On Wednesday, April 25, 2012 3:35:26 PM UTC+2, Gavin Sharp wrote:
> Thanks for the feedback Andrew. Unfortunately your views aren't shared
> by the Mozilla project - users who don't understand the intricacies of
> crypto and SSL aren't "idiots", they're just people for whom other
> concerns are quite reasonably more important, and they represent the
> majority of our user base. While you may think that we shouldn't
> bother trying to make a web browser for them, we disagree.
The currently undergoing UI simplification, though, seems to be driving away more and more power users. I'm currently enrolled in an IT Master's Degree course, and I'm noticing how a good amount of colleagues are switching to Chrome by the day.
The advantages Firefox used to have for a power user are decreasing, and the UI is getting as 'bad' as Chrome's (yes, I call it a bad UI design, which started with with moving tabs to the titlebar and removing the RSS icon, now arrived to the removal of favicons from the location bar, and it'll very likely end up getting us space-wasting, curvy tabs soon - though I realize that may be personal preference. Replace 'bad' with 'Chrome-like' when reading, if you prefer), why not just switch to Chrome altogether, which is possibly less buggy in many places? (Firefox still doesn't have swipe animations and modern scrollbars in OS X Lion just to say one, not to mention the currently missing tab detach animation - you never know if you're detaching a tab, moving it around, or making it into a bookmark until it's already too late...) And that's what I've seen many power users do.
Originally, the majority of users of Firefox (or Phoenix, Firebird, etc) were power users, attracted by the plain design and customizability of the browser (I'm one of those). And I believe you should still consider them as one of the targets.
I know this probably is a very complex suggestion which requires a lot of under the hood changes, but why not offer a chance to customize the Location Bar, just like we can customize toolbars? That way users who want it could drag favicons, identity blocks, RSS indicators, loading progress indicators, throbbers, and whatever other element they like into and out of their location bar. And it'd avoid discussions like this altogether. You could default it not to show a favicon, and anyone could just add it back with a click and a drag, without having to resort to countless addons.
That's it. I'm just pining for more UI customizability, rather than seeing familiar interface elements gone everyday.