Firefox New Tab: Next Iteration

Since releasing an experimental new tab page for Firefox a week ago, we’ve got a lot of great feedback.

For the past week we’ve been using the feedback as a springboard for designing the next iteration. If you’d like to watch the design iterations as they happen, follow #mozconcept on Twitter.

Current Design

We’ve done away with the thumbnails as they just didn’t seem to be providing large amounts of value. As we played with different methods of taking screenshots, we discovered that it was the top-left corner that was most distinctive in identification because it generally contains the site’s logo. We have a much stronger association with a site’s logo or favicon than with the low information-density thumbnail of the page itself.

We’ve also turned the contextual actions into an actionable sentence. Previously, the actions were large, separated buttons. The actionable sentence connects the actions into a cohesive whole. Further, we now only show the contextual actions if the copy action has happened within the last 40 seconds, so that random chunks of text don’t appear on the new tab page.

Finally, the interface for undoing a tab close now uses the familiar info-bar. This gives less weight to the undo action, while still keeping it visible. By design, the undo doesn’t feel like a part of the page so the eye skips over it if your intent is to interact with the page.

Overall, the design feels faster, politer, and more functional.
The visuals still aren’t exactly right (help wanted!), but this feels much “righter”.

Instead of talking more about the design, give it a try and give us feedback:

Step 1. Download and install the latest development build of Firefox 3.1.
Step 2. Download and install the latest version of the New Tab prototype.
Step 3. Let us know what you think, including what works, what doesn’t and how we can improve the design.

You can switch back-and-forth between the old design and the new design by clicking the star in the lower-right corner.

Other Thoughts

There are still a lot of possible directions to take the new tab screen. Here are a couple of the ones we’ve played with. More to come soon. For instance, we want to revisit the first design.

With Thumbnails

Out There Designs

Oliver Reichenstein has joined Sean Martell to form a “new tab” visual design team. They’ve already separately produced almost all of these fantastic visual artifacts, and we are looking forward to more. If you’re a designer and interested in this project from a design perspective, this is a great opportunity to get involved in an open source project. Please jump onto either #labs on or link your mockups in the comments section of this post.

92 responses

  1. Rand al’Thor wrote on :

    Would it be possible to have an option to put some toolbars on the the “new tab” instead of having the top/header thing ,of the browser takeup more space .
    Perhaps there could be a button to show/hide them

  2. Lucas David-Roesler wrote on :

    I really like this design:

    Though I would prefer recently closed tabs in the top left vs. recent search terms. Though the best would be the possibly to customize it to some degree. Maybe we could choose between having recent tabs or recent searches in that corner.

  3. Jason wrote on :

    I really like the concept. Any suggestions on getting this to work in Tab Mix Plus? Such as what to type in the user location for opening a new tab? Thanks. I appreciate the work.


  4. earlabs wrote on :

    It’s a bit minimal… I am not a hardcore tabbist and so feel a bit clumsy using this. The list with sites is longer than my screen is high. I hate it when the screen is only partly used, esecially when I know that there are other links that I cannot reach. There are multiple links with the same name but leading to a different page on the site. I cannot find the functions that are in the examples above. The screen sample under the caption “”current design” I cannot see.

  5. Michael Rosenberg wrote on :

    I think that this can be very useful and I love it in chrome. There are bugs in the order switching of the sites. And it’d be cool if the movement wasn’t so rigid, if you could make a smooth animation iphone esque. Otherwise, great stuff.

  6. T K wrote on :

    Removing the close tab function where only one tab is opened is a mistake. If one has “Show my windows and tabs from last time” set closing Firefox ensures that the next time you start it you get the last tab loaded even though you may not have wanted to see it again. The right behavior is to allow closing the last tab and the browser separately as it happened in the previous versions. This has the added benefit of closing the last tab to get a fresh tab if you are done with the current content and would like all the flash, etc. to be unloaded.

    Closing the browser when trying to close the last tab is equally annoying. It is equivalent to closing the browser with the last tab still showing content. For a discussion of why firefox should revert to the previous tab behavior see above.

  7. omer kirk wrote on :

    I think the the last three choices with thumbnails makes the page really useful especially with links to certain net utilities such as gmail.

    But the choice of with or without thumbnails should be left to the user. For instance I can sacrifice a little speed for a little looks, other than that I think for some users thumbnails will be much more clearer than basic text and favicons.

    The idea of adding a ubiquity search bar is brilliant, it would be really useful.

    Also I think adding the bookmarks list, would make it perfect, the bookmarks sidebar takes up space and with the new tab page that problem would be solved.

    The extension shaping up to be a very good one. Keep up the good work.

  8. kmc wrote on :

    I strongly support Norse’s comments. Yet, if I accidentally removed something useful from the list, I should be able to add it back from the “+” button. Until I choose to add it back, it should be gone forever.

    I know it’ll lead to the need of configuration, and I think the actual algorithm is simple because it’s based on frecency. But what about adding a penalty to it, like using an external text file as “black list”?

  9. Norse wrote on :

    1. Remember what a user does on the page. Any Wikipedia page that shows up loads the RSS feed for Wikipedia which is completely useless, I change the number of items to show to 0 and when I restart Firefox it starts showing three items again.

    2. If I remove something I don’t want it to show up again, ever. (Related to #1)

    3. There is a massive amount of unused space on the right-hand side.

    I like the way Chrome did it, give 9 thumbnails for the most visited sites and provide a list of recent bookmarks and recently closed tabs/windows.

  10. Mohan wrote on :

    Definitely with Thumbnails, frequently used and recently closed would be good.

  11. Gilly wrote on :

    Very useful! One small design nitpick — I’d prefer the text under “You Might Want To…” *not* to be small caps. Especially at that size, it’s significantly harder to read than sentence case.

  12. DreadedKilla wrote on :

    Just noticed that the latest build crashes upon opening.

    Mac OS X 10.5.6 with a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo and 2GB 667 HHz DDR2 SDRAM…

  13. lolwut wrote on :

    The Frequent Site list should also show sites from bookmarks, not only history

  14. David wrote on :

    Even thought it’s against the concept guidelines, there should be a configuration page, because ajax heavy sites, like GMail, will never get onto the recent sites list because of their lack of linking urls.

  15. Raptor007 wrote on :

    Disregard my last! I was trying to browse to “about:tab” instead of “chrome://abouttab/content/text.html”.

  16. Raptor007 wrote on :

    Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to work for me at all. I’m running Firefox 3.1b3, and the behavior is the same on both my laptop (Intel, Mac OS X 10.5.6) and desktop (PowerPC, Mac OS X 10.4.11).

    It seems like the first time I copy something to the clipboard, I get the “search for xxx” in the top-right corner. Other than that, absolutely nothing shows up on the page; just a big white blank.

  17. Arthur wrote on :

    I think that just being able to customise the New Tab page (alot) is what would suit most users.

    Some would like it blank – others could benefit from more of a “Web Dashboard” configuration..

    Maybe this is what the aim should be? – A customisable dashboard similar to that used in Business Intelligence software where the user can create the overview of the daily (hourly) information that they NEED from the web.

    Those who need nothing can select nothing!

    I personally would like a “Soft Bookmark” feature where I could Right Click a link and instead of opening this page in a New Tab, I can just add the link to the bottom of the New Tab under “TO LOOK AT…(When I have time!)” or “MARKED FOR FUTURE BROWSING”

    This stops me from Bookmarking junk links that i never remember to look at in a few days time.

    It also stops me from opening a New Tab, and being distracted by the new site.

    A similar feature would be to “Close and Save” to New Tab page, so that i can start Firefox Quickly (i.e. Just the New Tab page), and then selectively browse the pages from my last session….

    As far as using the page to show frequently visited or most used sites… Well I have those on my shortcuts toolbar anyway.. So in my case this feature is just duplication.

  18. Olivier wrote on :

    Hello, I had the same annoyance as Dean, and fianlly solved it. On opening a new tab you can choose whether you want to place the focus in the search field or in the address bar, by modifying a firefox setting : type ‘about:config’ in the address bar, enter, read and validate the warning message to access the settings, go to ‘newtaburl.focus_urlbar’, double-click on the value to change it, restart Firefox.

  19. Shane wrote on :

    More keyboard accessibility would be awesome. I’m a huge fan of using my keyboard where ever I can; as a laptop user my hands are always on keys, rather than my mouse.

  20. Stephen wrote on :

    Is there anyway for the new tab to open as the homepage? I’m digging it so much it’s the first thing I want to see when the foxt opens 🙂

  21. Rolli wrote on :

    About Tab does not want to ply together with TAB MIX Plus for me. I tried to type chrome://abouttab/content/text.html into Tab Mix config but it does not seem to work.
    Any Idea?

  22. Hui wrote on :

    Just found the add-on conflicts with tab mix plus. The problem confused me a few days when I just installed the addon, I found the add-on option is gray. When I disable the tab mix plus, it works.

  23. WildcatRay wrote on :

    Is there a way of getting this to work with Tab Mix Plus? So far, I can only get it to work if I disable TMP.

    I’m going to try New Tab King, as well.

  24. bomfog wrote on :

    Re: 0.0.34

    I really prefer the visited sites on the right side of the window. It’s just cognitive preference (right/left-brained/handed?), but I have a strong tendency to veer right, in this context 🙂 I wish it were otherwise, since useful content tends to be left-aligned on most pages, but there you go. One does what one can. I’ve got the tab bar running down the right side, and my tool bars tend to be right-aligned.

    Am I in the majority or the minority? I assume you’d want to catch the bigger group, given the “minimal configuration” emphasis.

  25. Jeff wrote on :

    I also like the concept of

    Having the blank space on the left doesn’t make much sense in my opinion, except for the fact that it probably speeds up loading times pretty substantially. A useful item that could be shown there might be (other than the items in design 2 above) to pull RSS feeds from the sites listed to the right and display a list of updates on the left.

    The graphic that shows circles around the favicons of some random sites you visit is pretty cool, I must say, even if it doesn’t really do anything. It could, though!

  26. Hasty Pudding wrote on :

    In early versions, I could set my homepage to about:tab, creating a nice list of frequent starting points when I start the browser or press the home button. The latest version (which I’m having trouble finding, 0.33?) no longer works.

    To test, go to “about:tab” in the address bar — shows a blank page.

  27. Dean wrote on :

    It appears my earlier comment about focus not going to the awesome bar was due to TMP. I disabled it, and that works as expected.

    However, my comment about the “Re-open” and “Undo” wording mis-match stands. I actually like how IE8 handles closed tabs. It gives me a list of recently-closed tabs in the left-hand column, instead of just the most-recently closed tab.

  28. Evgeny wrote on :

    Incorrect behavior with middle click (opens new page but starts scrolling current page)

  29. Maaren wrote on :

    I also like the Frequently Visited Sites, with no thumbnails, it is easy to find a site with the icon

    Now there is the possibility to drag and drop the sites, but the order isn’t remembered.
    It would be nice when there was an icon to pin the site on the position we have set them
    (Example: my most visited sites are Google, Windows Live and Yahoo!, I set them above, but the next time, they have a new order.)
    Also removed sites are again visible next time we start Firefox.

  30. thenightfly42 wrote on :

    Just got 0.0.33. Could you guys update the thread (or, even better, start a new one) each time you update so we know what’s up?

  31. Tom wrote on :

    Very good. I like it.
    But the current design used only the half Windows.
    My favourite are design 2 and 3.

  32. Rockridge wrote on :

    In re About:Tab v0.0.33,

    I found a steep performance regression. It responds slowly.

    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.0; ja; rv:1.9.1b3) Gecko/20090305 Firefox/3.1b3 ID:20090305152042

    Also, I’ve sometimes encountered crashes 10 to 20 seconds after opening a new tab and clicking somewhere in the content area. I’m not sure what’s the cause, but before updating to the current version, everything was fine.

  33. Dominic wrote on :

    Interesting how that would happen; shouldn’t the New Tab Page just see which pages on the history is viewed the most? If the doesn’t display on the history, it shouldn’t display on the New Tab Page.

    I didn’t test this yet, but I hope there is no vuln whereas a site could put HTML in their site title and the HTML it is executed on the New Tab page to code a history-stealer and more.

    Very nice work Mozilla, always great to see you guys never stop adding new things =)

  34. Muhda wrote on :

    Can I use this on FireFox 3.07 ?

  35. anon wrote on :

    In 0.32 the flavicons are arranged in a circle (without the text) before they are rearranged on the right-hand side of the window. Is it a bug or another design? If another design how can we access it?

  36. TheTester wrote on :

    Ok. I noticed why there is this delay…If I don’t move my mouse after ctrl+t there is some sort of circle with smaller circles with favicons. But right after I move my mouse it dissapers. 🙁 What it is?

  37. tb9712 wrote on :

    One feature request:

    It would be great if windows like the Downloads window and Error Console could be dockable.

    This would make my life as a developer a lot easier, as well as being able to monitor the progress of multiple/large downloads far more easily!

  38. Frank wrote on :

    One thing I noticed: If you have a bookmark with embedded login information, e.g., and you visit that often, it shows up in the New Tab’s Recent list complete with username and password.

    That information should probably be parsed out.

  39. TheTester wrote on :

    I just noticed new “feature” after .32 update – delayed load of “Frequently Visited Sites”…and it’s quite annoying! I think it waits until all RSS will load but that could be very long! About:Tab should speed my web experience and right now it won’t do that because I type something in address bar faster than I’ll see “Frequently Visited Sites” (don’t mention to read them…).

  40. TheTester wrote on :

    Is there a way to choose which RSS feed is loaded into About:Tab? Often sites has more then one RSS and even more often I would like to see new content from other RSS then default one. 😉

    If there is no such option, then maybe you could add it? 🙂

  41. amau96 wrote on :

    Why right clic open link? it is not usual

  42. amau96 wrote on :

    Hi, I am french, and really want to be able to configure the search button to perform search on, not in

    What about that or what about do the search by the engine in the search bar on the top right?

    If it’s wiki on the top right, so search on wiki

  43. Corey Farwell wrote on :

    There seems to be scaling issues if you try to increase the size of the new tab (ctrl + ‘+’ on windows), of you might want to disable scaling all together?

    Other than that, i don’t think there should be an address in the address bar when you open up a new tab

  44. John L. Galt wrote on :

    BuildID: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-US; rv:1.9.1b3) Gecko/20090305 Firefox/3.1b3 (.NET CLR 3.5.30729) Ubiquity/0.1.4

    About:Tab v0.0.32

    About:Tab just had an update discovered, and ever since installing it Fx crashes within 2 minutes of loading, even if the program is loaded and no web pages are displayed.

  45. Gary Reyes wrote on :

    I really like the focus on the contents of a new tab. The tab always seemed empty to me.

    My favorite design so far is the grid one but I have some problems with it. I propose something like this:

    It’s a quick sketch but it presents some ideas. It takes some things from chrome, safari, opera.

    The search should be somewhat like that in the grid view found in your proposals but centered and with the available search engines from the search bar.

    Notice the two info-bars. I loved the idea of the closed tab but it should only appear after a certain delay of a tab being closed, otherwise it would be just annoying. Furthermore, I don’t see any work being done on copied URLs. I feel that having a similar info-bar would be more productive.

    I’m not really sure what to do with the recent bookmark or feed updates but something similar should be included. A list of most recent closed tabs should be present. Otherwise uses will have to go to through the history menu or rely on extensions. This is different from the proposed info-bar. This would keep a list while they info-bar will be available only after a certain period.

    Hope some ideas are considered.

  46. Pertor wrote on :

    Yeah, really like this concept
    But I hope the new tab site will be customizable, so that you can make sort of your own design and there really should be Ubiquity filed along with a classic search field

    Would be awesome if we see this in ff 3.5!

  47. The PUNdamentalist wrote on :

    Leave in the THUMBNAILS as an OPTION! As a Graphic Artist, I NEED THEM. “Windoze Vista/7” uses them, along with Opera, along with the Hover/Enlarge option. Beta3 broke three of my tab bar options, as well as about a dozen others. Of course, the authors will update them shortly. Finally, being dislexic, I think TTS should be high on the ACID3 Accesibility test. A less robotic voice would be helpfull too. All together though, I’m impressed with the plethora of Extentions/Plugins that enhance ones browsing experience, without detracting from it’s simplicity. The Customize feature for “Newbies” is great! Keep up the good work!


  48. Beo wrote on :


    Couple of suggestions:

    – If there’s nothing copied, display actions for selected text on other tabs.
    – If there’s really nothing, still display ‘You might want to’ and in the same light grey a message that there isn’t anything at this time (and maybe explain when there is). Makes the page less empty and makes you get used to the layout.
    – It doesn’t remember which things I removed from the frequently visited list after a Firefox restart. Would be nice if it did.

  49. Ogden2k wrote on :

    I think that the best design for functionality is the 3rd option listed. I like IE8’s layout and this is similar in function. How about adding more color to make the window more attractive?

    Also, in Windows Vista, if you open a new tab, the note that asks if you want to undo a closed tab is too dark, text and the favicon are not clear. I would also rename Undo to re-open.

  50. Ben Combee wrote on :

    I’m really loving this plugin, but one area which would be nice would be to list more search providers for the current clipboard selection. Right now, you just use the default one, but I often want to use my Bugzilla custom search provider if I’ve just copied a bug number to my clipboard. I could see wikipedia and ebay searches done that way too.

  51. Dan Cardin wrote on :

    i agree with making it changeable. You would have the choice of getting rid of the feeds if you’re not an rss kinda guy, or the search bar if you’d rather just use the awesome bar. Though out of the concepts, i think i either like the newest concept, or the 3rd one in the list.

  52. macuser wrote on :

    I also like the 3rd design – with Top Sites, Recent, Tools.

    My biggest gripe is that opening a new tab loses focus from the address bar. It focuses on the page content but I REALLY want the option of having access to the address bar (without having to Ctrl+L) since I have to type a new URL 80% of the time.

  53. Chris wrote on :

    “Overall, the design feels faster, politer, and more functional.”

    I don’t want firefox to be more polite! I want it to smack me around and tell me to make it a sammich!

  54. Mike Kenyon wrote on :

    I like the idea, but I see two issues so far.

    First is the layout. When there’s nothing on the clipboard, it’s weird to just have a column on the right with a whole-lot of empty space on the left.

    Second is the titles shown. One of my pages has the title “C:>| Older Than DOS |.exe – Team Fortress 2 – Player Details – mike.kenyon” but the New Tab page only shows “C:”

  55. Ogden2k wrote on :

    I should clarify from my last post, I’m using Windows Vista.

  56. Ogden2k wrote on :

    I think the “Firefox New Tab: 3 Column” is the best layout. I really like all of the options there.

    One suggestion however, the “You recently closed this tab…” should not be highlighted in such a dark color, some favicons and text is difficult to read. I think undo should be re-named to re-open.

  57. Celso wrote on :

    I really love those darker looks. I really think that Firefox should be darker all around so it could be less intrusive on the eyes.

    It would also be cool to add a feature to prevent certain sites to be listed in the most visited sites area.

    Keep up the good work!

  58. Scot wrote on :

    It would be really great to have an option to choose which layout the user wants. The first 3 shown are all really good and from the user comments it seems like everyone is torn between which one is the best…

  59. WindowsFan wrote on :

    Oh, and I also agree with MMcCubbing – I really like the “Grid” new tab page concept. It’s seems more appealing and easy to find what you want with it – also it can show more pages.

  60. WindowsFan wrote on :

    I have the same problem as Michael Lefevre, the “undo” button to reopen a closed tab is nearly impossible to see. It doesn’t look at all like the one in your screenshots.

  61. thenightfly42 wrote on :

    Thumbnails issue: I clicked on the ‘*’ to see the thumbnails. Doing so recorded a “visit” to a vBulletin-based fourm that I read. This messed up my “last visited” time, and I lost a bunch of threads that would have showed up in my “new postings” listing.

    That’s a long-winded method of suggesting that the thumbnails are a bad idea. Thanks for removing them from the current version.

  62. Dean wrote on :

    A couple of comments, one that is a big annoyance and one that is cosmetic:

    Annoyance: The Location field does not have focus when a new tab opens.

    Cosmetic: Re-open the tab you just closed: …
    Confusing to two different verbs, “Re-open” and “Undo”. I like re-open, and suggest changing the button text to that.

  63. Greg wrote on :

    Love the current design. What about adding a TreeMap visualization of the top X visited sites in the large empty space on the left?

  64. Samuel wrote on :

    the quick link title in Chinese is displayed correctly, but the sub links in Chinese character under the title showing latest visits are unreadable, maybe the encoding or the font issue.

  65. frank wrote on :

    in v0.0.31 the problem i had with rss-items not being displayed and the “action button for contextual actions” not working, seem to be fixed.

    one last bug as far as i’m concerned; the “undo”-button in the “tab close” info-bar is hardly visible (WinXP SP2 + FF3.1b3 + about:tab v0.0.31).

    and a usability-issue maybe: the new remove and edit-functionality works great, but if the same site appears twice (or more times) in the list, it isn’t always obvious which one you’re about to remove (or edit).

  66. Tyler wrote on :

    One suggestion I have is to make it so that hitting “enter” when you make a new tab and don’t type any text into the URL bar does the first action listed under “You might want to…”. That would make it much faster to do something like search a word or open a link from a page. Copy it with ctrl+c, open a tab with ctrl+t, and hit enter to search the word or go to the page.

  67. Dobrosław Żybort wrote on :

    Nice progress.

    And one small bug: now it’s working with Tab Mix Plus but after opening new tab doesn’t focus at the location bar (what’s important to me).

  68. Maxim wrote on :

    Not working with cyrillic types!
    Feeds on cyrillic languages not readeble

  69. Pieter wrote on :

    How does it come that a site that I only visited once stands in the list of most frequently visited sites?

  70. Trent Olson wrote on :

    Is it possible to allow me to choose which RSS feed is displayed for sites that have more than one? For example, I love that shows up in my list with recent news, but about:tab is pulling the French feed, which is useless to me.

  71. Andreas wrote on :

    I made an extension that analyzes the Places database and helps you find already visited websites easier. Furthermore the extension shows you websites you use regularly.
    Actually the extension will propose you websites you would visit on that day based on your browsing behaviour.
    That page is designed as a new-tab page, too.

    More information can be found at:

    I would be glad to hear comments from anyone.

  72. Jon Warren wrote on :

    This is one of the features that I do _not_ like about Google’s Chrome… so please, Please, PLEASE make it OPTIONAL!!!

    Pretty please with sugar on it. Things like this should be able to be DISABLED by the user.

  73. kaleem wrote on :

    LOVE the new tab page concept – very useful. A few possible improvements could be:
    1) option to ‘pin’ a website to the page, like new safari
    2) live update of pages with rss feeds
    3) ubiquity integration such that the left hand side of the page is actually an interface for ubiquity
    4) buttons for viewing or clearing recent history

  74. Brandon wrote on :

    Cool! I’m looking forward to seeing that new iteration!

  75. Martin Tassara wrote on :

    I like the “last keywords searched” options!
    How about adding an option to go to the Home Ppage?

  76. MMcCubbing wrote on :

    Personally I prefer the second thumbnail design. The layout really appeals to me. What ever design is released in the end though make sure I can customize and customize some more. I want to be able to choose the sites, say edit and lock some and let others change with my history, the feeds, and news, etc.

  77. Dirkjan Ochtman wrote on :

    Hmm, I wonder if my earlier post here got lost somehow or is stuck in moderation.

    Anyway, after using it for a day, one thing that strikes me: the address bar needs to stay empty. I have the habit of pasting doing CTRL + T, CTRL + V really quick after each other. New Tab, in it’s current iteration, breaks that.

  78. frank wrote on :

    might me just my installation (i’m on ff3.1b3 with about:tab v0.0.29 on winXPsp2), but
    although the “current design” screenshot seems to show rss-items, these aren’t displayed on my installation. furthermore the action button for contextual actions seems not to function any more?

  79. Denys wrote on :

    Hi, great extension and really useful.
    Generally I use cyrillic sites and meet problems with encoding: the RSS feed titles are shown incorrectly (for both UTF and CP1251 encodings).

    For example see (

  80. Jason Kleinberg wrote on :

    Instead of the top left, simulate the page being decreased by 200 px, and then take an image from that at 50 px high. That way, the logo is more likely to be visible. Show the favicon in the bottom left of the image.

  81. Michael Lefevre wrote on :

    The edit feature seems extremely clunky to me at the moment. Hovering over an item gives me an option to “edit”, clicking that doesn’t allow me to really edit anything, it just brings up a single checkbox, and unchecking the single checkbox then means I can click “remove” to remove the item for the current session, or I can choose “done” with the checkbox checked, which seems to mean “cancel”, because I haven’t actually edited anything.

    I am not trying to reformat my hard drive here, I don’t really need 2 confirmations. If you really want to confirm deletions, I think it would actually be easier and better to pop up a standard “are you sure?” dialog (and I know you don’t like those!).

    Also, the “undo” button for reopening tabs is really hard to see, because the button is the same dark gray as the background (unlike the image in your post), and has black text. The text there is a little confusing anyway – “Reopen the tab you just closed (Undo)” – am I reopening or undoing? Either “You just closed a tab (Undo)” or “Re-open the tab you just closed (Re-open)” would make more sense.

    I much prefer the new text-only version, for the reasons you give about the thumbnails.

  82. Alexey wrote on :

    This extension have some problem with encoding. For my language (russian) plugin write article name in cite in wrong encoding. For example on cite

  83. Ariel wrote on :

    First, i very like the new tab concept and waiting a long time to this.
    Second, There are some problem with Hebrew charters, do About:Tab use UTF-8?

  84. David Naylor wrote on :

    Great! I think the decision to ditch the thumbnails was right. User’s aren’t used to identifying sites by thumbnails. Favicon + title is a much stronger identifier. (Less noise without the thumbnail.)

  85. Greg K Nicholson wrote on :

    This may look like a lot of nitpicking, but I’m going for the *biggest* problems I can find:

    1. The layout is specified in pixels(!) instead of em’s or %. At a relatively innocuous window size, page elements begin to fall off the left (“You Might Want To…”) and bottom (Frequently Visited Sites) edges of the page.

    2. A font-family is specified without a generic fall-back font (such as “serif” or “sans-serif”) You can never rely on *any* particular font being available.

    3. A font is specified at all: this is supposed to feel like part of the browser chrome: it should use the user’s default settings.

    4. Foreground colours are specified, but not some background colours. ( ) This makes the text unreadable with a light-on-dark colour scheme.

    5. Links are loaded on-mouse-down when right-clicking them. Seriously. Whizzle T Fizzle?

    6. The Undo strip, which I gather is supposed to look like a notification bar, is black with white text (instead of Gnome-theme-coloured). The button is just an empty box with round ends. Why not use a native info-bar?

    7. Link destinations aren’t displayed in the status bar when hovering. Some web pages have rubbish titles so a full address is needed to figure out where I’ll actually be going. Plus, why vary from the standard behaviour of every link ever?

    8. The links’ bold, black text is visually very heavy for what’s supposed to be unobtrusive and polite. Such weight on a web page would usually indicate an unvisited “Hey!—come and look at this!” page.

    9. Conversely, unvisited feed-item headlines aren’t emphasised.

    10. The grey zebra-bars have a thin darker-grey left border to them. This adds complexity and visual noise—is it really needed?

    11. The “You Might Want To…” actions look odd: is that supposed to be a button, but with a white background? Why not just use a real button? If it’s supposed to be a link, why not make it look like a link?

    12. The Frequent section generally seems like a misguided attempt to improve on Ambient News:

    I visit these sites frequently, right? So they’ve probably got a lot of content I want to read. So why only show 3 headlines from each?

    What use-case does this cater for? If I want to browse the headlines, I still have to click through to the site to see beyond the third. If I already want to go there anyway, the headlines are no use.

    There’d be a better signal-to-noise ratio by showing *more* headlines (and even a scroll-bar), rather than hiding possibly-interesting stuff in an effort to avoid overwhelming.

    Lower contrast (Use the opacity declaration, Luke!) would be a better way to avoid unwanted visual impact than restricting everything to one part of the page. (For example: the evenly spread text at is less visually arresting than .)

    13. The page’s icon looks frankly weird. I know it *isn’t* a row of gravestones, but still. It’s all greyed-out and very un-Tango-ey. What’s wrong with the generic page icon?

    14. That guy who wrote —he was smart. Especially that bit about varying the opacity depending on where you point. Genius. 🙂

    Ooh! Oo! Good things!:

    A. Firefox 3 fixed a very annoying long-standing bug where, after opening a new tab, it would take a little while to focus the location bar. So if you pressed Ctrl+T and immediately started typing, the first few characters would be discarded.

    Ambient News regressed that bug; this doesn’t, so it doesn’t get in the way if I just want to type a destination.

    B. The page icons make identifying the site easier than just text. Take *that*, Ambient News.

    C. Removing the thumbnails was wise: the tiny unreadable text was more annoying than useful.

    So, if I had any hacking mojo about me, I’d do this: Ambient News, but labelled with the site icons; and with the contextual actions showing up as the first few items.

    Also, if the bookmark bar was hidden, I’d show its contents along the top of the page, like Google Chrome. It’s a very clever way of making the bookmark bar useful, without hogging 32 of my precious vertical pixels all the time.

  86. Dirkjan Ochtman wrote on :

    The version with links + favicons on the right feels a little awkward because I have to make my laptop’s mouse-substitute all the way to the right. Additionally, it shows GMail even though I have a GMail tab open (this might be because GMail’s UI URI isn’t that stable).

    The one with the screenshots is just too slow on for example UMTS-based internet. I think making things greyish is good idea though; it very clearly communicates the intent of the page. Maybe the favicons could be uncolorized (?) just like the screenshots?

    Oh, and you forgot to fix the link to commenting on this blog entry, I think.

  87. Tyler E. wrote on :

    The 3rd one down seems like the best one to me. Top Sites, Recent, Tools look great I would love to see this.

    Perhaps an area to show show mail and feeds you subscribe to.

  88. Screwtape wrote on :

    I’ve been watching the New Tab extension as it updates itself every few days – I like the current appearance (site names and icons on the right-hand-side, no thumbnails) much better than the original appearance because it seems to load that much faster. It’s actually at the point where it’s so good at guessing where I might want to go next that I try and middle-click multiple links so they’ll open up in new tab 🙂 (which would work fine, except that for some reason under Linux, it tries to open the clipboard contents as a URL as well as open the link; middle-clicking links works just fine on other pages)

  89. Sumit wrote on :

    Please no! A Ubiquity filed *along with* a classic search field.

  90. Mook wrote on :

    Thanks for adding middle click support! 🙂

    Just three things:
    – Would it be possible to show the address in the status bar on hover over the items, like any other link? (I sometimes get a crappy connection, so right now I have a digg favicon with the text “The Proxomitron Reveals…”)
    – Would there, in the future, be an API to add things to the actions list? I’m thinking of things like “link to bugzilla if it’s a bug number” or “links to LXR if it’s a file path”, so they’re definitely not things a normal person would want. Of course, to keep the page fast, this would all need to be loaded asynchronously after the page itself has loaded… Or I’m thinking too web 1.0.
    – It looks like if no tab has been closed yet, the undo close tab bar is still visible.

  91. amau96 wrote on :

    You Might Want To…search
    nothing append when I clic on the “search” button
    shireteko last nightly, extension version 0.0.28 and 0.0.28

  92. AlK wrote on :

    Do not forget an Ubiquity field instead of the classic search field ! it would be VERY helpful !