The new find bar shifting down content

Gavin Sharp gavin at
Tue Aug 20 19:04:59 UTC 2013

On Mon, Aug 12, 2013 at 4:15 PM, Ehsan Akhgari <ehsan.akhgari at> wrote:
> I find the new behavior of the find bar to shift down the whole content when
> it opens up extremely jarring.  Visual changes are extremely distracting for
> me, and since we've made this change, Firefox has become a much less
> pleasant software for me since pretty much every time I press Cmd+F, my
> entire train of thought is derailed as my brain unconciously tries to figure
> out what caused almost all of the contents of my Firefox window to shift
> down.

I find it surprising that you feel this way, because I haven't heard a
lot of negative feedback about the shifting itself (aside from some
issues with the animation/fade that have since been fixed).

My experience has been that training myself to look up rather than
down to see what I'm searching for has been the most jarring change,
but that's caused by the change rather than inherent to the new

(I think the per-tab findbar has also been a bit jarring for some of
my use cases, but those are quite edge-casey and it hasn't been too

> Chrome has solved this problem by overlaying content as opposed to shifting
> it down, and the way their implementation works their find bar spans over
> part of the browser window width, and they shift it to the left or right if
> it happens to overlay a found piece of text.  I originally filed bug 893131
> about this which got duped to bug 893446, where, in comment 28 we received
> UX feedback from Zhenshuo suggesting that shifting content should be
> preferred over overlaying it.  However, I don't find that convincing since I
> do not believe that these are the only two possible options.  We can handle
> the edge case where the found text is right at the very top of the page by
> various techniques, including shifting content down only in that case.  The
> very top of the page is not a popular place to put interesting text into, so
> that would mean that we would end up shifting the content down in a lot
> fewer cases than we do now.

Zhenshuo's concern seems to be about hiding page contents at all, not
just about hiding found text.

> I don't think that the fix there is adequate, and I firmly believe that this
> is not a browser I would feel comfortable shipping.  Please note that this
> is not an "OMG change" type of reaction, there are lots of changes that I
> don't personally like, but this makes using Firefox a huge pain for me and
> perhaps for others like me (I don't have data on the percentage of the
> population who are affected by motions like this.)

Getting beta feedback would probably be useful. I've not heard enough
negative feedback about this to feel like we need to reverse course,
but that may just be a side effect of the smaller Aurora/Nightly

There does seem to be a complicated dependency tree with some
regression fixes/improvements still needing uplift to Firefox 25, so I
think we need to do a better job of ensuring we're in a shippable

> I would like to advocate for the following solution:
> * Overlay the content as opposed to shifting it down when opening the find
> bar
> * Don't adjust the scroll origin like the patch in bug 893446 does
> * Shift down the content *if* the found text is at the very top of the page
> I believe ScrollIntoView should already handle the third category.
> Does this sound reasonable?

I don't have strong feelings (my instincts here aren't strong, I would
want to play with it to see how it feels). Do any UXers have any
thoughts about this proposal?


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