I have been using FireFox from the beginning, and it is still my browser of choice. Nonetheless, I still see some ways in which the interface would be better. In the long… (read more)
I have been using FireFox from the beginning, and it is still my browser of choice. Nonetheless, I still see some ways in which the interface would be better. In the long past, I'd been able to put some XML/XUL CSS code in userchrome.css to make these better, at least for me. However, 5-10 years ago, changes in FireFox broke these changes. For the past 5-10 years, I would occasionally get some time to tweak my userchrome.css with information find on this forum or elsewhere online. But every time I found some code snippets, FireFox had changed enough that they didn't work anymore. This is concerning in that the structure and codebase is changing relatively frequently and it's hard to find out how this affects these code snippets.
The two userchrome tweaks i would really like are (a) showing only icons on the bookmarks toolbar, and (b) having the tabs right next to the main window.
Full disclosure: I am not an IT professional, but I started off coding in machine code and only then was allowed to code in A86 assembler. I have had a long interest in user interaction design. I'm a physician and medical school professor, so my interest is primarily in medical software. But I've helped organize some international symposia on the usability of medical software at which I have also lectured, have a blog devoted to the subject, and I was awarded the first annual Lifetime Achievement Award by the Informatics Section of the American College of Emergency Physicians.
So, now for an observation. I have a file cabinet drawer filled with paper records that I need to keep in paper form (as opposed to my usual scanning to PDF. These papers are sorted into file folders. I do not cut the tabs off of all of my folders and put them in a pile somewhere else. Which is why I want my tabs to visually connect to the content in each "folder" by being next to them.
And as far as the Bookmarks Toolbar: I realize the importance of positional memory. I want to have my most important bookmarks on the screen – lots of them – where I can click on them easily. Easily in this case means not having to read text, but being able to automatically move my mouse cursor to about the right place and then refine my click by recognizing the graphic icon for that website.
The best solution would be for the fireFox coders to think about these things, come around to my way of thinking (which OBVIOUSLY has to be right), and make changes in the codebase to make observe these UX principles, and make the appropriate changes in the user interface. Or at least make them options in the user interface. Or at the very least, post in an obvious place changes to the underlying structure that kills userchrome coding (with suggestions how to change the code to work in the new architecture) so that those who are not immersed in the innards of FireFox like me have a fighting chance to improve the interface, at least for a few of us.