The new find bar shifting down content

Mike Connor mconnor at
Wed Aug 21 15:19:08 UTC 2013

On 2013-08-21, at 9:57 AM, Rob Campbell <rcampbell at> wrote:

> Add me to the list of people not happy with this change. I'd like to see it reverted until we come up with a better solution (I have one below).

I'd say that (as I believe Gavin suggested on IRC yesterday) the right thing to do is not let this change ride the trains, but continue to iterate on it in Nightly (at least if we think it's the right thing to be working on right now).

> There are too many absolute positioned elements on the web. The shifting is eye-grabbing and distracting. Many pages are going to have something shifting around with this solution unless we make the toolbar not affect the content's dimensions. This runs the risk of overlaying something useful which is a separate difficult problem.
> Also, the animating Find bar draws my eye to it and forces me to look at the awkward animation. I'm sure that's a fixable problem, but the content shifting is going to be trickier unless we redesign the findbar entirely.

I'm not finding the animation awkward.  I'd assert that the user's eye being drawn to the UI they're going to interact with is a Good Thing, though I'll admit that I often don't look at the find bar when I'm using it.

> Alternative:
> Could we repurpose our Web Search input field for Find in Page? People already use it for "Searching". It's persistent and never moves, and our existing hotkeys could update the current Search Engine to a new Find in Page search engine that would drive the searches. 

Main concern here is that the mode switch would probably suck for mouse-driven users.  If we're relying on keyboard shortcuts, this would be fine.  For mouse-driven users, we'd break "click in search field and type to search" as a use case if they'd previously been in find mode (and clicking could be ".  In general it's difficult to make one UI element serve two masters.

(From the "everything old is new again" files: this was actually a feature in… 0.6 or so?  It was pretty awkward and no one would admit to using it, so we removed it before 1.0.)

> Entering a term in the Web Search field could also provide auto-suggestions from within the page.
> 3
> Your currently-selected search engine would return when you're done searching (after an ESC).
> For a not super great of this, see Safari Mobile on iPad. When you focus their search field, a separate Find on Page toolbar appears at the bottom of the screen.

Sadly, most variants I've seen of this concept end up in "not super great" end states.  It's possible there's a path that works, but I'm not smart enough to figure one out.

-- Mike

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