My Quick Visit To Firefox 22

I Want To Believe

With some of the great things being written about Firefox 22 (see Tom’s Hardware Benchmarking), I thought Firefox 22 might be worth a looksie, maybe even a switch-a-roo. I hope that some of the Firefox tinkerers might shed some light for me on any of the items below.

…. because, I want to believe again.

How much? Well I imported my Chrome bookmarks to FF22 which was a breeze with Firefox :

Bookmarks > Show All Bookmarks > that little star boxy icon thing > Import Data From Another Browser > select which data

While I was at it, I figured I might as well add DuckDuckGo as a search engine. With all of the recent privacy concerns, yes it would be good to support Mozilla and DuckDuckGo a bit more.

Click down arrow in Search box > Select Manage Search Engines > Get more search engines > locate DuckDuckGo Plus (2nd choice on featured list) > Add to Firefox

Ready to rock ‘n roll.

Where I need some tuning

Responsive Design View

Firefox has this nifty feature (introduced in Firefox 15), within Tools > Web Developer or the Web Inspector. I enjoy using a similar feature in Chrome to see how a site reacts within different screen sizes – particularly the mobile side.

Why are media queries not loading for the appropriate screen sizes?

I tried a couple of known sites that should be responsive and which use media queries to target mobile devices. Firefox, resized the sites with the Web Responsive View and there was some responsiveness due to the framework used on the site, but certain media queries were not loading. In Chrome though, the sites displayed fine in the Web Inspector and I confirmed the view on the actual mobile device. Firefox choked in this area and I’m not sure why.

This is kind of important to me. Is this a known bug or issue for others?

Awesome Bar

I do like Chrome’s Omnibox. One input area as an address bar and search bar. I really like this approach in fact.

Firefox has the awesome bar to do the same thing. However, there’s also the traditional search box next to it too.

Okay, I guess.

Why does the Firefox address / search bar (a.k.a. Awesome) use Google for web searches if I’ve selected DuckDuckGo in the Search box as my default search engine?

Ok, maybe there’s a behind the scenes config setting to change this, but why make users do this at all?

Update

In case you’re wondering about that configuration setting : Changing the Search Engine in Firefox’s Awesome Bar

… and the value for DuckDuckGo is :

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=
    

Top Sites

I like the ability to pin a bookmark to the new tab’s Top Sites area.

However, getting a bookmark to this area was not very intuitive.

Why does Firefox 22 delete my dragged bookmark from the Top Sites area even though it appears to have been successfully dragged there?

This happened quite a few times as I tried setting up the new tab top sites area.

Real Estate

The top area of Firefox takes up slightly more real estate than Chrome. This is due to the decision to keep tabs below the red/yellow/green window buttons of OS X. Chrome places the tabs on the same level as those buttons. This is a small detail but makes a real difference on smaller screens where every pixel matters.

Update

Perhaps Firefox 25 is going to fix this little problem. Firefox 25 image

I’d like to use Firefox 22

I do like many things about FF22. The web inspector has such a modern look and feel to it.

I’d like to give my web usage to Mozilla and DuckDuckGo. Chrome and Safari limit the search options but at least there are DDG extensions available. I might end up back with Chrome, but …

I really want to believe …. Firefox can be more useful to me.

I think I’d personally feel better too.

The Firefox community is one reason that I’d love to keep Firefox as my default browser and not make this just a quick visit.

Update

I’m still using Firefox 🙂

Read Receipts Off

Read Receipts, Always Off

When a product gives me the option to turn off Read Receipts, to notify me if a message has been “read”, I will keep it off. When a product forces this feature, I will not use it.

Flat or Skeu?

Flat Design

A design reemergence that removes things such as shadows, bevels and other details in order to achieve a 2-dimensional look. Not a new approach, but it’s one that many designers are enbracing these days.

 

Skeuomorphism

Skeuomorphic, skeu, is an approach that uses design metaphors such as icons and buttons which mimic real life things. These designs offer greater context and detail over flat designs.

 

The OR

Is one better than the other?
Although I personally tend to favor skeu over flat, with a nod to overall user experience, fans of flat cite these pros :

  • Minimalistic
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Usability
  • Resource friendly

I would love for someone to explain this to me. I just don’t buy into all of the flat hoopla.
Here are a couple of excellent statements from a post I recently read :

I don’t believe that flat design inherently equates minimalism.

Removing details does not necessarily imply that something is easier to understand. Pixel Resort

Usability

I would really like to see the data that supports flat design as a step forward in usability. In my experience, the direction of modern flat design forces users to relearn a UI (not necessarily a bad thing but one should ask why?) and focus more intently on icons (not always standard) and their exact shape to figure out what they might do or represent. In other words, it takes more than a quick glance now to decipher things in a purely flat design.
Even icons that many consider flat are really skeuomorphic because they still borrow from real life items, painted 2-dimensionally, but still skeuomorphic nonetheless.
For me, skeumorphism can still achieve a minimilist’s aesthetic too. I tend to believe that it contributes to the whole user experience rather than simply one small aspect of it though. Nostalgic feelings go a long way in making something “I want to use”. I’ve seen this time and again in product releases of various types. Skeu does this kind of well. A good skeu item can still be skeuomorphic but light in feel. It can make an item familiar and comfortable without being kitschy.
I believe that flat design is just today’s craze. I’m eager to see how mainstream adopts to Apple’s new iOS7 design – a flat design hybrid.
Sometimes I think that we who are deeply involved in designing from day to day, find it easier to jump on what some call the next “new” thing. We get quickly bored with things that are several hours old.
In the process though we can begin to make assumptions about our users who are still working out designs that are 24 hours old.

Flat or Skeu?

I’m still on the fence, but my legs hang over on the side of skeu right now – skeu done right. There are also cases where flat design is done just right – Microsoft didn’t get it right and iOS7 is a mixed bag right now. Tumblr is right.
Maybe I’m a bit of a Frankenskeu in today’s design world though, but I’m still asking questions.
And perhaps, skeuominimalism is more my speed – almost flat.

#hashtags In Blog Titles

Should I Include Hashtags In My Blog Title?

This is mostly a test to see what happens when this post is shared on social media.

Remember a hashtag is simply a hash/pound symbol preceding a word that is often hyperlinked by a platform so that it’s easier for someone to click it and see other posts (yours and others) that use the same hashtag.