Closed Bug 879396 Opened 8 years ago Closed 8 years ago

(australis) Leave Firefox menu in top left corner as additional option

Categories

(Firefox :: Menus, defect)

x86_64
Linux
defect
Not set
normal

Tracking

()

VERIFIED WONTFIX

People

(Reporter: markus.popp, Unassigned)

References

(Blocks 1 open bug)

Details

In the ux-nightly branch (July 4th, 2013) I found that the menu which used to be in the top left corner moved into the toolbar, on the right.

However, this new menu misses many options which the menu in the top left corner used to have. Some of these I need to have available. One option of course would be to add back the menu bar, but that costs vertical screen space. Therefor, this new menu is a regression in terms of user experience, which can be fixed by allowing (at least optional) to add back the top left menu icon.
Component: Toolbars and Customization → Theme
Summary: [ux] leave Firefox menu in top left corner as additional option → (australis) Leave Firefox menu in top left corner as additional option
Please file Australis bugs blocking one of the Australis meta bugs (e.g. australis-cust). There are links at the top of https://people.mozilla.com/~mnoorenberghe/australis/ to help.
Component: Theme → Menus
(In reply to Markus Popp from comment #0)
> However, this new menu misses many options which the menu in the top left
> corner used to have. Some of these I need to have available.

What option are you looking for that the new menu doesn't have?
Flags: needinfo?(markus.popp)
(In reply to Jared Wein [:jaws] from comment #2)
> What option are you looking for that the new menu doesn't have?

This can be any menu item which is currently available. Such as the developer tools, they are much easier to access from the current menu, I can pick exactly which one I need. Bookmark features, Preferences, some of the Help Items (like "Troubleshooting Information" and "About Firefox") and so on and so forth. This can be almost every menu item that's there.

The menu is pretty good as it is, and I don't see any reason to change it. In my opinion it's a lot better than the Australis one.

Also, at least with the Linux binaries, the menu bar can't be displayed using the Alt key (I think it works on Windows, but not Linux; using Xubuntu 13.04 64bit with Linux64 binaries from Mozilla, not the distribution). So if I don't want to have the menu bar enabled all the time (don't want to because of the vertical space it consumes), I wouldn't have quick access to the real/complete menu anymore. I'd have to right click and enable the Menu bar temporarily only to get to one of the menu items which is not available in this Australis menu. Easy and quick access to features is very important.

I don't object to polishing Firefox's look, but please don't change functionality. Firefox is currently one of the most customizable browsers, and with Opera's suicide mission migrating to their Chromium based version, Firefox is likely to become the uncontested most customizable browser, provided you don't "downgrade" Firefox's usability too.
Flags: needinfo?(markus.popp)
Jared, just the fact that the menu moves from left to right is already a big problem. That means 1) users have to find it 2) they have to re-train 3) all the documentation has to be updated. This is a huge cost for enterprises and enough to not roll out the new browser. (Which ends up being a security problem for everybody.) Many of them still use Firefox 3.6 (!).
If it's not a direct replacement with the same items, it's even worse.
Esp. Save Page As, Print, Exit, Preferences, Addons etc. are essential items that users need a lot (and a ton of documentation refers to) and should not be moved.
I can even imagine the yell that's going through office corridors for moving the beloved Print button.

I like the new look of Australis, and I think most people will, but please leave the UI elements in their place.

Seriously, this is going to hurt Firefox acceptable significantly.
> Seriously, this is going to hurt Firefox acceptable significantly.

(I say this with 14 years experience as Mozilla contributor, and >10 years as Mozilla consultant for enterprises.)
(In reply to Markus Popp from comment #3)
> (In reply to Jared Wein [:jaws] from comment #2)
> > What option are you looking for that the new menu doesn't have?
> 
> This can be any menu item which is currently available. Such as the
> developer tools, they are much easier to access from the current menu, I can
> pick exactly which one I need.

This is tracked in bug 877450.

> Bookmark features

These are already present by clicking on the Bookmarks dropdown or moving the Bookmarks button to the panel when in customization mode.

> Preferences

I'm confused, there is a Preferences button in the panel.

> some of the Help Items (like "Troubleshooting Information" and "About Firefox")

I'm confused, clicking on Help in the panel will show options for Troubleshooting Information and About Firefox.

> and so on and so forth. This can be almost every menu item that's there.

This has still failed to show what you are actually missing from the panel. We want to make sure that you can do the same things. Maybe the panel will need some user-customization to get it to that point, but we want the widgets to be available for users. Based on this reply, I still don't see any widgets that we are missing and not already tracking.
(In reply to Jared Wein [:jaws] from comment #6)
> > This can be any menu item which is currently available. Such as the
> > developer tools, they are much easier to access from the current menu, I can
> > pick exactly which one I need.
> This is tracked in bug 877450.

OK

> > Bookmark features
> These are already present by clicking on the Bookmarks dropdown or moving
> the Bookmarks button to the panel when in customization mode.

I don't really have a need for this Bookmarks dropdown unless I need it to access this menu item. So I would need 2 icons what is now covered by the menu.

> > Preferences
> I'm confused, there is a Preferences button in the panel.

Sorry, I didn't have the UX build available when I wrote this and tried to recall it from memory. You're right, Preferences are there.

> > some of the Help Items (like "Troubleshooting Information" and "About Firefox")
> I'm confused, clicking on Help in the panel will show options for
> Troubleshooting Information and About Firefox.

I admit, I haven't noticed that yet. Which can be my blindness, or maybe it's not as intuitive as the old menu?

> This has still failed to show what you are actually missing from the panel.
> We want to make sure that you can do the same things. Maybe the panel will
> need some user-customization to get it to that point, but we want the
> widgets to be available for users. Based on this reply, I still don't see
> any widgets that we are missing and not already tracking.

Generally speaking ... to change the menu, there should be real benefits to users. What are they? Unless there is something that really makes Firefox better with this new menu, I still don't think you should do it. It's not a good idea to change something only to have something new. People are probably used to the current menu, and without any true benefits that make it worth to adopt to something new, it's really just an annoyance.

Maybe there are such true benefits and I'm just not seeing them. Then please point me to somewhere that explains these benefits (some Wiki page or blog article maybe?). Or explain them right here.
Sorry, but this isn't a discussion forum. Please download the UX branch from  http://msuja.ws/ux and use it before filing bugs with it. If you would like to have this discussion, please send mail to the firefox-dev mailing list, of which you can find more details at https://mail.mozilla.org/listinfo/firefox-dev.

I'm going to close this bug because we don't have any plans to place this new menu in the corner like the old Firefox menu.
Status: NEW → RESOLVED
Closed: 8 years ago
Resolution: --- → WONTFIX
(In reply to Jared Wein [:jaws] from comment #8)
> Sorry, but this isn't a discussion forum.

In my opinion, if a feature makes things worse for the user, at least without compensating it with sufficient benefits to justify it, it is a regression and a regression qualifies as bug. Therefor I would also consider the bug report a legitimate place to discuss the regression.

I am still asking you to provide the rationale what the benefits are to users which make it worth for them to adopt to this new menu. If you don't want to "pollute" the bug system, feel free to write a blog article or provide the information somewhere else, and simply point us to the information.
Jared, I *did* try the Australis build, in fact I reactivated my Windows installation just for that (because the menu is different on Linux). (And, FWIW, Markus also downloaded and ran it, he even made Before/After screenshots.)

You didn't even comment on my comment 4, much less seriously investigate the arguments. This *is* a UX "bug". This can't stay as-is. We've already removed the Firefox menu in FF4, and left behind a huge number of users at Firefox 3.6 because of that and other similar things. Please do not move it *again*, this is mind-boggling. You can bet that at least 1-5% of users are not going to find the print button - even I wouldn't ever expect "Print" under this non-descript 3-bar icon. The costs of even a fraction of 100000 employees calling the company-internal help desk "I CAN'T PRINT!!???! HOW DO I PRINT????!"" are staggering, so why would you make this unnecessary expense? IT managers are simply going to stay on an older FF forever and consider switching to Google Chrome altogether.

This is going to *reduce* Firefox market share. If I see this UI, I see little reason not to just switch to Google Chrome, because it looks the same and is faster. I cannot recognize Firefox at all anymore. Same mistake that Microsoft did with MS Office - dramatic UI changes, everybody outside said "don't", they didn't listen, people switched to OpenOffice. They left their own userbase behind. Please learn from these mistakes.

I don't understand why you would do this. The "Firefox" button looks cool.

You can make a fresh look. This is great. Great work, really, seriously. None of us objects to that. But please *do not* change how core UI elements work. Remember that you're changing the most important everyday work app for 200 million people.

Where is "Exit"?
(In reply to Markus Popp from comment #9)
> (In reply to Jared Wein [:jaws] from comment #8)
> > Sorry, but this isn't a discussion forum.
> 
> In my opinion, if a feature makes things worse for the user, at least
> without compensating it with sufficient benefits to justify it, it is a
> regression and a regression qualifies as bug. Therefor I would also consider
> the bug report a legitimate place to discuss the regression.

Some quick benefits IMO off the top of my head:
* having the menu on the right is closer to where the user's mouse often is (e.g. scrollbars on the right)
* the new menu is customizable
* There is less clutter in the default set of panel buttons
* Large icons make thing easier to find

> I am still asking you to provide the rationale what the benefits are to
> users which make it worth for them to adopt to this new menu. If you don't
> want to "pollute" the bug system, feel free to write a blog article or
> provide the information somewhere else, and simply point us to the
> information.

The UX team is planning on blogging about the changes and including design decision rationale but that is not done yet.

(In reply to Ben Bucksch (:BenB) from comment #10)
> The costs of even a fraction of 100000
> employees calling the company-internal help desk "I CAN'T PRINT!!???! HOW DO
> I PRINT????!"" are staggering, so why would you make this unnecessary
> expense?

Companies deploying Firefox could have the menubar visible by default. We are doing user research which should identify whether this change is an issue. I actually think print is easier to find once you open the menu because of the large printer icon.

> IT managers are simply going to stay on an older FF forever and
> consider switching to Google Chrome altogether.

Chrome uses the same menu icon as the current UX branch so users would have the same learning curve plus the cost of learning the rest of Chrome.

> Where is "Exit"?

Bug 871203
> We are doing user research which should identify whether this change is an issue.

Thank you.
If it's a fair test, with existing Firefox users, I expect this change to fall through. Watch them trying to find "Print". Ask them whether they like it.

> I actually think print is easier to find once you open the menu because of the large printer icon.

Yeah, *once* I found the menu. That's the problem. The 3 bars are totally non-descript, and "Print" has always been in the File menu since 30 years. Why would I look for it at the right?

Basics of UX design: Fresh look is nice, as long as it doesn't detract from getting work done. Departing from standards is bad. Changing UI elements without hard, undeniable reasons that everybody understands will just make you lose users, not increase them.
(In reply to Matthew N. [:MattN] from comment #11)
> We
> are doing user research which should identify whether this change is an
> issue.

Do I understand correctly that the decision about the menu is not final yet?

How is this research done? Will it be open and transparent so that skeptics like Ben and I can see by ourselves how users like it (or not), or will we have to trust your conclusions?

(In reply to Matthew N. [:MattN] from comment #11)
> * having the menu on the right is closer to where the user's mouse often is
> (e.g. scrollbars on the right)
> * the new menu is customizable
> * There is less clutter in the default set of panel buttons
> * Large icons make thing easier to find

Sorry, but I'm not convinced. Are there any studies which prove that users really expect to find the menu on the right, rather than on the left? Only because Chrome is doing it is barely a good reason, even more so since Chrome is not a good example in terms of user experience (quite the opposite; Chrome is a bad example to copy from).

That the new menu is customizable and that there is "less clutter in the default set of panel buttons" suggests that the new menu has to be customized, in order to be truly useful. While the current menu simply includes everything a user needs and expects. No improvement in my humble opinion.

(In reply to Ben Bucksch (:BenB) from comment #10)
> (And,
> FWIW, Markus also downloaded and ran it, he even made Before/After
> screenshots.)

Right, I had the UX binaries installed, and tested them with both a fresh profile as well as my default profile (which I have a backup from, so I can revert changes, of course). Later I removed them again as they are far from ready for daily use (even though I am regularly using development versions, like Aurora right now). In the meantime I installed UX again, so I can more easily give feedback on various Australis bug reports which are of interest to me.
(In reply to Ben Bucksch (:BenB) from comment #12)
> If it's a fair test, with existing Firefox users, I expect this change to
> fall through. Watch them trying to find "Print". Ask them whether they like
> it.

Fwiw, this is exactly what happens. I was able to see some of these research sessions last week and they are really useful, especially cause the team has no way to influence users or explain the changes. It's just existing Firefox users trying the new UI by themselves.
I don't know if the sessions are public, but I suppose there may be privacy implications with that, personally if I'd be one of those users I would not like to be put on youtube (just to say), would you?
Nice. Can you also make an A/B test? Tell 40 users to print the page. Half use FF22, half use Australis. Half are existing FF users, half used other browsers (MSIE, Chrome etc.). See who is faster, has less problems. To make it cheap, maybe you can use crowd testing or something.
Status: RESOLVED → VERIFIED
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