The new find bar shifting down content

Ehsan Akhgari ehsan.akhgari at
Tue Aug 20 20:35:53 UTC 2013

On Tue, Aug 20, 2013 at 4:13 PM, Gavin Sharp <gavin at> wrote:

> On Tue, Aug 20, 2013 at 12:19 PM, Ehsan Akhgari <ehsan.akhgari at>wrote:
>> Yes, I know that this is surprising to some people.  Through talking to
>> various people (and yes this is anecdotal evidence), some share this level
>> of distraction by motion as I have, and some other people don't have any
>> idea what I'm talking about!  :-)  So, can we please assume that this is a
>> problem for a subset of people for the rest of this conversation?
> I haven't been assuming otherwise - _any_ change we make is a problem for
> a subset of people :) The questions are:
> - how big is that subset?

I don't have any data on this.  Nobody else has presented data on this so
far either.

> - is it bigger than the set of people benefiting from the change?
> (subjective tradeoff alert!)

Hmm.  Is there a benefit to shifting down the page content when the findbar
opens/closes here?  I was under the impression that we're trying to figure
out if the above set of people is bigger from the set of people who are not
affected by this (it might well not be.)

> - can we usefully mitigate the negative impact to that subset?

We certainly can.  See my proposal in the first email, please.  Actually
I'm a bit disappointed that we're not talking about that proposal, and only
are focusing on whether it's OK to keep the current behavior or not.  The
current and the old behavior are not the only two possible alternatives

>  What kind of feedback are you looking for?  I've mostly stopped using the
>> findbar completely.  I don't expect people who do not experience this
>> motion related issue to be annoyed by this change much (at least, not
>> beyond the "OMG change" reaction.)
> Shipping to beta should be helpful in getting better answers to the first
> couple of questions above, basically.
>>   My contention is that even with all of those fixes uplifted, we'd not
>> be in a shippable state.
> That's fine - regardless, we need to keep our buglists in order. :)
>> One thought experiment here which might be helpful here is if somebody
>> can write an add-on to do something really distracting every time that the
>> findbar gets opened and closed (such as, I don't know, blinking the entire
>> content area in red for three seconds?!) and then have people use the
>> findbar in their normal browsing.  I don't think that UX feedback without
>> taking the downsides of the current approach for people like me is going to
>> help much here, since without that in mind, there is no problem to be
>> solved here.
> I don't think that would be useful :) We (including the UX people I asked
> for feedback) can take you at your word when you say that this is "really
> distracting" to you. (From my perspective, it's a little bit difficult to
> empathize given the strong negative reaction you're describing and the
> relative change I've personally experienced, but hey, sometimes empathy is
> hard, and it's kind of our job.) But we aren't going to base Firefox design
> decisions solely on "how this impacts Ehsan", so we need to focus on
> determining to what degree your negative reactions are widespread across
> our (current and potential future) user base, as well as try to weigh the
> pros/cons of the other ways forward (the alternative design you've
> suggested, other smaller tweaks, etc.).

I have no interest in building a browser that works fine for me personally
-- The reason that I'm providing UX feedback in this form is that I don't
believe that the set of people who experience this is only me.  It's fine
if you're willing to assert that I am indeed the only person who experience
this kind of negative response as a result of shifting the content up/down.

However, I would feel a lot better if somebody came up with reasons why
shifting the content up/down is actually desired.  The only reasoning in
favor of the current behavior that I've seen is <> (the first
paragraph), but based on the later discussion in the bug, it seems to me
that this behavior is generally not desired, which caused us to come up
with a solution which works some of the time but not all of the time, and
will break on some popular websites such as Gmail.  And it's not clear at
all why this half-working solution was implemented instead of other
proposals which will give at least a consistent, if not superior,
experience all the time.

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