[Marketing-Public]Mimic IE UI

Cabello, Percy marketing-public at mozilla.org
Thu, 23 Oct 2003 12:38:06 -0400


As many have noted before, there will be a problem to convince some (many)
people about changing for a better browser, because they may feel that the
benefits are not worth the additional learning required. I remembered when
Microsoft released Word 2.0 and it was in open war against Word Perfect (the
king of word processors then). Although they offered a new UI, they also
offered the option of using a Word Perfect 5.1 commands and so. Until today,
Word 2000 features a WordPerfect Help... (although the utility of it today
is debatable, you get the point).

I think Mozilla can offer a zero or near zero learning curve for switching
to Mozilla browsers (focused, however in Mozilla Firebird). One of the main
concerns are the terms with which each browser identifies certain features,
for example:
Mozilla - IE
Bookmarks - Favorites
Location Bar - Address Bar
Bookmarks Toolbar - Links
Navigation Toolbars - Standard Buttons
Reload - Reload
Options... - Internet Options...
Page Source -> Source
Cache -> Temporary Internet Files
and so on...

Also, arranging menus in a way that may be easy for user:
Tools/PageInfo -> File/Properties
Go -> View/Go to
Send options go after Print options in the File menu in IE. I think this is
a logical order since people print more frequently than send a webpage
(considering also that the print button is not displayed by default).
The Options window is a completely apart challenge, because of its
complexity. But can also be redone.

To be honest I don't think the IE interface is much different, better or
worse than Firebird/Mozilla's. This is a matter of personal tastes of
course, but all in all it works well. And again, as terrible as it can be it
is the one most users already know. A happy medium can also be achieved I

As ridiculous it may seem to me now, at the beginning, these little
differences kept me from swithching to Mozilla at the beginning: why do I
have to learn all this (and slow down my browsing) for so little benefit (at
that time, before 1.0, mozilla was not as stable as today).
Also, I think Mozilla features superiority are only perceived after using
the product a while, and even more for non hardcore internet surfers.

Once the feature is available, ask which UI the user would prefer at setup
time. If Quick Install selected, go ahead with classic UI, but in first
launch ask again. There should also be a preference for this.

Of course, plugins handling is the main usability issue remaining. I still
don't get why, on a plugin absense, I am directed to a webpage, instead of
simply downloading the required plugin from a Mozilla trusted (hardcoded)
site, where only required dll, or whatever files are downloades and not an
EXE which requires non less than four steps for the user (download, find the
file, install, restart); compared with one click in Microsoft's "do you
agree to install...".

I am eagerly waiting for the Firebird release of QuickManager. I think this
extension will bring the themes and extensions feature to the real world for

Checked the Steven Garrity's weblog link posted and agree with it. It
collects some previous thinking about icon cosistency, version numbers and
adds some new for me ideas, like following OS guidelines.