New Firefox 2 Theme Preview

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beltzner

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Jul 12, 2006, 2:19:45 AM7/12/06
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Sorry to be so distant; I and others have been working closely and
intensely with our new friends at Radiant Core
(http://www.radiantcore.com) to quickly iterate on the new Firefox 2
theme. It's not been an easy task, since we knew that a lot of hard
work went into the *stripe family of themes, and yet we also knew that
the theme has started to look its age.

I invite you all to take a look at the background and current progress
on the designs here:

http://wiki.mozilla.org/FX2_Visual_Update/Default_Theme_Update

I'll add mockups as we go along, and would ask that you give us
feedback on this thread or in this forum so that we have a single
place where we can interact and discuss the theme. We need to move
quickly to get this into Firefox 2 Beta 2, and are looking forward to
your thoughts!

cheers,
mike

--
/ mike beltzner / phenomenologist / mozilla corporation /

mcdavis941

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Jul 12, 2006, 4:30:58 AM7/12/06
to
beltzner wrote:
> I invite you all to take a look at the background and current progress
> on the designs here:
>
> http://wiki.mozilla.org/FX2_Visual_Update/Default_Theme_Update
>

Very nice! The preview looks both very attractive and immensely
usable. No doubt a tremendous amount of work has gone into this
design.

Is it the intention to reposition the throbber from the menu bar to the
nav bar? The preview image suggests this.

sebasti...@gmail.com

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Jul 12, 2006, 5:07:29 AM7/12/06
to
the most important thing is that you (firefox-people) realized that
things like a theme-update are very important to get people to adopting
the new browser. i was afraid that this would be a lesson that you
wouldn't learn, but i'm very, very happy to see that.

congrats by the way, the new theme looks good. i like especially the
new tabs.

a little criticism: the toolbar-icons are very dark. i'm not sure if
this is just because of the difference to the current winstripe-theme,
but this is something that I recogniced very early :)

radev

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Jul 12, 2006, 7:39:38 AM7/12/06
to

I`ve seen this statement on
http://wiki.mozilla.org/FX2_Visual_Update/Default_Theme_Update:
>...to match better on Vista, with modern XP apps, and OS X.
Is there intention to better integrate new theme into Gnome & KDE
desktop environments look&feel or only listed OS?

Achilles

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Jul 12, 2006, 7:51:23 AM7/12/06
to
Great Stuff Guys... Compliments on your hard work. Nice, simple and
elegant... couldn't ask for more.

Frankly, I was not too happy with the default Fx theme so far (the
icons were really really dull)... and hence always had to search for
some other better theme.... but I can say right away that with this as
default, I will no longer have to search AMO for themes anymore :-) I
am happy...

When do we expect to get a test build of this theme, or when are we
planning to intro it into the Fxb2 Branch? I can't wait!!

PS: Had seen some discussion around changing the throbber. Can't it be
smoothened a bit like the rest of the theme? I mean can the small dots
(circles?) be changed to something more continuous/smooth.

Adam Kowalczyk

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Jul 12, 2006, 7:58:11 AM7/12/06
to
I am very, very impressed. I think a good job has been done to make
things look more up-to-date while preserving the traditional Winstripe feel.

The only thing I am slightly concerned about is that the desaturated
look of the endcap buttons makes them appear disabled.

Are there any plans for updating the throbber as well?

- Adam

BoxerBoi76

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Jul 12, 2006, 8:16:04 AM7/12/06
to
Although I appreciate the work that has gone into this update I was
expecting I guess something a little more "radical" if you will or at
least something different. I honestly don't see where either the XP or
Vista color palette was used as the theme is overly dark when the
Windows color palette is definitely more vibrant. In terms of look and
feel it does IMHO look less like a native Windows app and more like a
departure from that "standard".

~B

Message has been deleted

Will Rogers

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Jul 12, 2006, 10:02:29 AM7/12/06
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beltzner wrote:
> I invite you all to take a look at the background and current progress
> on the designs here:

Overall, this looks great. I especially like the new tab look. It is
much more attractive and more functional at the same time. I also like
the "Go" button flush with the address bar and the desaturated borders
on the "Go" and "Search" buttons.

I do not like the "Home" icon. The other icons have a distinct focus
about the center line of the toolbar, while the shape of the "Home"
icon gravitates more toward the bottom. It tricks the eye into
thinking that icon is out of alignment with the others, even though
it's not.

I'm not sure about the color palette for the icons. I'm inclined to
agree that it's a little dark, but that might just be because it's
different. I'll have to see it in action, I think, before I make a
decision.

- Will

JBra...@gmail.com

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Jul 12, 2006, 10:31:27 AM7/12/06
to
One thing that looks off to me is that the close tab buttons seem to be
highlighted from directly above whereas everything else seems to be lit
from the upper left. Also the live bookmark RSS icon is different than
the RSS icon in the address bar. I wonder if that is intentional.

I'd also like to see how the back/forward/stop etc. look when moused
over. Does the "stop" button turn redder if moused over. If not is
there a reason the "close tab" button and the "stop" button are
different shades?

I really like the way the "go" and "search" endcap buttons butt up
against their respective input bars. Perhaps to link them even
stronger - mousing over the endcap buttons could cause an extremely
light tint to be added to the text field itself... I'm just thinking
aloud here.

I don't really like the fact that new search engines will glow. I
imagine it is like xp highlighting new programs. I always turn that
off because I find it distracting. I hope I can turn this feature off
as well.

Thanks for allowing the opportunity for feedback.

alfabravoteam

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Jul 12, 2006, 11:20:41 AM7/12/06
to
I liked it. Thanks for the chance to state one's opinion :)
Keep going, you're doing really good.

kevint...@gmail.com

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Jul 12, 2006, 11:26:27 AM7/12/06
to
Exciting work with the theme! Thanks for the diligence that has gone
into this. Are there plans now to unify the look of Thunderbird once
it goes 2.0?

Thanks,

Kevin

Achilles

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Jul 12, 2006, 11:29:36 AM7/12/06
to
One thing missing in those screen-shots is the hover & click (press)
effect on Back/ Forward/ Stop/ Reload buttons. Could you please put
them up. Thanks.

xmus...@gmail.com

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Jul 12, 2006, 11:49:41 AM7/12/06
to
Very nice!

I'm so glad you didn't reinvent the wheel and just evolved the
interface we already love. You can tell a lot of thought went into
this.

One thing that'd be nice would be if tabs you haven't viewed yet
appeared with a different color.

vel...@gmail.com

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Jul 12, 2006, 12:06:41 PM7/12/06
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OK Love the new theme - hate that buttons are not there by default.
Where is the new tab button? How about the print button? If Tab
Browsing is a MAJOR feature of Firefox... at least add the button for
it.

Thanks!!!!

VX

2news...@gmail.com

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Jul 12, 2006, 12:11:06 PM7/12/06
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Would the menus look right under windows classic?

bill.t...@gmail.com

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Jul 12, 2006, 12:20:35 PM7/12/06
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Yes, I do not like the addition of "stuff" like extra Search and
Throbber icons to the address line, making it easier for the phishers
to obscure the actual URL.
Maybe the whole search box and the throbber should move to the menu
line. It's got a lot of wasted space.
And while you are all there perhaps you could provide an autohide
option for the TAB and address bars in autohide mode.
(And I liked the perspective home rather than the new front view)

joer...@gmail.com

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Jul 12, 2006, 12:22:36 PM7/12/06
to
First, thank you for the opportunity to weigh in on your designs; as a
user interface designer, it's quite a treat.

Overall, I think the designs are moving in the right direction. I have
a couple of thoughts that may help. I've created a mockup to go with
the below explanation:

http://www.modernpixel.com/firefox/modernpixel-firefox2.jpg

Unfortunately you have the horrendous Windows XP interface to
constantly visually battle everything else on the screen, so it's
important to keep the actual program interface as clear as possible.
Some areas that could be improved:

I think that the multiple colors of the main buttons (back, forward,
refresh and home) are two varied and bright. They're a bit of an
eyesore and being that they are so commonly used and well known by
users, it seems unnecessary to give them so much presence. I think
keeping them monochrome until rolled over simplifies the look. If the
buttons aren't available, they'll be a light monochrome, if they are
available but not currently hovered, they'll be a darker monochrome
with more contrast. On hover, they will be colored.

In addition, the space between the back and forward buttons can be
compressed, since they are so closely linked in purpose. The small
history arrows next to them should be located in the same place for
each arrow - I suggest at the point of the arrow. This makes for a more
even distribution of icon weight, and also makes more sense since the
arrows are pointing towards their respective histories.

Next, and this is small but important - you've modified your "go"
button so that it's the same icon as your forward and back button. This
is a confusion of metaphors and I think it's much clearer to simply use
the word "go" on the button (or if an icon is needed for multiple
languages, use a different icon.)

My biggest issue is tabs, which I think are still too difficult to
differentiate. I think the tabbing function is very useful, but quickly
becomes exhausting to look at because of similarity. You've taken a
step forward by varying degrees of contrast - I would say take another
step and deepen the contrast so that the front tab is very clearly the
selected site.

You can achieve this in two ways, lowering contrast of the unselected
tabs, and making sure that the icons for the sites are also desaturated
(currently the Mozilla icon is the same red in the on and off state.

In addition, drawing a thicker white line below (and attached to) the
selected tab, that runs the length of the page, makes it much clearer
that the tab you have selected is related to what you are looking at
below. It visually connects the site to the tab.

I hope this helps, I think the Firefox product is, as always, moving in
new and exciting directions.

Joe Rivera
www.modernpixel.com

joer...@gmail.com

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Jul 12, 2006, 12:29:37 PM7/12/06
to
Forgot this in my last post...

When a site is added to the Bookmark bar - I think it would be useful
to have it default to adding a vertical separator, rather than have
that be an option to do manually. That simple additon goes SO far in
helping to keep the bookmarks tidy and readable.

Joe Rivera
www.modernpixel.com

Nanobot

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Jul 12, 2006, 12:42:07 PM7/12/06
to
I'm a bit worried about the direction this design is going. The way I
see it, icons should be designed to maximize at-a-glance recognition,
which I believe the current Firefox theme does extremely well. In this
new theme, I feel that the gloss is overdone and distracting, the edges
of the shapes aren't very well defined, the shapes themselves seem a
bit distorted due to the uneven highlighting and shading, and the icons
generally feel bloated and cumbersome. I understand that one of the
goals is to more closely match the new icon theme in Windows Vista,
which I also feel was poorly designed, but the Firefox 1.x theme did an
acceptable job at fitting into the Windows XP environment even without
being all-out designed to match the Luna style. The highlighted inner
outline was a great visual cue that has since been copied in other
themes like Tango, and I find it unfortunate to see it going away.

That said, I was also worried when I saw the early mockups of the
Firefox 1.x theme, which really shaped up in the end, and I hope this
theme is much more polished by the time Firefox 2.0 ships.

Ahn...@gmail.com

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Jul 12, 2006, 12:44:11 PM7/12/06
to
Don't like the RSS icon changes. Specifically: if you HAVE to have it
always present, it should be greyed out when not active. Right now, I
find it confusing to have a button that only works when it's glowing.

csaba...@gmail.com

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Jul 12, 2006, 1:44:14 PM7/12/06
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I don't like the close button on each tab.

When I want to close multiple tabs, now I just click one place and I
know what's closed - one after other, without looking up.

With separate buttons I need to look up, find the button, position the
mouse and click each time. That's the reason I hate Opera.

Csaba

roch...@gmail.com

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Jul 12, 2006, 2:19:24 PM7/12/06
to
I really like the general idea.

Here are some things that I think could be improved :

- The red (from the close buttons) should be toned down a little, or
made orange like the current theme. It's way too agressive and
distracting currently. (The stop button would be generally disabled
right?)

- I think the glass effect is a little overdone and the color scheme
sould be tweaked.

- Why is the dropdown button of the adress bar no longer native-like?

- Perhaps the gradient on the back of the tab bar could be a little bit
more subtle?

- The throbber is asking for too much attention ;-)

I really like that the home button now has the same perspective as the
other buttons.

Thank you very much and keep up the good work.

alex.r.

cyb...@gmail.com

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Jul 12, 2006, 2:28:17 PM7/12/06
to
I'm curious about the widget used for the address bar as well -- why is
it not native? Which relates to a question I have about widgets on the
Mac -- will Firefox 2 support native Mac widgets? Pretty please?

The design looks good overall though. Looking forward to seeing the
final!

Ryan

Omega X

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Jul 12, 2006, 3:23:12 PM7/12/06
to

That is an entirely different subject. Besides, there is supposed to be
a pref to restore the old function.

Omega X

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Jul 12, 2006, 3:29:01 PM7/12/06
to
Sohil wrote:
> So a question, is Refresh/Go going to combined and the throbber looks
> pretty much the same (no pie graph ?)
>
> It's an awesome theme
>

Well, it is still in mockup stages. So maybe they haven't worked out
that part yet.

I was expecting something a little more up tempo. But I guess that
conservatives will love it, while the rest look for a more appealing
option. I can't say how this will compete with IE7 visually however.

But its decent. Needs a little polishing, but decent.

jah...@gmail.com

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Jul 12, 2006, 3:51:54 PM7/12/06
to
I think the whole thing just needs to be brightened up a bit. The
taupe address bar and such make it look dated. You could just brighten
it up a bit, as open office kind of looks, and it will make it look
more recent.

I'm hoping that as firefox transitions from version 1.x to 2.0, there
will be a major theme upgrade, then just include a original theme as a
choice to set later for those who don't want anything flashy/new.

Jed Brown

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Jul 12, 2006, 6:48:04 PM7/12/06
to
I like all the changes excluding the new 'Home' and 'back/forward'
buttons.
While all the other icons seem to have imrpoved the Home button seems
to have taken a step backwards looking more like an old netscape/ie
theme.

The back and forward buttons are ok, but seem to 'glossy' in the
mockups.

Omega X

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Jul 12, 2006, 8:42:06 PM7/12/06
to
jah...@gmail.com wrote:
> I think the whole thing just needs to be brightened up a bit. The
> taupe address bar and such make it look dated. You could just brighten
> it up a bit, as open office kind of looks, and it will make it look
> more recent.
>

I agree. Though, I don't think that they quite finished with laying out
things yet. So I'll wait before I say anything on that part. But the
icons remind me of Tango. I don't know if that's a good or bad thing at
this point.

> I'm hoping that as firefox transitions from version 1.x to 2.0, there
> will be a major theme upgrade, then just include a original theme as a
> choice to set later for those who don't want anything flashy/new.
>

They don't "necessarily" have to include it. Just make it available on AMO.

Justin

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Jul 12, 2006, 9:08:57 PM7/12/06
to
Generally, I like the new look, but I really don't like the "Mac OS X
shiny button" look. Not on the Win version, anyway. I also think the
back, forward, and reload buttons are a bit too sharp ... or something.
I like the joint buttons and text boxes. Keeps it cleaner and more
unified.

Justin.

beltzner wrote:
> Sorry to be so distant; I and others have been working closely and
> intensely with our new friends at Radiant Core
> (http://www.radiantcore.com) to quickly iterate on the new Firefox 2
> theme. It's not been an easy task, since we knew that a lot of hard
> work went into the *stripe family of themes, and yet we also knew that
> the theme has started to look its age.
>

> I invite you all to take a look at the background and current progress
> on the designs here:
>
> http://wiki.mozilla.org/FX2_Visual_Update/Default_Theme_Update
>

edh...@gmail.com

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Jul 12, 2006, 11:44:07 PM7/12/06
to
I have one request on behalf of all of us users who have problems with
tiny fonts:

Test your themes with larger fonts. Make sure they scale up gracefully.

Too often these elegant curved end caps only look good with the teeny
tiny fonts you young guys seem to prefer. When you set your system font
to large (120%) in Windows, the results are bad in many themes where
the text holders (the urlbar, for example) cannot grow with the
fontsize.

Test your theme. Using Windows XP, go to your desktop and right-click
to bring up the context menu. Then select Appearance > Advanced >
Message Box. Set the fontsize to 20 and see what you get. That setting
controls the fontsize for the searchbar, the urlbar and the bookmarks
personal toolbar. Then do the same with the Menu setting. That controls
the menubar (File - Edit - View - History - Bookmarks - Tools - Help)
and the tab captions.

Do your themes expand to accommodate those size changes? Mine do. And
certainly the default theme for Firefox - the one that all users see -
must do so.

Theming is hard. Fancy theming is not fully supported by Firefox (just
try, for example, making smooth curves with the -moz-border-radius
property). If your fancy theming will not adapt to the needs of all of
our users, then it does not belong in the default theme.

edh...@gmail.com

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Jul 12, 2006, 11:46:38 PM7/12/06
to
It's also very late to make theme changes to Fx 2.0. Aren't there
enough bugs to fix already?

d...@design-noir.de

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Jul 13, 2006, 2:55:45 AM7/13/06
to
Please merge Stop into the Go button.

Mickey V.

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Jul 13, 2006, 4:39:05 AM7/13/06
to
I agree that the Refresh and Stop buttons should be combined. It would
save space as generally only one or the other can be used. Maybe
slightly decrease the size of those 5 buttons as well.

You should also keep the address bar big, it looks very cramped in the
mockup. Move the throbber back to the menubar and shorten the search
bar and you're fine.

Other than that, I like it a lot. :)
I think its also a time for a new throbber.

d...@design-noir.de

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Jul 13, 2006, 6:19:03 AM7/13/06
to
Monochrome buttons look too much like they were disabled.
I'd rather like to see them being lighter:

http://design-noir.de/bugzilla/fx2-theme-01.png

joer...@gmail.com wrote:
> http://www.modernpixel.com/firefox/modernpixel-firefox2.jpg

s.ma...@gmail.com

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Jul 13, 2006, 7:11:33 AM7/13/06
to
csaba...@gmail.com wrote:
> When I want to close multiple tabs, now I just click one place and I
> know what's closed - one after other, without looking up.
>
> With separate buttons I need to look up, find the button, position the
> mouse and click each time. That's the reason I hate Opera.

Have you tried closing tabs with middle-click? You can middle-click
anywhere on each tab to close it. This allows me to use the Tab Mix
Plus extension to remove all closeboxes from the tabs and tab strip to
make it less cluttered. The middle-click feature should be more
discoverable, there should be a tooltip or something similar that
appears on first run of Firefox to alert more people to it.

Great new theme, although I'm not yet sure about the Home button. I
look forward to seeing the next version with new tab button, pie chart
throbber, etc. Hopefully Beta 2 will have the new theme so we can play
around with it.

Justin

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Jul 13, 2006, 9:49:48 AM7/13/06
to
Bad idea, I think. I know quite a few people, including myself, find
that it's possible to accidently reload the page when you meant to stop
loading if the page finishes loading just as you press it. It's bad
usability to have a button that can change it's function without any
notice. Reducing clutter is good, but not at the expence of usability.

billcli...@gmail.com

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Jul 13, 2006, 3:40:19 PM7/13/06
to

beltzner wrote:
> Sorry to be so distant; I and others have been working closely and
> intensely with our new friends at Radiant Core
> (http://www.radiantcore.com) to quickly iterate on the new Firefox 2
> theme. It's not been an easy task, since we knew that a lot of hard
> work went into the *stripe family of themes, and yet we also knew that
> the theme has started to look its age.
>
> I invite you all to take a look at the background and current progress
> on the designs here:
>
> http://wiki.mozilla.org/FX2_Visual_Update/Default_Theme_Update
>
> I'll add mockups as we go along, and would ask that you give us
> feedback on this thread or in this forum so that we have a single
> place where we can interact and discuss the theme. We need to move
> quickly to get this into Firefox 2 Beta 2, and are looking forward to
> your thoughts!
>
> cheers,
> mike
>
> --
> / mike beltzner / phenomenologist / mozilla corporation /

I love the look of that theme. Great job!

Nanobot

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Jul 13, 2006, 4:09:16 PM7/13/06
to
Please no. Usability tests have consistently shown this to be a bad
idea. The problem is when people want to hit stop while a page is
loading, but then it changes back to Refresh just as they go to click.
Another issue is when people want to refresh a page that isn't finished
loading yet. It would take two clicks rather than one. Merging the
buttons would save a rather insignificant amount of space and would
cause new usability problems. Just stick with an extension that does
the job, or maybe provide a (non-default) option.

Dao

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Jul 13, 2006, 5:30:30 PM7/13/06
to
Justin wrote:
> Bad idea, I think. I know quite a few people, including myself, find
> that it's possible to accidently reload the page when you meant to stop
> loading if the page finishes loading just as you press it. It's bad
> usability to have a button that can change it's function without any
> notice. Reducing clutter is good, but not at the expence of usability.

You're right, I mixed it up. According to
http://wiki.mozilla.org/FX2_Visual_Update/User_Interface_Design Go and
Reload should be combined:

http://design-noir.de/bugzilla/fx2-theme-02.png

BoxerBoi76

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Jul 13, 2006, 8:18:25 PM7/13/06
to
If you're going to always show the RSS icon in the address bar then
shouldn't we be consistent and always show the lock? I don't like
these inconsistencies continuously being introduced.

And yes, I agree it doesn't make sense to always show the lock just as
it really doesn't make sense to always show the RSS icon when RSS isn't
available, it simply takes up space.

~B

The Unusual Suspect

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Jul 14, 2006, 11:25:16 AM7/14/06
to
One thing I haven't seen people mention is the inconsistency between
the address bar and the search bar. In the address bar, the dropdown to
change addresses is on the right. In the search bar, the dropdown to
change search engines is on the left. As these two actions are fairly
equivalent when you take into account their contexts, shouldn't they
work the same way?

Sohail Mirza

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Jul 14, 2006, 2:33:43 PM7/14/06
to
I have to say, while I like the direction that that the address bar and
search bar, and their related buttons/icons are going, I'm not too keen
on the other major icons (back, forward, stop, etc.).

Like others, I think the icons are a little too dark for the Windows
platform, and frankly I prefer the Home icon in Fx 1.5 :)

The work on the tabs is excellent... they look uber smooth, which is
awesome!

To the guys at Radiant Core: keep up the great work!

beltzner wrote:
> Sorry to be so distant; I and others have been working closely and
> intensely with our new friends at Radiant Core
> (http://www.radiantcore.com) to quickly iterate on the new Firefox 2
> theme. It's not been an easy task, since we knew that a lot of hard
> work went into the *stripe family of themes, and yet we also knew that
> the theme has started to look its age.
>
> I invite you all to take a look at the background and current progress
> on the designs here:
>
> http://wiki.mozilla.org/FX2_Visual_Update/Default_Theme_Update
>

> I'll add mockups as we go along, and would ask that you give us
> feedback on this thread or in this forum so that we have a single
> place where we can interact and discuss the theme. We need to move
> quickly to get this into Firefox 2 Beta 2, and are looking forward to
> your thoughts!
>

Message has been deleted

Dao

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Jul 15, 2006, 6:55:51 AM7/15/06
to
Randy wrote:
> Why do we need the menu bar to be 80%
> unused and a bookmark toolbar that is 80% unused by default?

Because users should be encouraged to add their own bookmarks to the
toolbar. If they don't want this, they are free to optimize the space
as your mockup shows.

Dao

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Jul 15, 2006, 7:04:48 AM7/15/06
to
Also note that your address bar is too narrow. (In Firefox 2, "Go" will
become "History", so there's even less space. Not to mention other
languages ...)

Randy wrote:
> Please remove the toolbar bloat. Why do we need the menu bar to be 80%
> unused and a bookmark toolbar that is 80% unused by default? We can
> substantially increase viewable space for websites by moving the
> location and search boxes to the menu bar and moving the bookmarks
> toolbar items to the navigation bar. See my rough mockup for an
> example: http://img147.imageshack.us/img147/1328/mockupyi1.png
>
> And why do the navigation buttons have to be so huge?

DynaBMan

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Jul 15, 2006, 10:55:27 PM7/15/06
to
On 7/12/2006 10:26 AM kevint...@gmail.com loudly proclaimed:

> Exciting work with the theme! Thanks for the diligence that has gone
> into this. Are there plans now to unify the look of Thunderbird once
> it goes 2.0?
>

I hope they do. Thunderbird gets neglected when it comes to the themes
and it shouldn't be that way. It is a great program and deserves the
same attention that comes to Firefox.

--
LJ
My Best Friend Is My Wife!!

Sailfish

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Jul 16, 2006, 1:36:27 AM7/16/06
to
beltzner wrote:
> Sorry to be so distant; I and others have been working closely and
> intensely with our new friends at Radiant Core
> (http://www.radiantcore.com) to quickly iterate on the new Firefox 2
> theme. It's not been an easy task, since we knew that a lot of hard
> work went into the *stripe family of themes, and yet we also knew that
> the theme has started to look its age.
>
> I invite you all to take a look at the background and current progress
> on the designs here:
>
> http://wiki.mozilla.org/FX2_Visual_Update/Default_Theme_Update
>
> I'll add mockups as we go along, and would ask that you give us
> feedback on this thread or in this forum so that we have a single
> place where we can interact and discuss the theme. We need to move
> quickly to get this into Firefox 2 Beta 2, and are looking forward to
> your thoughts!
>
I hope I'm not sounding too negative here but the new theme, while
professionally designed and polished, doesn't seem all that different
from the existing 1.x *stripe theme. The theme is still using the same
geometric shaped primary toolbarbuttons. In fact, Home now being 2D
leaves no isometric icons, which seems to be taking a step backwards?

I do like things like the consistent treatment for end-cap buttons and
even the constant RSS icon but from an overall appearance POV, it
doesn't seem much of a change.

Of course, if that was the intent then that design goal was met, it's
just that from your lead-in paragraph, I had assumed that "started to
look its age" meant that a more radical change was decided on.

fwiw


--
Mozilla Tips: http://www.ufaq.org/ , http://ilias.ca/
About Mozilla: http://www.mozilla.com/
Mozilla Themes: http://www.projectit.com/freestuff.html

Simon Paquet

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Jul 16, 2006, 5:11:29 AM7/16/06
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And on the seventh day joer...@gmail.com spoke:

>Overall, I think the designs are moving in the right direction. I have
>a couple of thoughts that may help. I've created a mockup to go with
>the below explanation:
>
>http://www.modernpixel.com/firefox/modernpixel-firefox2.jpg

I think a combination of your design and the current design from
Radiantcore would be great.

What I really like from your design is the more disabled look of the
background tabs. The active tab is much more distinguishable.

But what I don't like on your design are the toolbar buttons. They are a
little bit too shiny for me. Here I prefer the Radiantcore design.

Simon
--
Sunbird/Lightning/Calendar Website Maintainer:
http://www.mozilla.org/projects/calendar
Sunbird/Calendar blog: http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/calendar

haas...@googlemail.com

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Jul 17, 2006, 1:16:02 PM7/17/06
to
I really like the new simple and beautiful toolbarbuttons (exept maybe
the home-icon which doesn't seem to fit to the other icons). The
go/search buttons look nice, too, but please make sure, that they look
good unter very small and very large font-sizes and under different
themes/styles.

Also, please keep it simple, don't combine the Reload/Go buttons and
don't move the things around.

What I don't like:
-Textfields, Dropdowns, Tabs, Background of Tabstrip all don't look
native.
-Why on earth should the RSS-Icon always be visible?

Would be nice to see a preview of Gnomestripe and a Mac Theme, too.

Dan Barber

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Jul 18, 2006, 10:24:31 AM7/18/06
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I don't think the RSS icon will always be visible, they probably just
put it on the mock-up so that we could see it.

I personally like the new look, particularly the shaded tabs, makes it
much easier to see which is active. I do think the buttons still need
a little work however.

not-a-bot

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Jul 18, 2006, 12:34:42 PM7/18/06
to
Maybe you should take a closer look at the wiki page, the current plan
for the RSS-icon is:

"# the RSS indicator will always be present in the location bar
# when a feed is found, it will light up to draw attention to itself"

I don't have a real problem with that and IE7 does pretty much the
same. The address bar is big enogh and it's not like a small greyd out
icon is really distracting.

BryanS...@gmail.com

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Jul 18, 2006, 7:16:24 PM7/18/06
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I'm seriously impressed with this, very nice theme upgrade all round.

The new Go button is an immense improvement connecting it better with
the url bar and not too big, aswell as the search bar change around
with the dropdown (though this should carry a dropdown box being
consistent and clear). I agree however they are a little too light and
colourless to the point they look inactive however.

By contrast, other items now appear slightly too Dark/harsh; Navigation
buttons (especially back/forwards, stop), favicons throughout, tab
close button in red, tab bar backround (especially at top, good but not
quite subtle or seamless).

Whilst implementing UI improvements, it would be a good time to
implement a simple unified back/forwards as per IE7 and already
proposed for Fx. This would mean users would be noticing and grasping
all UI changes, a unified back/forwards as part of it all, rather than
it happening seperately further down the line, do it all in one go, a
bit better in the longrun. Most logical implementation so users dont
notice much and dont think theyve lost a back button/other, would be; a
proper seperate dropdown (and outlined such as per url button dropdown
and what search engine dropdown should be) in between back and
forwards.

Joint Go/Reload/Stop, with the new subtle Go I'm now debating the
worthiness of this, despite being very keen on the idea previously and
even trying to re-invigorate the debate. I think Go as it is in this
theme should definitely remain as its logical, in line with Go and
Search Go, plus subtle. Go/Reload means when a user types a new
address over a page, they can no longer reload the page theyre on,
unless they do right click undo typing (once only even then), so that
makes it a definite no. Joint Reload/Stop would be mean joining 2
buttons (confusing to some) and occasional hit of reload instead of
stop. So I think with these UI improvements, the benefits to this have
gone, for the valid issues with go/reload, and reload/stop, definite no
now, leave as is.

Home button design/colours need work, grey house, blue door doesnt
work, looks too complex/wrong.

Throbber next to search bar - not sure, a little too distracting and
cluttery. Its otherwise a very simple bar broken down into 3 main
essential categories almost; navigation, url bar, search bar, simple.
The throbber makes it much more un symmetrical, harder to grasp for a
novice, its too in the main UI, so would have to say its unnecessary
clutter. To be honest, IE7 nor Opera really have a throbber, and I
really dont think Firefox needs one, majority dont take any notice, its
clutter, so by law of majority, at least hide very subtly, or better
still remove as un-necessary. Tabs have a throbber, and should have a
load bar so users can see when tab 2 has finished loading whilst on tab
1, to avoid un-necessarily having to check. As part of other proposed
improvements, I believe the tab bar like IE7 & Opera should be shown by
default as it solves the viewing of load status of pages in the best
way possible, is overally more intuitive, and where a new tab button is
most intuitive, meaning the overall tab experience is generally much
clearer, easier and more intutive.

Any icons always visible in the url bar gets a strong no, if its not
active then the user need not worry about it thus should not see it, it
takes focus away from the important times of when they are active. So
no phishing, rss, lock icons that arent active on, only show the user
whats active, what they need to worry about, and can do something with.

File/Edit toolbar - definitely a huge waste of space that should be
used. As per research by Google which Mozilla know about, most users
increasingly dont use bookmarks, they instead remember, search and
more. So then, having the bookmarks toolbar on by default for that
minority, forcing it on a majority that dont use them, is not in the
"suite the majority" ethos, and instead clutters for the majority. So
theres a seriously strong case for not showing it by default. However,
the file edit menu toolbar caters perfectly for the bookmarks toolbar
as is possible via customise, so I really think to space save, reduce
clutter in the UI, and make more subtle something the majority dont
use, this should definitely be default.

Status bar - A good time to really look as proposals and improvements
on this too for the same said reasons thats users will then grasp UI
improvements in one go. As per proposals on the wiki and still being
put forwards, the status bar largely carries un essential items that
would be better placed elsewhere anyhow. Users recieve tooltips in
many area's of the browser, in particular for eg. hovering over
bookmarks the url is shown. For consistency purposes, the same should
be true of links. A user in general and in particular with the UI,
expect everything sectioned and to recieve relevent information right
by the item being viewed. So hovering over links should after a
designated amount of time (perhaps longer than with bookmarks url
tooltip) show a tooltip of the url, and perhaps an icon/text as to
whether it will load in present on new page (dont say tab as some users
will still use windows and tab is then incorrect statement, page is
always correct).

Dan Barber

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Jul 20, 2006, 5:27:43 AM7/20/06
to
You seem to have missed the important part of that sentence *'...when a
feed is found'*. So if the page has no RSS feed, then the icon will
not appear. That behaviour makes perfect sense to me.

Gavin Sharp

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Jul 20, 2006, 10:44:22 AM7/20/06
to
Dan Barber wrote:
> You seem to have missed the important part of that sentence *'...when a
> feed is found'*. So if the page has no RSS feed, then the icon will
> not appear. That behaviour makes perfect sense to me.

It's not a sentence - it's two separate bullet points.

Gavin

Dan Barber

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Jul 21, 2006, 11:24:35 AM7/21/06
to
Ooops, my bad.

Now I read that, the behaviour doesn't make sense to me. It shouldn't
display an RSS icon unless there is a feed. In the same way that it
only shows a padlock if the connection is secure.

mclackler

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Jul 22, 2006, 11:10:55 PM7/22/06
to
joer...@gmail.com wrote:

> My biggest issue is tabs, which I think are still too difficult to
> differentiate. I think the tabbing function is very useful, but quickly
> becomes exhausting to look at because of similarity. You've taken a
> step forward by varying degrees of contrast - I would say take another
> step and deepen the contrast so that the front tab is very clearly the
> selected site.
>
> You can achieve this in two ways, lowering contrast of the unselected
> tabs, and making sure that the icons for the sites are also desaturated
> (currently the Mozilla icon is the same red in the on and off state.

I have to agree that while the proposed changes are better there are
still issues in differentiating the tab states, especially between the
Deselected and Deselected moused-over tabs.

I've taken the wiki image for the tab bar and mocked-up a few different
possibilities:

http://img223.imageshack.us/img223/8912/tabsfl5.png

Looking at the original image, the close button is pretty clear between
the active and background tabs, but is a little confusing between the
background and hovered tabs (what's the difference between a light gray
and medium gray). The site icon and title text do not follow the same
pattern as the close button and thus add a little visual
distraction/confusion between all three states.

Option 1 basically desaturates the site icon with a 60% opacity copy of
the tab background gradient for deselected tabs. This makes a large
improvement since the site icon now more closely matches the rest of
the deselected tab graphical style. This removes a lot of visual
confusion between the deselected and active tabs. The difference
between the deselected and hovered tab is still a little weak.

Option 2 continues the site icon desaturation for deselected tabs and
adds desaturation of the site title text. I used the same image used
to cover the site icon, but this could probably easily be done with
only a text color change. To me, this further improves the difference
between the deselected and active tabs as well as between the
deselected and hovered tabs.

Option 3 continues from Option 2, but adds the color back to the tab
close button when a deselected tab is hovered. Adding the color to the
close button on the hover state completes the clear visual distinction
between the deselected and hovered tabs and makes the close button
match the visual changes on the rest of the tab. We now have three
distinct visual states:

Active - Bright - no background shading, site icon, title text, and
close button fully saturated

Deselected - Dull - background gradient, site icon, title text, and
close button desaturated

Deselected hovered - Medium - background shaded, site icon, title text,
and close button fully saturated, slight focus ring on tab

Before the changes proposed with the increased shading of the
background tabs, I understand why the close button was kept colorless
on tab hover since this was one of the strongest visual distinctions
between the active and hovered tabs. Now with the increased background
contrast between the active and hovered tab, I think the contrast is
the primary visual cue. From a UI standpoint a colorless button
normally indicates the button is disabled. (I understand when you
hover over the button, it changes state but you have to do 2 things to
discover the button works without activating the tab - hover the
background tab then hover the box in the background tab) Putting the
close button color back in the tab hover state simplifies the close
button visual states and improves the UI without effecting the primary
visual distinction between the hovered and active tab. You simply
hover the tab and it is instantly known that the close button works.

Michael Clackler

Dao

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Jul 23, 2006, 4:10:14 AM7/23/06
to
mclackler wrote:

> joer...@gmail.com wrote:
> Option 1 basically desaturates the site icon with a 60% opacity copy of
> the tab background gradient for deselected tabs.

That's probably how you did it, but the actual implementation would be
to give the icon an opacity of 40% (e.g. .tabbrowser-tabs tab .tab-icon
{ opacity: .4 } .tabbrowser-tabs tab:hover .tab-icon , .tabbrowser-tabs
tab[selected="true"] .tab-icon { opacity: 1 }).

> Option 2 continues the site icon desaturation for deselected tabs and
> adds desaturation of the site title text.

In my opinion, this makes it too hard to recognize the tabs.

mclackler

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Jul 23, 2006, 12:02:28 PM7/23/06
to
Dao wrote:
> In my opinion, this makes it too hard to recognize the tabs.

Is this any better? I made the top and side borders of the background
tab the same as the hovered tab which visually makes the tab outline
stand out a little more.

http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/2941/tab2qc1.png

Mike

haas...@googlemail.com

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Jul 23, 2006, 2:14:39 PM7/23/06
to
mclackler wrote:
> Is this any better?

Not much IMHO. The main problem isn't, that you can't find the tabs.
The problem is, that it may be difficult to read this dark gray text on
a light gray background. The contrast is too low IMHO.

sebasti...@gmail.com

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Jul 24, 2006, 6:12:45 AM7/24/06
to
Randy wrote:
> Please remove the toolbar bloat. Why do we need the menu bar to be 80%
> unused and a bookmark toolbar that is 80% unused by default? We can
> substantially increase viewable space for websites by moving the
> location and search boxes to the menu bar and moving the bookmarks
> toolbar items to the navigation bar. See my rough mockup for an
> example: http://img147.imageshack.us/img147/1328/mockupyi1.png
>
> And why do the navigation buttons have to be so huge?

because the strength of Firefox is that it tries to make using it
easier for the average user. and the average user knows that all his
application have a manubar and *below* the iconbar. this is what he
expects and this is what is served him.

the reason for the navigation buttons be *so huge* is that many people
haven't got a perfect eye sight and still want to be able to use their
browser. for eerybody else, there is the option to use smaller buttons.

edh...@gmail.com

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Jul 25, 2006, 7:29:57 PM7/25/06
to
Randy wrote:
>
> And why do the navigation buttons have to be so huge?
>
Actually, they look tiny to me, especially on the 1024x768 display I
used to use, and worse on the 1280x1024 display I use since my CRT
died. I used a a theme with 32x32-pixel toolbar icons on the smaller
screen, and a theme with 48x48-pixel icons on the higher-res screen.
Compare that with maz 24x24-pixel in the default theme.

And there are people with 1900+ pixel screens. In fact, one of my users
has a 3800-pixel screen (IBM used to make them). Since all of these
icons are raster and not vector images, the higher your screen res, the
smaller your icons.

As people migrate to higher-res displays and get older (yes, you TOO
will get older) they will want larger icons.

Jeremy Morton

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Aug 4, 2006, 5:09:15 PM8/4/06
to
beltzner wrote:
> Sorry to be so distant; I and others have been working closely and
> intensely with our new friends at Radiant Core
> (http://www.radiantcore.com) to quickly iterate on the new Firefox 2
> theme. It's not been an easy task, since we knew that a lot of hard
> work went into the *stripe family of themes, and yet we also knew that
> the theme has started to look its age.
>
> I invite you all to take a look at the background and current progress
> on the designs here:
>
> http://wiki.mozilla.org/FX2_Visual_Update/Default_Theme_Update

Just seen the new theme on the latest nightly.

I know that you've probably done this because of some of the comments here,
but I have to comment on the faintness of the icons until you mouseover
them.

I really don't like this idea of having faint icons until you mouseover.
Nothing more than a bevel effect is needed. I far prefer the original
design on http://wiki.mozilla.org/FX2_Visual_Update/Default_Theme_Update
than the current theme where the icons are faint until mouseover. No other
applications I use have this faint icons thing, and I think it really
detracts from the theme. Please could we just have the icons staying the
same, and a bevel effect when the mouse is over them?

Another thing about this is that it creates extra work for extension
designers who add buttons, they have to add another really faint icon for
when it's not selected. This theme immediately makes my button stand out
because it's in full contrast.

If the icons were always in full contrast, I'd give the theme the thumbs up.
Unfortunately, they way it is now, I think it's a step backward. The faint
button icons look ...... wrong.

Compare:
http://wiki.mozilla.org/images/6/6f/Fx2-new-theme-in-xp-v1.jpg
http://www.game-point.net/misc/newtheme.png

I just think the buttons on the new theme have been made too faint. For
contrast, I've included a couple of the buttons my extension adds below.
They don't change contrast when you mouseover them, and they don't need to.
Only a bevel effect. There's no way full-contrast icons are 'an eyesore',
as far as I'm concerned faint icons are the eyesore... as evidenced by the
fact that virtually no other app has faint icons!

Sorry to have rambled by I'm really quite disappointed that an otherwise
nice theme has been tainted by the icon contrast thing. I think it's a bad
idea, please remove it?

--
Best regards,
Jeremy Morton (Jez)


Jeremy Morton

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Aug 4, 2006, 5:25:14 PM8/4/06
to
vel...@gmail.com wrote:
> OK Love the new theme - hate that buttons are not there by default.
> Where is the new tab button? How about the print button? If Tab
> Browsing is a MAJOR feature of Firefox... at least add the button for
> it.
>
> Thanks!!!!
>
> VX

Agree 100%. New tab and new window should be there by default. I have no
idea why they aren't!

Jeremy Morton

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Aug 4, 2006, 5:55:31 PM8/4/06
to
Thinking about this more objectively, is it not possible to include more
than one theme with Firefox? Like, the current 1.5 theme and the new one?

Anticipating the arguments against:

- There's more to maintain.
True. Is that a big problem? It's pretty much a one-off job.

- It's a bigger download.
True. Is that a big problem? Many people have broadband connections now.

I don't think you'll get one theme that'll satisfy everybody. I guess you
can just go to AMO to get more themes but still it'd be nice to get some
variety by default.

Adam Kowalczyk

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Aug 4, 2006, 6:08:12 PM8/4/06
to
Jeremy Morton wrote:
> I really don't like this idea of having faint icons until you
mouseover.
> Nothing more than a bevel effect is needed. I far prefer the original
> design on http://wiki.mozilla.org/FX2_Visual_Update/Default_Theme_Update
> than the current theme where the icons are faint until mouseover. No other
> applications I use have this faint icons thing, and I think it really
> detracts from the theme. Please could we just have the icons staying the
> same, and a bevel effect when the mouse is over them?
>

I also don't like the low contrast at all. It takes away the
eye-candyness of the theme and makes it look dull instead of vibrant and
lively. This is a change in the opposite direction to the one Vista (and
most modern apps, for that matter) seems to be going, which leaves me
surprised. Especially, because a desire to look good and up-to-date on
Vista was named as one of the main reasons behind the visual refresh.

I am curious to hear the reasons behind this move. I guess I will
disappointed either way, because no matter the rationale, the low
contrast is visually much less attractive.

- Adam