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TabZero nav model prototype - feedback wanted #12

ezoehunt opened this Issue Nov 23, 2015 · 7 comments


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ezoehunt commented Nov 23, 2015

Demonstrating recent thinking about how a hub-and-spoke navigation model works with the new browser-based OS. This model is called "TabZero," because the Homescreen is the hub.

Instructions for running the prototype are here - please follow the directions as you navigate through the prototype:

Thoughts, questions, feedback, sketches, etc appreciated.


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ezoehunt commented Nov 23, 2015

Question 1 -
The home icon appears on all screens (except the search overlay). This is awkward on the Homescreen itself. Perhaps Home + Tab Manager are a toggle, such that the Homescreen has a Tab Manager icon, and the Tab Manager has a Home icon.


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pdolanjski commented Nov 23, 2015

Very cool. One thing I noticed along the way was that the distinction between a regular tab to load a new page within the same tab and long-press to create a new Browser tab may be too subtle. By that I mean, if someone presses for slightly too long the only way they can tell is the lack of back button in the new tab. If they miss that (likely) and then desire to go back, the lack of back button may confuse.
Perhaps we can address this visually when a new tab loads, somehow.


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benfrancis commented Nov 23, 2015

This is great! Thank you for sharing. I particularly like how well this simplified UI complements the new more web-like architecture, app model and security model currently being worked on.

Something that immediately jumps out at me is that there are quite a lot of existing features which don't obviously fit into this drastically simplified interaction model. Cutting features could be a good thing, but it makes me wonder which features would be considered table stakes and which would be considered for the chop! (I'm sure the answer to many of these is "we don't know yet"):

  • Long tapping an icon on the homescreen is currently used to re-arrange/enter edit mode. If long pressing an icon opens a new window would you still be able to re-arrange the homescreen?
  • Long tapping a hyperlink currently displays a menu with many options (Copy link, open in new window, open in new private window, pin, save linked file, share link). If long tapping a hyperlink immediately opens a new window would you be able to carry out any of these actions?
  • Focusing the URL bar in a browser window lets you view, edit and copy the current URL. If tapping the search bar always enters search, would you still be still be able to access the URL?
  • Currently apps can go fullscreen or request reduced browser chrome or no browser chrome in a "standalone" display mode. I wonder whether the browser chrome would always be displayed or whether other display modes from the W3C web app specification would be supported
  • Currently the browser chrome collapses as you scroll, I wonder what it would do in this design.
  • Currently apps can spawn special popup windows, I wonder whether these would just become browser tabs.
  • I'm curious to know where bookmarks might live in this model.

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benfrancis commented Nov 23, 2015

Perhaps Home + Tab Manager are a toggle, such that the Homescreen has a Tab Manager icon, and the Tab Manager has a Home icon.

I really like this idea and it would make the tab manager much more discoverable. It's been discussed a lot before but not everyone liked it.


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sfoster commented Nov 25, 2015

I would love to see this working, but I have neither iphone or safari here. I did try it in Firefox + Responsive design view but got nothing to work.


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benfrancis commented Nov 26, 2015

@sfoster It works for me in Firefox Nightly on Linux (no responsive design view needed). What are you seeing when you load it in Firefox?


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NicolasWeb commented Dec 1, 2015

I'm an dogfooding user. I just tried the new UI prototype.

I globaly liked the prototype and thank you for your work (and sharing!).
Here is my feedback. Note that I tried to be more user story (how do I understand what I see and not bring me back this feature or implement exactly this) :

  • How can I do fast actions (directly open an app) from the lock screen (ie. for the camera) ?
  • I would like to be able to decide/customize/disable the notification/data stream that my lock screen show me. I might decide that something else (my RSS feed, a sys update, a meeting, a warning from my cloud server/provider/admin, ...) is more important to me.
  • How it is if I have a sys password ? Will the lockscreen combine the unlock and the enter password actions (ie. the Android screen with dot where you draw is an example) ?
  • I like that swapping down the notifications don't overlay, but push down the homescreen content showing the notification (and the basics aka wifi, battery...) were on the background. It's mentally clear to me notification happen in background and hardware is at the deeper layer than my content
  • Scrolling on tabs in the tabs manager is vertical VS tab switch animation is horizontal. It feel not intuitive to me. I feel confused
  • The second time I used it I liked that swipe right to delete a Browser Tab was the opposite animation to tab creation : will tabs always come from the right side ?
  • In tab manager, especially for websites, I'm worried that the thumb will not give enough visual content to a) visually differentiate 2 tabs from the same website (that is faster than reading the title) b) show some content (and not only the login link + logo +...) (maybe to preview, to fast switch) as it can crop too much
  • When I'll be on a tab with history, I'll have to swipe-up from the arrows (area) (I'm right handed) to get to the tab manager. But this action is not related to arrows so that could be confusing. We have to make clear that the action zone is the screen's bottom and not the arrow area.
  • When I will click an app from the homescreen and that app will have multiple tabs opened, 1) to witch of it tabs I'll be drive to ? 2) How I'll be able to view the other tabs of an app / or (fast) go to then ?
    (Did I need the 2) to work around things that didn't work as good as I expected? Maybe ; like multitasking, opening many links on one website to then read them [and not especially read later], copy/paste an link from an email to add it to an other [not a new one, one that I'm already editing]...)
  • Homescreen is the root. From there I can lunch or go back to any app. But it seems that there is no browser icon: How I will be able to go to Web content tabs as I can to other apps from the (root as) homescreen?
  • Opening a tab from the homescreen can't overwrite the homescreen tab (ie it have to open a new tab): short pressing will drive me to the current open tab of the app? Or reopen it if a tab was already open ? Long-pressing (that mean by the past I want to interact with you, not your content) don't drive me to customize ?
    BTW, I had to learn it, but I like being able to open the write a new email by long pressing.
  • Why opening a new tab is not consistent with other Firefox I use during my day ? It's mentally confusing as to decide my behaviour I think "I'm on/using FF". In FF desktop when I open a link in a new tab, it open in the background by default. I'm used to it: why in FxOS it's the opposite ? (May I be notified by a small preview, 10% large on the screen, on the right , so I can see a new tab open I be able to swipe it to expand/switch to it ?)
  • When I click the sear box on the top, it come to me by an animation from the bottom. Confusing. During the animation I'll see two search box ?
  • Why searching from the homescreen don't give me results about the home screen content (and about web search instead) ? how do I do that ? Is there a place for a global search ? Is there a way to filter the content I see ?
    Is this search box a Web search and/or a context filter (like ctrl+F in desktop) ? As a user I might need both (combined or not).
    To me, the search panel that overlay the content means that I'm doing a meta action (content filter action).
    I now feel confused (with the meanings): why the tab manager overlay, isn't it things that happen in background ? Why the notification happen in background but are about content ? For sure, there is a mind map that I don't get
    I'm confused with the overlay/push content animation and the top/bottom root animation meaning.
    (Is this because the prototype doesn't include the minimizing search bar ?)
  • It's easier to search for something and fast switch (go back) to your previous task to use the result of the search (but it have to be consistent then with activities, like send this link/page by email). But at the same time it's easier to loose where live the task you were doing (where is the email I was writing. I even don't find it in the tab/task manager. I've to open email app/browse to drafts/open my draft again.)
    In FF desktop, when I've a app tab, it's clear that when I open a link it opens a new (normal) tab and when I close this tab it get me back to the app tab. I expect FxOS to be consistent with FF as I'm looking for continuity with my task across devices.
  • I felt having all the time this home button bar at the bottom taking too much screen size, it make me loose content and too focus on this UI.
  • It seems to me that being more tabby and less appy could get us to the disadvantage we face with tabs on desktop (having multiple tabs with the same content, having dead tabs left after switching from one task to an other and finishing the day crowded by dead tabs, ...
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