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Mozilla debates the FireFox user interface

Mozilla debates the FireFox user interface

How much more marketshare could FireFox grab with a new user interface?

The team at the helm of the 'Chrome' interface that is the front end for FireFox have been debating the best way to go about improving the browser for its next major release, version 2.0.

In a posting to the mozilla.dev.apps.firefox newsgroup (which you can see on Google Groups here), Mike Beltzner discusses the pros and cons of various tweaks to the interface, including:
  • Dropping the 'Home' button, since nobody uses it
  • Making tabs fixed width
  • Moving various buttons - such as 'Go' and 'RSS' - to the URL bar to indicate their association with the current page
  • Changing the way the load status of the current page is displayed
  • Renaming menus, such as changing 'Go' to 'History'
Mike presents his thoughts as a crude ASCII layout drawing, although the gist of what he's getting at is surprisingly easy to see.

What are your thoughts on the FireFox interface - could it be improved significantly? Apple's Safari browser has been praised for its intuitive UI: could FireFox learn from this? And what effect will Internet Explorer 7 and Longhorn have on the graphical look of the app? Let us know your thoughts, including how you'd redesign FireFox, over in the News Forum.