one way to improve firefox 2 tabs

The “close tab” button in firefox 1.5 had a really nice feature: monotony. That button was always in the same place, no matter what. The tabs in firefox 2.0 have individual close tab buttons. While this helps us immerse ourselves in the interface thanks to the effects of direct manipulation, it makes it very frustrating to close several tab in serial. Usually I end up scrolling all the way to the right (thank goodness scroll works!!), and then for most tabs, the close buttons stays in the same area. Until there are too few tabs, and firefox decides not to stretch the tabs all the way across. Then I have to hunt around for the button.

To fix this, two approaches could be taken: always stretch tabs across the whole horizontal interface (thereby ensuring the placement of that close button in the same place every time). Or, I think it would also be creative to use the current sizing algorithm, but simply make the tabs right justified, instead of left justified. Right justified also helps: because of the placement strategy, the newest tabs are always to the right. I assume that when actively interacting with tabs, the more interesting ones are the newer ones, but some user research could verify this.

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3 Comments

  1. Nathan
    Posted November 12, 2007 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Personally I the tabs on my left side are open the longest (iGoogle, CMS), and therefore more important meaning the tabs on the right side are more temporary(news articles, videos, etc) So you are probably right but possibly for a different reason than you suspected.

  2. Posted November 12, 2007 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    @Nathan,

    Actually, I use the same strategy for placing my tabs: google and gmail are the first two (leftmost). If tabs last longer than a day or so, I consider posting them to delicious or moving them to the left. Search results are always available at (shift+tab)*x where x is the number of search results opened.

  3. Posted January 14, 2008 at 3:16 am | Permalink

    can you tell me how to place my tabs in right side of the screen …
    i know i will loose some screen real estate if i do that … but i can have many more tabs open at the same time …
    thanks you …


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  1. […] one way to improve firefox 2 tabs : The “close tab” button in firefox 1.5 had a really nice feature: monotony. That button was always in the same place, no matter what. The tabs in firefox 2.0 have individual close tab buttons. While this helps us … […]

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