Firefox v57 ('Quantum'?)

mhoye mhoye at
Thu Nov 16 17:20:17 UTC 2017

On 2017-11-15 10:42 PM, Daniel Ford wrote:
> Maybe this is not the best list to post this to, but here goes...
> I'm puzzled as to why the dev team trumpets the great processing speed
> improvements, but at the same time slow down users because of poor
> ergonomics.  Where are these people getting their training in user
> ergonomics??  And where was the user-survey they should have done
> beforehand, to find out what 'real people' (users, not developers) want?

We did!  Not only ergonomic studies, but eye tracking studies, 
cognitive-association work and disciplined testing across a huge range 
of hardware as well.

The cognitive-association studies we did helped us redesign our menus 
and preferences so that options people expected to be grouped together 
were easier to find. The eye tracking studies gave us a good sense how 
we could improve perceived performance as well, for example by 
understanding where users anticipated "next-action" UI elements would be 
so we could put them there (often faster than your eyes can scan across 
the screen).

We learned a lot, an implemented a lot, from those studies. Putting the 
tabs at the very top of the screen, for example, incurs a very slight 
cost in pointer travel time, but effectively means that your hit-box at 
the top of the screen is infinitely tall; when Firefox is full-screen, 
you can just throw your mouse pointer at the top of the screen, not care 
about where it stops, and be guaranteed to land on a tab, likely the one 
you'd intended. Not having to hunt along both the vertical and the 

Better yet, we didn't just invite "real" users into our offices to test 
this stuff out so we could treat this whole process like a science. The 
reference hardware we chose to gauge the overall experience and 
calibrate for real and perceived performance wasn't some 
eight-thousand-dollar brushed-aluminum pixel furnace, it was a vanilla, 
$300 entry-level laptop with a standard platter disk. We knew from the 
beginning that the experience we'd aspired to build needed to be 
accessible to everyone, not just developers with cutting-edge hardware 
they didn't have to pay for themselves.  The same engineers whose work 
has given Firefox its new high-performance, multi-process architecture 
have 10" netbooks with four-year-old Atom CPUs on their desks 
specifically so they can have the same experience that people with 
absolutely baseline, entry-level-on-a-tight-budget hardware have, and 
try to make that experience for those users better.

Having said all that: If Photon is not meeting your personal needs here, 
I encourage you to take a look at the "customize" options that are 
available in the rightmost pulldown menu next to the URL bar. There is a 
lot of flexibility there for you to tweak the UI until it's just what 
you'd want, if our defaults aren't meeting your needs.  As well, if 
you'd like more flexibility than those options provide, take a look at 
AMO - - to see if there are addons might help 
tweak your setup.

Thank you for giving Photon a try!

- mhoye

More information about the firefox-dev mailing list