Going Back; Fixing Paper Cuts

Now that Home Dash helps you get to where you want as efficiently as possible (with just one keystroke!), the Prospector team has been focusing on fixing up common issues people run into when using Home Dash.

Here’s a few of the top reported issues:

  • Firefox icon is too far from the mouse
  • Missing Back, Reload, navigation buttons
  • Can’t see all open tabs easily

Too much mouse movement

In regular browsing usage, Home Dash dedicates the whole screen to the current web page and only shows a Firefox icon in the top left corner. In full screen mode, it’s easy to throw the pointer to the corner and click to activate Home Dash, but even then, it can be pretty far to move the mouse.

Moving the Firefox icon to where you right-click

To address the first issue, Home Dash now moves the Firefox icon next to the mouse when holding right-click, which normally shows a context menu for whatever is clicked. The icon will always appear no matter if the context menu is for a link, the page, or an image; so you can just right-click, point at the Firefox icon, release to activate Home Dash.

Going back and navigating

For the next issue of showing a Back button, the Prospector team didn’t want to create an interface where users needed to click something to activate an interface then click again just to go back a page. Too many clicks for a simple action. The page’s context menu provides a one-click solution to go back but suffers from being context sensitive, so it’s not guaranteed that right-clicking and selecting the first item will do the right thing.

Home Dash now shows various navigation controls when dragging the Firefox icon (click and move). This acts like a context-insensitive menu of icons where you can go back, reload the page, close tabs, and potentially much more in the future.

Tabs and navigation

To go back, click and hold on the Firefox icon then move the mouse to the Back icon and release. This also works by right-clicking as the Firefox icon now moves to the pointer for easier access. Both of these provide a one-click-drag-release option to navigating back to a page you came from.

Additionally, the close button supports easily closing multiple tabs in one go because you can click it multiple times without repositioning the mouse. You can even use the mouse scroll on the close icon to switch through tabs and skip over the ones that you want to keep.

Short list of other fixes in Home Dash 9:

  • Preview issues: stuck on flash when closing, broken “back”, missing scrollbars
  • Show lock icon on https pages
  • Fill in URL on a single Ctrl-L (instead of double press)

Now that Firefox 4 is released, Home Dash is easy to install without needing to restart. Please leave feedback and contribute!

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