Print 20 comment(s) - last by bodar.. on Oct 5 at 11:43 PM

With Firefox 3.7, Mozilla is making its browser shinier, and is switching its frame top to a fancier Aero-ized design (see the glass look and lack of File/Edit/etc... in the pic below). It cites Office 2007 and Windows Explorer (Vista) as examples of what it considers optimal interfaces.  (Source: Firefox Developers Wiki)
For better or worse, Firefox is getting Officized

Mozilla's Firefox is the world's second most popular browser behind Internet Explorer.  Mozilla is constantly looking to refine its user interface, engine, and features.

Now it's turning to a surprising source for inspiration -- Microsoft.  Mozilla wrote in their developers wiki, "Starting with Vista, and continuing with Windows 7, the menubar has been systematically removed from Windows applications built by Microsoft and other vendors. It has been replaced with alternatives like the Windows Explorer contextual strip or the Ribbon found in Office 2007. The Ribbon UI is now also used in Paint and Wordpad for Windows 7."

Mozilla is not adopting a ribbon, but will be adopting a similar approach in cleaning up its menu bar.  It says that the perks of the change will be giving the browser window more space, something nice for netbooks.  it will also bring the Windows Aero Glass effect, currently only in the frame, to the entire controls strip.

Currently Firefox just isn't shiny enough says Mozilla.  Writes the company in its development notes, "Firefox feels dated and behind on Windows. Issues include the absence of Glass, anemic purple toolbar color on Vista, tall and bulky UI footprint, element overload, inconsistent toolbar icon usage/style, lack of a tactile look and feel and perhaps too great of a divergence between the look on XP and Vista/7."

Under the current plan, the new look will be rolled out with Firefox 3.7 set to air in March 2010.  Users will be able to switch between the new and old look by clicking the "ALT" key inside the Firefox frame.

Mozilla is still open to suggestions, though, and the change isn't set in stone.  Writes Mozilla, "This direction is at the team proposal stage, to be approved by drivers and subject for constructive community feedback."

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By dguy6789 on 9/28/2009 11:50:16 AM , Rating: 3
Firefox does look a tad dated, I'm glad they are making it look nicer. People who like the classic style will still be able to use it. I don't see why anyone is complaining about this.

RE: Nice
By mmntech on 9/29/2009 11:05:15 AM , Rating: 3
It makes sense. Firefox has already been tailored for the current versions of Carbon, Gnome, and KDE.

RE: Nice
By mindless1 on 10/3/2009 9:49:54 PM , Rating: 2
It's not "dated", it's what is called iconized for good contrast, instead of some foolish idea of flowing colored gradients.

Color gradients are the most idiotic thing to ever come to a GUI interface, the whole point was supposed to be to clearly delineate the different controls so you barely have to look at them to use them.

Dumb people feel they need everything artistic instead of just stepping a way from the computer sooner, because it was better designed, and admiring a real work of art on their walls.

Vista and Win7 interface is a sad joke, as well as Office. Retards say "ooh ahh" but they can't even work as fast as they used to with computers multiple times the speed.

Monkeys like shiny objects, but they just stare in awe not appreciating that they have nothing but senseless fascination with colors and shapes instead of the basic ability to appreciate what a good interface really is.

With a well designed GUI you should be able to sit 10 feet away from a normal/typical resolution monitor in use today and still navigate it fine. Unfortunately they keep making strides to make the interface worse and worse in the interest of lame nonsense like "new purty modern flowing".

How's this for flowing, let's take all the controls on everything and just remove all markings and make them look as much like the surrounding area as possible.

The funny thing is when people say they can use this junk fine but they barely do anything on a computer, mostly non-productive except following a template that takes the least interaction possible because they can scarcely interact due to how long their pretty interface takes them to do anything.


There is a science to human recognition. It is madness to deviate because of some notion of "does look a tad dated".

Let science dictate what path we choose, not change for the sake of change, that is the worst reason possible.

By Goolic on 9/28/2009 9:09:55 AM , Rating: 4
Alex Faaborg -- One of the Firefox UI leads --

By inperfectdarkness on 10/1/2009 1:12:07 PM , Rating: 2
thank god. too many functions from 1 control doesn't work very well. ask bmw.

Not so optimal
By thekdub on 10/1/2009 7:40:25 AM , Rating: 2
MS Office '07 layout, optimal? Please... only reason I even bought it was because OpenOffice's .doc formatting doesn't play nicely with Office '07 on the campus' computers. Having to completely redo my paragraph formatting if I needed to print a paper on campus was a joke. As far as I'm concerned, that layout is a headache and I try to use it as little as possible.

That being said, the new FF layout doesn't look too bad. A lot like what I have mine set up to look like. After using Chrome though, having the tabs on the bottom of the address bar is really annoying, I like having the extra webpage room. When Firefox can do that, I'll probably go back to using it, but I just like Chrome's layout a ton better.

Firefox + Ribbon == one less Firefox user
By Old Man Dotes on 9/28/09, Rating: -1
RE: Firefox + Ribbon == one less Firefox user
By kattanna on 9/28/2009 11:31:07 AM , Rating: 4
you are obviously too important to actually read the article..

Users will be able to switch between the new and old look by clicking the "ALT" key inside the Firefox frame

By omnicronx on 9/28/2009 1:19:48 PM , Rating: 5
or this part..
Mozilla is not adopting a ribbon

RE: Firefox + Ribbon == one less Firefox user
By mindless1 on 10/3/2009 9:52:13 PM , Rating: 3
It's the principle you are missing. Leave the defaults alone, if someone wants this then a virtue of firefox is it can take add-ons. Requiring people to click even once to keep everything the same is always a decision made in poor judgment.

RE: Firefox + Ribbon == one less Firefox user
By wolrah on 10/4/2009 11:19:42 AM , Rating: 1
So Windows 95 should have come with the Windows 3.1 Program Manager running by default? XP, Vista, and 7 should all run in Classic mode out of the box? People are fucking idiots, if you want them to do something a different way, be it better or not, you have to force them to. If it really is worse, you can switch it back yourself. Mozilla is doing it right. Change the defaults, but allow the user to set things back if they prefer. Otherwise the lazy and apathetic masses will never see the new feature.

RE: Firefox + Ribbon == one less Firefox user
By mindless1 on 10/4/2009 9:56:26 PM , Rating: 2
What makes you think people need to be forced to do something a different way?

Let them choose how to use the computer they own.

There's nothing apathetic and lazy about simply wanting to use a computer for real world work, not be a monkey fascinated by a shiny new toy.

By bodar on 10/5/2009 8:31:13 PM , Rating: 2
What is the problem, as long as they are ultimately given a choice? You act like they make it impossible to change ANYTHING about the new UI.

Here's some examples:
Reverting to the XP Start Menu in Vista --

or how about:

Disabling Aero in Vista --

If you want to completely disable the Aero interface, click the Adjust for best performance checkbox. The Windows Vista interface will look very similar to the one in Windows 2000 but will not eat so much of your system's resources.

Wow. So easy, even a monkey could do it. If you like your UI to look like Win2000, awesome, then change it. Just quit crying about it.

By bodar on 10/5/2009 11:43:46 PM , Rating: 2
I think it would be a poorer decision not to enable new interfaces/features by default? How are people supposed to know that they're even there? Most people are only going to be prompted to explore the option menus if they don't like something. Sometimes a new UI is better than the old one, and other times it isn't. The only way to know is to try it.

RE: Firefox + Ribbon == one less Firefox user
By Flunk on 9/28/2009 11:39:21 AM , Rating: 2
That's a shame, I guess you will have to switch to Linux when all Windows apps standardize around the ribbon bar.

RE: Firefox + Ribbon == one less Firefox user
By Flunk on 9/28/2009 11:40:11 AM , Rating: 2
P.S. Chrome's interface is already a ribbon bar style.

By Splog on 9/29/2009 9:04:01 AM , Rating: 2
Chrome's interface is already a ribbon bar style

No it isn't. What Chrome does is move the control widgets onto the tab level so that they are visually associated with that tab and its content. What the Ribbon does is provide a tabbed set of widgets.

RE: Firefox + Ribbon == one less Firefox user
By omnicronx on 9/28/2009 1:19:13 PM , Rating: 2
*Slap* you know you can make custom bars like Office 2003 right? I have the ribbon plus all my most used buttons right below it. Its the best of both worlds, and as I learn how to use the ribbon, I find myself using the buttons less and less. It is more intuitive and once you get used to it, it is faster. You are just used to certain buttons being in certain places, but that does not make the new ui bad.

By The0ne on 10/2/2009 3:41:18 PM , Rating: 2
I finally gave up on the new UI in office07 after giving it my 100th try. So yea, I took advantage of making my own custom bar and my productivity has never been better lmao. Good program, sucky UI for me.

Of course I'm the opposite because why would I bother using the ribbon now that I have 90% of the functions I need on my custom bar. I don't, period. Less clicking around is always a good thing :)

By AnnihilatorX on 9/29/2009 5:30:30 AM , Rating: 2
You do know that you can customize the interface and add quick buttons to your common functions yourself?

"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings

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