Closed Bug 588481 Opened 14 years ago Closed 5 years ago

[meta] Notification removal


(Firefox :: General, task)

Not set





(Reporter: faaborg, Unassigned)



(Keywords: meta, ux-interruption)

This is a meta tracking bug for the removal of redundant or unneeded notifications in Firefox.

Because notifications draw the user's attention, it is important to only invoke them if there is a reasonable chance that the user might take action.  Otherwise we are needlessly putting cognitive load on the user. Even if the user does not consciously notice the notification, it may also increase the visual complexity of our UI, making the application feel slow and bloated (even though displaying a few small indicators in reality has no impact on actual performance).

There are a few different reasons we provide notifications that initially seem logical, but ultimately are not. These include:

1) Some permanent action is about to happen (the correct solution here is to make every effort to support undo instead of forcing a choice).  An example of this type is asking the user if they want to save their session, instead of just saving it and letting them get it back later if they happen to want it again.

2) A "blame the victim" model of accountability.  In this situation we are asking a user a question so that the result of their answer will be their fault, and not ours.  Commonly they don't have access to enough information to understand the context of the question, or even why we are asking, however the fact that we have asked can be used as an illogical justification for us no longer being responsible for the results.  An example of this type of question is asking the user if they would like to upgrade to, which contains a security update but could theoretically (like all updates) potentially break a Web application that they use.  They have no way of knowing if anything bad will happen ahead of time if they apply the update, but if it does, it's not our fault because they clicked "Ok" when we forced them to choose.

3) Because the feature "might be useful."  A number of proposed notifications have been based on the premise that the user could hypothetically want to see them.  An example of this type of notification is placing a smaller printer icon in the location bar if the page exposes special CSS for printing its contents.  The user may not even own a printer, or be interested in printing the page, but hypothetically both of those things could be true.

This tracking bug covers all of the ways in which Firefox can proactively provide information to the user, which include:
-Dialog boxes
-Notification bars
-Lucky charms (very small indicators that appear and disappear)
Depends on: 384907
Blocks: 551861
Depends on: 588314
Depends on: 578967
Depends on: 430627
The new update growl should also go away with the silent updates.
Keywords: meta

I don't think we need this anymore, closing

Type: defect → task
Closed: 5 years ago
Resolution: --- → FIXED
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