Dave Woods - Freelance Web Design Warwickshire

Firefox 4 Screenshots

Firefox 3.5 has been out less than a month and the announcement of Firefox 3.7 was only last week. However, Mozilla are already looking ahead to version 4 of Firefox.

So far there’s only screenshots available so there’s no information on what the release is likely to include in terms of functionality or additional HTML 5 and CSS 3 support but the screenshots do suggest that there are considerable changes planned, at least in terms of usability.

I really like what they’re considering for the tabs on top of the browser bar but is it simply recreating what Google Chrome currently does? Are Mozilla simply following the same interface in the hope that all the additional Add-ons will keep users loyal to Firefox? If Google Chrome no longer has the benefit of a better interface then why use it at all?

Currently, I use Firefox for development as I can’t pull myself away from using Firebug, but I do use Google Chrome for general browsing due to its speed and easy to use interface so if Firefox can improve on those aspects then I may decide to use Firefox as my sole browser.

It’s a risky call as it may alienate Firefox users from what they know so will be interesting to see which interface design they decide to go for upon its release.

As I mentioned before though, these are just initial screenshots so I’ll be much more interested in seeing what the browser has in stall for us in terms of HTML 5 and CSS 3 support when those details are released.

3 comments on “Firefox 4 Screenshots

  1. Peter Gasston

    At this early stage these would be just concept designs, looking at how other browsers solve the same problems they’re facing.

    I don’t actually like the combine stop/refresh button in Safari, and while I prefer the concept of Chrome’s tabs on top, in practice I think you end up losing quite a lot of space. I’d like to see some really fresh approaches tried.

  2. Dave Post author

    I may not be popular with a lot of users but I’d personally like to see tabs down the side in the same way that favourites/history has worked. I know it takes up a lot of real estate of the width of the page but on a 22″ monitor it really wouldn’t make any difference and I’d be able to view all my tabs in one go instead of scrolling sideways to view them.

    Considering vertical menus are much more flexible when designing websites, I’m surprised that the browser manufacturers haven’t adopted a similar method for tabs.

    Maybe I’m in the minority though of having 20-30 tabs open at once? 🙂

  3. Evan Skuthorpe

    That would be an interesting approach having vertical tabs… There’s no reason why they couldn’t incorporate both (horizontal and vertical) in the browser and have the user change their preferences as they see fit.

    And I only occasionally have as many as 20-30 tabs open. Usually it’s more around the 10-15-ish mark.