Screenshots of new UI concepts for Firefox 4

It’s no secret that Mozilla is planning some major UI overhauls for their next major release of Firefox. The new theme is designed to reflect a modernized web browser to illustrate its “power, simplicity, and customizability.” The design team has outlined 4 main goals for the refresh:

  • Streamline UI elements and reduce visual footprint
  • Modernize look and feel
  • Retain visual integration
  • Maintain cross-platform consistency (Where applicable)

While the new theme has been revealed progressively, it is still a work in progress and the team is constantly making new adjustments and additions. A new timeline has been posted at the project homepage to see that the new changes get the proper amount of attention for implementation. Stephen Horlander, a Visual Designer with the Firefox team, has posted screenshots of the new concepts that they are working on.

Current progress:

New toolbar buttons, location bar, and tabs for OS X:

New tab styling for Windows:

Future concepts:

New panel styles for notifications and prompts:

Downloads panel:

OS X notification panel:

Linux notification panel:

A new edit tray that appears when editing text:

Button indicator for opening the downloads panel:

Fullscreen UI sketch:

Check the gallery below for full screenshots. 

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I hope IE9 can get some serious UI updates too. Microsoft has done better UIs in the past, so with IE9 seeming to progress more than previous IE browsers, maybe a new update UI will come.

Some of you seem to think IEx is even an option for some people.

Well, when IE9 is natively released for my Linux clients, I'll give it a bash

I'm not trying to make FF fanbois rage when i say this but this definitely looks like Firefox are just copying Opera. Sorry but all i've ever seen Firefox do is copy Opera. >.<

Why Firefox has more market share i have no idea.

Purify said,
I'm not trying to make FF fanbois rage when i say this but this definitely looks like Firefox are just copying Opera. Sorry but all i've ever seen Firefox do is copy Opera. >.<

Why Firefox has more market share i have no idea.

Their not copying. Have to do research.

Regarding you having no idea why Firefox has more market share then Opera, it's quite easy to see.

KurtFelton said,
Regarding you having no idea why Firefox has more market share then Opera, it's quite easy to see.

I agree. Firefox was heavily promoted through Google's online ad monopoly. That's probably one of the biggest reasons. Opera doesn't have rich sugar-daddies with ad monopolies, unfortunately...

mattygdot said,
Why on God's green earth would they add a battery and a clock in their sketches... like really?!?

When using your browser in full screen mode on a laptop, little things like that are really nice.

Looking at all the people above complaining about how things looks like other web browsers, just think for a sec:
This is Firefox. Don't like something? It can be changed.

Looks very very good imo. I hope they can realise it. And make it a bit less sluggish please. On Chrome now for a few months and loving it so far.

I'm really looking forward to the new IE9 / Firefox / Chrome should be some nice browsers I think...

Volatile said,
Copying Chrome are we?

Yeah, this is a 1 on 1 copy of Google Chrome! Maybe I'll wanna use Firefox now, finally a modern UI.

Volatile said,
Copying Chrome are we?

The things is, is it a bad thing if they do? If Chrome has some features that are truly unique and/or a better implementation, the way it should be done... then why not let other browsers try and make such a good thing in their applications? Surely it will benefit us all?

Volatile said,
Copying Chrome are we?

Where does Chrome has an edit tray or anything similar to Firefox' download manager? Or visually, does Chrome also paints a progress bar onto the tabs itself?

I love it!
StrataBuddy never gave me the satisfaction to be honest, but the concepts are very promising.
I am also agreeing with Strike X here too, but unfortunately, there are no "leaks" for the IE9 UI.. I wonder.

Oh well, time will show

d3bruts1d said,
I really like the look of the new Firefox UI for OS X.

The Mac OS X version is also known as Safari 4.

This can already be achieved to a great extent with Firefox 3.6 using the Strata40 0.6.2 theme and StrataBuddy 0.6.2 Extension.

sabrex said,
This can already be achieved to a great extent with Firefox 3.6 using the Strata40 0.6.2 theme and StrataBuddy 0.6.2 Extension.

+1 Fully Agreed.

Did they just copy Safari for the OSX themes? Not that there's anything wrong with that, I use a Safari style theme on Firefox already.

Firefox 4 look much better then FF3.6

i got fed up and converted to chrome 5 , happy camper untail mozilla release something cutting edge again

wtf, first safari with their release info to be a chrome-clone, considering these screenshots, firefox is going the exact same way. Also keeping a fresh current style, but still looks like they want to be like chrome.

I ****ing HATE how chrome works, i really...really dont like it. I'm still with FF for the 'bloated' top that the others browsers are making smaller and smaller.
IE is also going a similiar way as Chrome, IE8 default has a similiar ammount of 'webpage' in the screen as chrome. i dont mind a few centimeters at the top of my screen with buttons, info, tabs and not just tabs.

Shadowzz said,
wtf, first safari with their release info to be a chrome-clone, considering these screenshots, firefox is going the exact same way. Also keeping a fresh current style, but still looks like they want to be like chrome.

I ****ing HATE how chrome works, i really...really dont like it. I'm still with FF for the 'bloated' top that the others browsers are making smaller and smaller.
IE is also going a similiar way as Chrome, IE8 default has a similiar ammount of 'webpage' in the screen as chrome. i dont mind a few centimeters at the top of my screen with buttons, info, tabs and not just tabs.

completely agree as i said before its not that we have a low resolution monitor, most people should be using minimum 1024 x 768 and a few nano meter wont change that much.

What i dislike its the "standard" thing that chrome, safari and ie7 its becoming the position of stop and reload button should be on the same button on the left and not one on the left and the other on the right. just for the sake of minimalism we have to move more the mouse and start clicking more just to do something simple, in a point of usability, we waste more time looking for options and preferences on a so minimalistic interface.

The download manager pop-up is already available, it's called Download Statusbar (minature mode). :-) Oh, and I don't want my Firefox to look like all the other browsers...

radwimp said,
I love tabs on top. I love that about chrome. Who needs title bars?

What does the tab bar have to do with the toolbar? Tabs only switch the websites, so it would make no sense at all to put something between them.

radwimp said,
I love tabs on top. I love that about chrome. Who needs title bars?

i do i cant have a complete title on a TAB, plus i just prefer and get used to have tab below url bar

eilegz said,

i do i cant have a complete title on a TAB, plus i just prefer and get used to have tab below url bar

Ditto. I prefer the tab bar under the URL bar. It's closer to the page that way and I'd say I spend more time interacting with either tabs or the bookmark bar than I do the url bar.

While I actually like Opera 10.5, I think this still looks much better than Opera's. (my opinion, back off before nerd raging) Sucks Firefox's performance probably won't measure up to how good it looks though, otherwise I'd be all over it.

Charlie Seah Kam Fei said,
lol~ very much looks like Opera...

or the other way round. These mockups are like 8~9 months old and Opera 10.5 is just 2 months old.

keysteele said,
Is it me or does this look kinda like Opera?

Given the age of some of these mockups, one should be asking does Opera look kinda like Firefox 4? ;-)

Right now, it'll be nice for browsers to look somewhat similar with a few differences to distinguish each other. Uniformity to a certain extent can't hurt.

Right now, it'll be nice for browsers to look somewhat similar with a few differences to distinguish each other. Uniformity to a certain extent can't hurt.

Mr. Spontaneous said,

Given the age of some of these mockups, one should be asking does Opera look kinda like Firefox 4? ;-)


true

Mr. Spontaneous said,
Given the age of some of these mockups, one should be asking does Opera look kinda like Firefox 4? ;-)

The mockups are younger than Opera 10.5, sadly.

A few criticisms.

The panel which asks, "Would you like Firefox to remember the password for ...", is that really a good place for that? Same thing with the downloads panel, I think a downloads statusbar like Chrome has would be better.

The edit tray just seems out of place. I think it would work better if it appeared above or below the text box you're typing in.

I think it looks good otherwise. I just hope I can remove the home button from the tab bar, never used it, never will.

Xinok said,
A few criticisms.

The panel which asks, "Would you like Firefox to remember the password for ...", is that really a good place for that? Same thing with the downloads panel, I think a downloads statusbar like Chrome has would be better.

The edit tray just seems out of place. I think it would work better if it appeared above or below the text box you're typing in.

I think it looks good otherwise. I just hope I can remove the home button from the tab bar, never used it, never will.

I agree re: the edit tray. If they want to do something fancy, they should copy the formatting text boxes that appear near your selection in Word 2k7+

The reasoning behind the doorhanger notifications (for passwords, etc) is to enable to user to distinguish between web content and page content. By "breaking" the page area, the nonmodal dialogs can be differentiated from web trickery a page may engage in to get you to click a link or execute a script.

The home button, in this case, is not a button but a tab. Mozilla is planning on having a home tab that will be a special page with bookmarks/history/etc (like Chrome's home). They recently held a design contest for it.

Microsoft made mistakes with windows explorer and vista in general (and many were not fixed in windows 7 either)... and office2007, and I see others following the big fat leader without thinking too much.
As for the arrogant guy who said he claims he has a brain, I suggest that he takes some design courses, because all good designers know that in needs skill to make something minimalistic yet functional... I would suggest that all features that are helpful are turned on and would be possible to be turned off by the savvy...

I know it's only a UI concept but damn does it look ugly! it's just so damn busy, maybe I've just been spoilt by Chrome's elegant simplicity. That said I don't mind the OSX UI though, that one is less busy then the Windows one.

The Firefox tab in the top left corner of the Windows and Linux builds seem to be a copy from Opera, which we don't need. I do like the fact that there's no annoying text labels and the button notifications, though. But the real selling point (for me) is performance. So far, nothing touches Chrome outside of internal betas and developer builds.

It's just as much lifted from the Ribbon and Apple's top bar. It's a good idea in general, there just isn't 20 years of history behind it like the old menu system.

Overall, I quite like it.

bjoswald said,
The Firefox tab in the top left corner of the Windows and Linux builds seem to be a copy from Opera, which we don't need. I do like the fact that there's no annoying text labels and the button notifications, though. But the real selling point (for me) is performance. So far, nothing touches Chrome outside of internal betas and developer builds.

Of course. No matter how hard anyone tries at Mozilla, all they can ever live up to is "copying Opera". Sheesh. /sarcasm

bjoswald said,
The Firefox tab in the top left corner of the Windows and Linux builds seem to be a copy from Opera, which we don't need. I do like the fact that there's no annoying text labels and the button notifications, though. But the real selling point (for me) is performance. So far, nothing touches Chrome outside of internal betas and developer builds.

For what it's worth, Firefox actually had the button at the top left first :-) They've had the UI concept work up on their wiki for ages.

Mr. Spontaneous said,
For what it's worth, Firefox actually had the button at the top left first :-) They've had the UI concept work up on their wiki for ages.

Opera had the button first. An Opera pre-alpha was leaked two days before the Firefox mockups were published (or something like that). Sorry, dude

Wow this is quite impressive.. is the default tab setting is set to "Tabs on top?" kinda.. chrome-ish. not that I have a problem with that I just don't think that should be the default setting for the new UI.

.beta said,
Wow this is quite impressive.. is the default tab setting is set to "Tabs on top?" kinda.. chrome-ish. not that I have a problem with that I just don't think that should be the default setting for the new UI.

The devs have said they're going to allow users to customize where tabs go (above or below the nav components).

I'd have to say it's definitely inferior to Opera 10.5 and Chrome from a usability perspective. Opera and Chrome have the tabs at the VERY top which is the most efficient use of screen space.

Opera has a button in the top left which is very useful. +1 for Opera. Unfortunately, there's a gap of a few pixels between the very top of the screen and the tabs which Chrome doesn't have. +1 for Chrome.

psyko_x said,
I'd have to say it's definitely inferior to Opera 10.5 and Chrome from a usability perspective. Opera and Chrome have the tabs at the VERY top which is the most efficient use of screen space.

Opera has a button in the top left which is very useful. +1 for Opera. Unfortunately, there's a gap of a few pixels between the very top of the screen and the tabs which Chrome doesn't have. +1 for Chrome.


Tabs in the Title bar is a bad idea. IMO, UI elements shouldn't touch other parts of the UI like that. The way I browse, I'd never be able to grab the title bar. Whoever thought it was a good idea needs to be slapped upside the head. There's a reason why the caption buttons are the the far ends of the Title bar.

psyko_x said,
I'd have to say it's definitely inferior to Opera 10.5 and Chrome from a usability perspective. Opera and Chrome have the tabs at the VERY top which is the most efficient use of screen space.

Opera has a button in the top left which is very useful. +1 for Opera. Unfortunately, there's a gap of a few pixels between the very top of the screen and the tabs which Chrome doesn't have. +1 for Chrome.


I've been following the Mozilla dev blogs. The reason they haven't put tabs in the title bar is because they still want to provide a grabbable area for window dragging. That may change after additional iterations, but that's what the current thought is.

xiphi said,

Tabs in the Title bar is a bad idea. IMO, UI elements shouldn't touch other parts of the UI like that. The way I browse, I'd never be able to grab the title bar. Whoever thought it was a good idea needs to be slapped upside the head. There's a reason why the caption buttons are the the far ends of the Title bar.

The devs need to do more usability testing or go study how to design apps for usability. Switching between tabs is something people do constantly. Dragging a window around your screen is not. You design apps so end-users can perform common tasks more efficiently than uncommon ones. Btw, go download Opera or Chrome. You still have an area to grab...not a huge area but again, that'd be unnecessary.

The really small gap that Opera has while maximized is there to allow one to drag down the window (providing the user does not have the taskbar at the top).

psyko_x said,
I'd have to say it's definitely inferior to Opera 10.5 and Chrome from a usability perspective. Opera and Chrome have the tabs at the VERY top which is the most efficient use of screen space.

Opera has a button in the top left which is very useful. +1 for Opera. Unfortunately, there's a gap of a few pixels between the very top of the screen and the tabs which Chrome doesn't have. +1 for Chrome.

sorry i just hate the whole copy chrome tabs above, i mean seriously how many nano meter of "viewving space" need to save when everyone now have high resolution widescreen its not that we are going back to 1995 where everyone its still using 800 x 600.

In the customization area opera so far its great giving some option to put tabs below of course not in a user friendly way but at least theres an option

Lets hope firefox do something that do not become an imitation of one of the most limited restricted and not friendly interface like chrome and ie7.

just look at the position of the stop button its at the go button on the right where the reload button its on the left, in usability its just waste time

psyko_x said,
I'd have to say it's definitely inferior to Opera 10.5 and Chrome from a usability perspective. Opera and Chrome have the tabs at the VERY top which is the most efficient use of screen space.

Opera has a button in the top left which is very useful. +1 for Opera. Unfortunately, there's a gap of a few pixels between the very top of the screen and the tabs which Chrome doesn't have. +1 for Chrome.

These two approaches are up for some really good debates that go way back. Even the IE team when they were working on IE7 shoved this around because of what the position of the elements 'enclosed' in other components actually meant. So if the address bar was 'in' or 'below' the tab, it was part of the page and the tab. This could make sense either way, and with respect to the DOM of the browser page, has meaning as well. But what happens when the 'search' box is then embedded in a 'tab' the UI can fail, as the search is not part of the 'tab/page' but is part of the general browser area. Etc, etc, etc...


There are good arguments for each of these models and why some teams went one way and other teams went another way. A browser that can skin itself either way is the best, but if not, use what you like and makes sense to you. This is a great thing about good competition from all these companies that have truly good ideas and passion behind their designs.

If you're too damn stupid to not know how to use a browser then you should not be using a computer...take a class....figure it out...I am tired of people catering to stupidity at the expense of those of who have a brain...

Ravensky said,
If you're too damn stupid to not know how to use a browser then you should not be using a computer...take a class....figure it out...I am tired of people catering to stupidity at the expense of those of who have a brain...

Do you mean that you like the UI? I know that I do!

Edited by winlonghorn, Apr 21 2010, 3:44am :

Ravensky said,
If you're too damn stupid to not know how to use a browser then you should not be using a computer...take a class....figure it out...I am tired of people catering to stupidity at the expense of those of who have a brain...

um, quit your nerd rage dude, it's just a ****ing browser

I say Kudos to the FF team, this is the first UI overall they have put out there that at the very least catches up to the other browsers and looks to even go further in providing a clean interface with more features in less space.


IE has the options for both a verbose and minimalist view and use of screen space, and Chrome does well in reducing screen usage as well, so I'm glad to see the default UI in FF going with this approach. Until now, even with a clever skin FF can't reduce the top screen usage to below what IE or Chrome offers and still remain functional.

thenetavenger said,
Until now, even with a clever skin FF can't reduce the top screen usage to below what IE or Chrome offers and still remain functional.

Weird how it is still functioning 100% here while I have removed enough that it takes up less space than Chrome etc.
Does functional not depend on the user? Maybe those who are still using Firefox with the tabs where they belong either don't care about it or actually prefer having the tabs at a place that makes sense.

Yakuzing said,

Weird how it is still functioning 100% here while I have removed enough that it takes up less space than Chrome etc.
Does functional not depend on the user? Maybe those who are still using Firefox with the tabs where they belong either don't care about it or actually prefer having the tabs at a place that makes sense.


I admit it has been a few months since I tried to slim down FireFox. The best I could get was a something that looked like IE8 in a minimal form, but the top of the browser still consumed about 20 more pixels at the top of the screen.


Either way, I like where they are going with their design.

Edited by thenetavenger, Apr 21 2010, 9:42am :

Mainer82 said,
None of the bookmark system?
I think it's going to be like the downloads. we'll have to use a drop down menu to see our bookmarks.

Edited by .beta, Apr 21 2010, 12:50am :

.beta said,
I think it's going to be like the downloads. we'll have to use a drop down menu to see our bookmarks.

Deal breaker.

.beta said,
I think it's going to be like the downloads. we'll have to use a drop down menu to see our bookmarks.

The bookmark toolbar will be still available, it's just turned off in these screenshots.

.beta said,
I think it's going to be like the downloads. we'll have to use a drop down menu to see our bookmarks.

It would surprise me if that were the case. Firefox's biggest strength is customization. So setting this to open in a sidebar or whatever is something I would expect from Mozilla...

SQ1 said,
Wow, nice UI. Will be the best looking browser of them all.

Hey now, let's wait until we see the final result.

And where the competition is UI-wise the year Firefox 4 is released.

Jose_49 said,
I really like the actual Strata theme for firefox, which I find to be well done.

I like it too, but I mourn the loss of having one tab close button for all tabs on the right of the tab bar.

pphheerroonn said,

I'm pretty sure I seem an about:config tweak to change it back.

EDIT: Number 7 on this list: http://maketecheasier.com/28-c...outconfig-tricks/2008/08/21

Sorry, I should have elaborated a bit. I'm currently using the Firefox 4 theme on FF 3.6. The way the theme has been designed, it doesn't display the close button at all if I apply the tweak that you mentioned. I was mourning the loss caused by the theme. I'm hoping it's just a theme bug and not a decision by the Moz devs.

Hey look! Absolutely no text labels! So that means that the MAJORITY of users who have NO CLUE what those buttons do won't use them and the people who KNOW how to get rid of text labels...well they are better served right? I mean it's not like you WANT to give people user-friendly software.

Back in reality it's best to have friendly icons with text labels. Regular users will know WTF the buttons do and tech savvy users can remove them. But no, everyone has to do everything the wrong way.

The cult of minimalism must be minimized!

JAB Creations said,
Hey look! Absolutely no text labels! So that means that the MAJORITY of users who have NO CLUE what those buttons do won't use them and the people who KNOW how to get rid of text labels...well they are better served right? I mean it's not like you WANT to give people user-friendly software.

Back in reality it's best to have friendly icons with text labels. Regular users will know WTF the buttons do and tech savvy users can remove them. But no, everyone has to do everything the wrong way.

The cult of minimalism must be minimized!


You know, I wouldn't believe you if it was me... but yes, +1, there are millions of people in this world, that wouldn't know what is what without a text label. But who knows, maybe they can be turned off and on?

JAB Creations said,
Hey look! Absolutely no text labels! So that means that the MAJORITY of users who have NO CLUE what those buttons do won't use them and the people who KNOW how to get rid of text labels...well they are better served right? I mean it's not like you WANT to give people user-friendly software.

Back in reality it's best to have friendly icons with text labels. Regular users will know WTF the buttons do and tech savvy users can remove them. But no, everyone has to do everything the wrong way.

The cult of minimalism must be minimized!

Redundant information should be eliminated, or as IE and others do, the option to remove the text from 'buttons' should be offered.

The key here is tooltips provide just as much information to the untrained user as full time text labels.

JAB Creations said,
Hey look! Absolutely no text labels! So that means that the MAJORITY of users who have NO CLUE what those buttons do won't use them and the people who KNOW how to get rid of text labels...well they are better served right? I mean it's not like you WANT to give people user-friendly software.

Back in reality it's best to have friendly icons with text labels. Regular users will know WTF the buttons do and tech savvy users can remove them. But no, everyone has to do everything the wrong way.

The cult of minimalism must be minimized!

For starters, I love this UI design! It is very good to see them taking an approach like this! As far as no text on buttons, etc..., I would have to say that there will probably be an option to enable it. Not only that, but there is a little thing called tooltips that can easily describe the buttons if they pop up fast enough. Another idea is to animate the text onto the buttons upon hovering on them.

thenetavenger said,
Redundant information should be eliminated, or as IE and others do, the option to remove the text from 'buttons' should be offered.

The key here is tooltips provide just as much information to the untrained user as full time text labels.

I agree partially though there is a lot of subjectivity in perception (example: religion). The main point I made was to simplify it for everyone and for those of us who don't need things like text labels...well we're savvy enough to know how to use context menus and customize the GUI to our liking...gramma and grandpa don't.

Yeah theres tool tips for that so I don't see the big issue at all to be honest. Also given there doesn't seem to be too many buttons its not asking much of the user to click it once and see what happens.

Hell it may be that on your first download a popup will show telling the user where to see the file or whatever. Seems fine to me overall.

JAB Creations said,
Hey look! Absolutely no text labels! So that means that the MAJORITY of users who have NO CLUE what those buttons do won't use them and the people who KNOW how to get rid of text labels...well they are better served right? I mean it's not like you WANT to give people user-friendly software.

Back in reality it's best to have friendly icons with text labels. Regular users will know WTF the buttons do and tech savvy users can remove them. But no, everyone has to do everything the wrong way.

The cult of minimalism must be minimized!


Ha text labels are so 2001.

You do know that the majority of the buttons in IE7 and above have no text on them right? And no one I know has any issue knowing what they do.
Not even the supposedly user friendly mac UI puts text on buttons

Edited by SharpGreen, Apr 21 2010, 1:09am :

JAB Creations said,
The cult of minimalism must be minimized!

Minimalism? I call it "dumbing down" ... I'm already switching people over to SeaMonkey
well before Mozilla has finalised this lame, dumbed down, Chrome-esque GUI on Firefox.

Edited by DJGM, Apr 21 2010, 3:05am :

I'm pretty sure regular users know what a left arrow and right arrow are supposed to mean without text. Otherwise, as previously mentioned, tooltips are sufficient.

Thanks to the many people who have made it clear, most people only think about how the DEFAULT GUI should be for themselves, not others. People do not inherently understand context menus, tooltips, hidden menus, etc. They understand what they initially see and most people who are NOT technically savvy and do NOT desire to learn because it'll probably break and cost them money will choose not to utilize the features that a lot of hard work went in to.

JAB Creations said,
They understand what they initially see and most people who are NOT technically savvy and do NOT desire to learn because it'll probably break and cost them money will choose not to utilize the features that a lot of hard work went in to.
Got proof or figures to back up this statement in relation to users specifically using a web browser?


Your entire argument is based on the assumption that users aren't familiar with the core buttons used by a web browser, which are pretty much consistent across the industry, or that they can't use tool tips which again are a staple part of any desktop experience.


It's also assuming that the user won't be trained when launching the browser as to how these buttons work. Labels are not the only way to train a user into how something works, not by a long shot. Anyway noone argueing against labels is doing it "for themselves" but rather stating "others done need them either".

Edited by Smigit, Apr 21 2010, 4:16am :

JAB Creations said,
Thanks to the many people who have made it clear, most people only think about how the DEFAULT GUI should be for themselves, not others. People do not inherently understand context menus, tooltips, hidden menus, etc. They understand what they initially see and most people who are NOT technically savvy and do NOT desire to learn because it'll probably break and cost them money will choose not to utilize the features that a lot of hard work went in to.

You would think this, but I can name two industries where text labels are out or are disappearing, that normal people use everyday. Cars are one. next time you get in your car, look at the console. How many of those buttons have a text label, and how many simply have an icon describing the function?

JAB Creations said,
Hey look! Absolutely no text labels! So that means that the MAJORITY of users who have NO CLUE what those buttons do won't use them and the people who KNOW how to get rid of text labels...well they are better served right? I mean it's not like you WANT to give people user-friendly software.

Back in reality it's best to have friendly icons with text labels. Regular users will know WTF the buttons do and tech savvy users can remove them. But no, everyone has to do everything the wrong way.

The cult of minimalism must be minimized!


Don't be stupid. Any user knows the back and forward button and the address bar without a text label, and that's all end-users can be bothered to use anyway.

i can kind of agree with this, i think for some obvious buttons, such as the back and forward buttons, people have used these for such a long time now we all know what they're for, and those who don't can learn from others pretty easily.

Though there are some thing, such as that download button, if I hadn't read this article, it could take me a couple mins to find that, even though it's right there, it's just not labeled.

Another example is, I installed Chrome on my mums PC, she asked me how to get the drop down that shows a 'list' of several previous pages viewed. In some other browsers, this list can be accessed by clicking another button next to the 'back' button with an arrow pointing down. Chrome does not have this, and mum couldn't work it out, however it took me all of 5 seconds to work it out (click and HOLD the back button).

Sometimes removing buttons or not putting text labels on new buttons can be a bad thing, i think they should ALL come defaulted with labels, and have an option to turn them off, that is the best solution by far.

thenetavenger said,

Redundant information should be eliminated, or as IE and others do, the option to remove the text from 'buttons' should be offered.

The key here is tooltips provide just as much information to the untrained user as full time text labels.

Exactly.

DJGM said,

Minimalism? I call it "dumbing down" ... I'm already switching people over to SeaMonkey
well before Mozilla has finalised this lame, dumbed down, Chrome-esque GUI on Firefox.

My god what is wrong with you...

How is dumbing down the GUI a bad thing? I guess some people just can't handle change.


JAB Creations said,

... we're savvy enough to know how to use context menus and customize the GUI to our liking...gramma and grandpa don't.

This is what many of you aren't taking into consideration. There are many people who will open Firefox for the first time and be confused if there are several buttons whose icons they don't understand. IMO the default UI should be the most user-friendly possible. Then all of us Neowin nerds who want to customize can do 2 simple clicks and turn them off.

Smigit said,
Got proof or figures to back up this statement in relation to users specifically using a web browser?

Yes, ask a random senior citizen or a teenager who has little to no computer experience how to save a web page entirely on their own without your help. Your opinion would be different if you spoke with people who weren't as technically savvy as you.

JAB Creations said,

Yes, ask a random senior citizen or a teenager who has little to no computer experience how to save a web page entirely on their own without your help. Your opinion would be different if you spoke with people who weren't as technically savvy as you.

I'm pretty sure they won't be able to properly do that whether it's IE6 with the File tab or Firefox 4...

If ANYTHING, the "Firefox" button is much better than "File". The whole "menu" bar thing where you have to guess whether the settings are under File, Edit, or Tools, is old and obsolete. As you can see in Office and other applications, we're moving onto new, simpler ways. Not just minimizing everything.

Strike X said,
I think IE 9 will be the same too.

IE9 will be far too slow to take a flight with Firefox... even Chrome will beat IE9 Which is more for businesses

Sebianoti said,

IE9 will be far too slow to take a flight with Firefox... even Chrome will beat IE9 Which is more for businesses


You'll have to tell me where you got your crystal ball from, I need a new one.

Sebianoti said,

IE9 will be far too slow to take a flight with Firefox... even Chrome will beat IE9 Which is more for businesses


Unless they pull a magic stick out of a bag, the progress of Chrome and even Webkit and Webkit v2 have a long way to go to catch up to even the developer preview of IE9.


I hope you are right, but the GPU assistend composer alone is enough to give IE9 a big running start.


Firefox if they pull off the Direct2D APIs will have a chance to catch up, but this will mean they put more fire into compiling Javascript and XML/HTML down to hardware as the IE9 team is doing. However this leaves no road ahead for a 'fast' Firefox on other platforms.


So far we haven't seen anything from the Chrome team that even suggests the concept of GPU computing and full rendering, let alone using the GPU for computing beyond visuals.


The only thing the Chrome team has shown is using WebCL and rendering it to an HTML5 canvas, which is a long way from a fully GPU composed and rendered page display. (To do what IE9 is doing the entire page would need to be OpenGL composed and rendered on the GPU with OpenCL assisting the performance, and they don't seem to have anything like this happening that I know of.)


Again I hope you are right and the Chrome team has some GPU tricks up their sleeve.

Edited by thenetavenger, Apr 21 2010, 9:36am :

thenetavenger said,

WebCL


Sorry typo, WebGL...


PS...
The IE9 team is essentiall going ok, what is the web and what will HTMl5 be, and how can we translate all this down to run on the hardware more directly so that Javascript and even parsing and displaying page content runs as close to a compiled lanaguage on the hardware.


This is still a high translation, but closer to .NET and Silverlight concepts in terms of performance by using the CPU and GPU technologies of Vista and Win7. (Also why XP isn't supported.)

Edited by thenetavenger, Apr 21 2010, 9:58am :

Firefox is already using Direct2D and DirectWrite, it's pretty much the same speed as IE9 in that regard (Firefox handles paths differently to IE9, but that's changing)

And Mozilla are working on doing all compositing on the GPU (different to drawing the content, this is blending them together, scrolling and such should become very, very smooth with no CPU usage)

Safari, Firefox and Chrome already JIT JavaSscript code, IE doing it isn't some new thing (and they're all around the same speed, Firefox with Direct2D matches IE9 in MS's tests, which is because their test is testing painting speed, not JS speed)

Sebianoti said,

IE9 will be far too slow to take a flight with Firefox... even Chrome will beat IE9 Which is more for businesses

Firefox is seriously slow to load. Chrome is super duper fast, IE is alright.