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Firefox 4.0, UX done wrong


After many years of being an avid and loving user of Firefox i’ve unfortunately been confronted with what i’d deem some of poorest UX decisions i’ve seen in Firefox ever, and can only hope the developers see sense before 4.0 is released in early 2011(so rumor has it).

This is what you can expect to see in Firefox 4.0 when you’re wondering where the hell link information is displayed..

Firefox 4.0 Beta 7 - New link url location
Seriously? The location bar? Meh..

Never in my time using Firefox have i come across a change that has caused me so much displeasure..

This problem seems to stem from a decision to replace the current “Status Bar” with an “Addon” bar, which apparently makes all the difference in terms of performance (or something like that).

The solution apparently is to install an extesion to put things back how they were, WHAT!… you want me to install an additional addon (on top of the ones i have), so the browser is back to “NORMAL!” …

To add insult to injury, not only is the URL you’d expect to find in the staus bar now in the location bar, but you no longer have the loading bar indicator, instead a Windows Vista style swirling circle is shown in the active tab..

My main issue with both of these features is that when i browse/use the web i tend to look to the bottom area of the browser for statistical information about the current page, whether it’s loading, which URL it’s fetching (or hanging on, whatever).. I’m now expected to look to the opposite side of my screen for that information (and that’s not an easy or comfortable change at all). I’m not yet able to see any benefits these items have from being in the upper area of the browser (there’s less room, and they are harder to see/spot/read/notice).

Fortunately, i keep 3.6.8 installed for when i need it, so if the changes drive me insane i’ll just load that up…. i just really hope i won’t feel forced to choose another browser in 2011, as there’s simply no way i’m going to continue to use Firefox if the team is going to continue making poor UX decisions like these two.

Comparison images of the two areas in question.

I pray this is changed by the time 4.0 is out..

What do you guys think? Is this a poor UX decision? Am i just picky, or do you agree?