The new find bar shifting down content

Robert Strong rstrong at
Tue Aug 20 20:36:54 UTC 2013

On 8/20/2013 1:13 PM, Gavin Sharp wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 20, 2013 at 12:19 PM, Ehsan Akhgari 
> <ehsan.akhgari at <mailto: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?
> - is it bigger than the set of people benefiting from the change? 
> (subjective tradeoff alert!)
> - can we usefully mitigate the negative impact to that subset?
I am concerned that this along with other changes fall into a "death by 
a thousand cuts" category that pushes people that are currently using 
Firefox away to another browser. For example, someone that is used to 
seeing the findbar on the bottom or the recent search changes that make 
the url bar and search use the same engine could easily as I see it be 
enough for someone to give another browser a try. I realize that 
managing this is an art in itself... just pointing out that evaluating 
individual changes without taking into account the sum of changes could 
easily become a "death by a thousand cuts".


>     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.).
> Gavin
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