...


Oh please. As a Chrome user, I still feel Firefox's addons are just better, especially in terms of overall functionality. Maybe that has to do with the smaller community that Chrome has currently, I don't know.

As far as addon updates go though, yes, Google has them there. I hate being prompted about what addon for Firefox needs to be updated, then restarted. Wouldn't mind a silent install option.

fiber0ptic said,

So well supported that they blow them away on update release days and that they are planning to change the entire way that the extensions work meaning they will all pretty much have to be re-done?

Least I don't have that problem with Chrome's extension support...

Yes, but Mozilla is rearchitecting the add ons so that they can improve that and resolve issues with them not being compatible going forward... I think it's another step towards improving the experience...

Chrome's extension support is so limited you can't even compare the two...

GP007 said,
So, it's basically a half-chrome clone? Why not just use Chrome then?

Because Chrome is awful at rendering site pages, mainly darker sites. Chrome loads pages with a big white blank page that shows up for a second then will load the content. It can make you go blind if it's a site you visit frequently.

If they can get 64bit, per process plugins and tabs plus this, then Fx will definitely be something to consider again.

Majesticmerc said,
I think it looks good, but perhaps a little TOO simplistic. I mean, I want quick access to my bookmarks!

That's what the bookmarks button is for. ;)

That facebook login screen is screaming phishing. Hopefully Mozilla is smart enough to either use APIs or properly let users enter their facebook credentials on the facebook site.

Menthix said,
That facebook login screen is screaming phishing. Hopefully Mozilla is smart enough to either use APIs or properly let users enter their facebook credentials on the facebook site.

I'm guessing they'd prob use oAuth to assign your accounts to your mozilla one.

Menthix said,
That facebook login screen is screaming phishing. Hopefully Mozilla is smart enough to either use APIs or properly let users enter their facebook credentials on the facebook site.

If you look at other mockups, you'll see they're all working on the same Preview image. This preview image has no UI elements in it except tabs.

Rudy said,
Where's the address bar?
This isn't a browsing tab, more of a home tab, hence any action in this home tab would open another tab, so its logical to have browsing in another tab, also 67% of browsing sessions start off with a search and...OH LOOK! A search bar, handy....

d4diesel said,

and where is the back/forward button? i need those to browse

It's concept about the home tab, not the Firefox UI as a whole.

qdave said,
I prefer blank page :P

I wouldn't be surprised if that was an option... A lot of users though like to see something, and if links to common sites is displayed, that would make a lot of sense...

ale07 said,
So you have to open up the home tab every time you want to open a webpage?

The home tab is always there and can't be used to browse. The address bar will appear when you open a new tab. :)

I doubt it. It looks like a replacement to the start page they have ATM that consists of a search box and not much else.

Majesticmerc said,

Its nothing but but tabs and window, how can it be cluttery?!

The article is referring to the homepage not the browser itself, it looks like on first launch it maybe cluttered but most of the areas on the page are closeable as they are just showing hints and what not.

Tom Bonez said,

The article is referring to the homepage not the browser itself, it looks like on first launch it maybe cluttered but most of the areas on the page are closeable as they are just showing hints and what not.

Ahhh right, I didn't read the whole article and jumped to a conclusion. Evidently to make myself look like a fool :-(

Majesticmerc said,

Ahhh right, I didn't read the whole article and jumped to a conclusion. Evidently to make myself look like a fool :-(

RIAA sucks!

(there, that was posted to be even more out of place, and make you feel a lil better) ;)

neoxphuse said,
looks freaking amazing, hope firefox uses this.

do they not look like Chrome?? with exception of menu button on top left corner..

still1 said,

do they not look like Chrome?? with exception of menu button on top left corner..

Which, incidentally, looks like Opera's new menu button :P

still1 said,

do they not look like Chrome?? with exception of menu button on top left corner..

It looks like a hybrid between Opera and Chrome

neoxphuse said,
looks freaking amazing, hope firefox uses this.

Yeah, it looks good. I would prefer the menu button to have the Firefox logo in it though...

Overall it looks good. I really hope that Mozilla takes some of the good features from some of the top 10 designs, because some of the other designs really had great ideas... This one looks good though.

still1 said,

do they not look like Chrome?? with exception of menu button on top left corner..

Well it sure looks like it to me but with thr added glass look.

GreenMartian said,

Which, incidentally, looks like Opera's new menu button :P

Firefox was the first to show preview of such app button. Anyways , all are from paint and notepad of Windows 7 :D

Dunno why u guys call it copy of Chrome, It has tab progress bars + Home tab button + Different buttons + Its not blue!
Anyways , im waiting for this theme to land to trunk (might be there by last alpha or first beta)

still1 said,

do they not look like Chrome?? with exception of menu button on top left corner..

Nah , not at all. See tab progress bars + Home tab button + New Tab Button + Design of Tabs.