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GUI Request: Combine Activity Indicator & Reload Button

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omgy
 
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Post Posted February 15th, 2008, 8:31 pm

Combine the Activity Indicator and the Reload Button.
Or Activity Indicator and Stop Button.

This would provide a cleaner interface.
Last edited by omgy on February 15th, 2008, 9:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Dartman
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Post Posted February 15th, 2008, 9:43 pm

Is this in regards to Firefox 3.0b3 that you are posting with? If so, I will move you to the proper forum.
Alcohol and Calculus don't mix. Never drink and derive.

omgy
 
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Post Posted February 15th, 2008, 9:58 pm

This isn't specific to Firefox 3.0b3, but since Firefox 3's look is getting a makeover, now would be a great time! (sorry if this was the wrong forum)

Dartman
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Post Posted February 15th, 2008, 10:13 pm

For Firefox 2, there is this add-on: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/313
It's not exactly what you're looking for.

I'll go ahead and move you to the Firefox Builds forum as you appear to be interested more in Firefox 3.
Alcohol and Calculus don't mix. Never drink and derive.

Siemova

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Post Posted February 16th, 2008, 11:51 am

Wow, now that I think about it, that's actually a really great idea, omgy! I'm glad you brought this up.
"What you embrace is what you become." - Six Feet Deep

chob
 
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Post Posted February 16th, 2008, 12:13 pm

omgy wrote:Combine the Activity Indicator and the Reload Button.
Or Activity Indicator and Stop Button.

This would provide a cleaner interface.

What do you mean with 'Activity Indicator' ? The throbber?

omgy
 
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Post Posted February 16th, 2008, 12:40 pm

Yea, the throbber.

Alice0775

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Post Posted February 16th, 2008, 5:51 pm

Combine the Activity Indicator and the Reload Button:

1.Customize toolber:
Arrange buttons as follows;
stop-button > throbber > reload-button

2. apply userChrome.css;
Code: Select all
#stop-button:not([disabled=true]) + #throbber-box + #reload-button,
#stop-button[disabled=true] + #throbber-box
{ display:none !important; }
#reload-button,
#throbber-box
{ width:26px !important; /*small-icon*/
  padding:0px !important;
}
Last edited by Alice0775 on February 16th, 2008, 11:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BenBasson
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Post Posted February 16th, 2008, 6:38 pm

Siemova wrote:Wow, now that I think about it, that's actually a really great idea

...how is this a good idea? What problem does this solve? Isn't any gain offset by the fact that no other GUI I can think of has buttons that indicate status?

UrbenLegend
 
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Post Posted February 16th, 2008, 7:20 pm

I thought the reload and stop buttons were being merged. Wouldn't that make more sense?

Siemova

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Post Posted February 16th, 2008, 11:28 pm

UrbenLegend wrote:I thought the reload and stop buttons were being merged.


Nope. I've seen this idea rejected by developers several times. It would cause functionality problems.

Cusser wrote:...how is this a good idea? What problem does this solve? Isn't any gain offset by the fact that no other GUI I can think of has buttons that indicate status?


Clicking the Reload button causes the page to load; the throbber shows that the page is loading. The two are fundamentally, functionally related. From that standpoint alone, it makes perfect sense to combine them.

But there are other reasons as well. For one, it would eliminate the need for a separate throbber on the navbar, thus saving space.

For another, it would provide instant, obvious feedback when you click Reload, which is always helpful, especially for amateur users like, say, our parents. On OS X, I think the toolbar throbber isn't even shown by default. Unless you have multiple tabs open -- and believe me, many users like the aforementioned parents don't have a clue about tabs -- the only feedback when a page is loading is the small progress bar at the complete opposite corner of the browser window. Considering it logically and intuitively, who would think to look so far from where you've just clicked to see whether it had any effect? My mother in law is always asking whether the browser's doing anything after she's told it to (re)load a page. If the Reload button, right by the location bar, would indicate that something is indeed happening, she'd never have to ask that again.

In other words, we want Firefox to be friendly, intuitive, and logical, so that it will be immediately apparent to even the most novice of users what's going on. And we want to reduce clutter, thereby increasing usability further. Don't we?

As for "no other GUI" indicating status in such a way, that's not actually true. Although it's not the same kind of program, World of Warcraft, for instance, shows a refresh gauge on a skill button after you click it, so you can immediately see pertinent feedback. Closer to home, in the browser space, Safari indicates status by changing the Reload button to Stop when loading, and changing it back to Reload when finished. Now, Firefox developers have made a good case (I think) for why those two buttons are better left separate, but my point is that this does have precedent. Besides, that particular conflict is caused by trying to merge the GUI for two opposing functions. The throbber is a very different matter. Adding it to the Reload button wouldn't blur functionality or cause anybody to accidentally reload a page when they intend it to <i>stop</i> loading. Instead it would elegantly merge two elements which represent related aspects of the same function.

This could be the sort of nice little touch that would give the average user a "Hey, cool!" moment and warm fuzzies about their browser. I'd say that's a big win on the GUI front. And not only a big win for users, but also a minor coup of sorts for Mozilla. Interfaces are headed in this more streamlined, more interactive direction anyhow. It's a small thing, but being the first to bat with this idea would put Firefox ahead of competing browsers in usability and innovation both. So yeah, all told, I think I have pretty good reason to be stoked about the idea. :)
"What you embrace is what you become." - Six Feet Deep

BenBasson
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Post Posted February 17th, 2008, 9:02 am

Siemova wrote:The two are fundamentally, functionally related.

No they aren't. Clicking links, opening bookmarks and clicking the "Go" button also trigger the loading of pages. Aside from the fact that making the Refresh button a status indicator would be completely inconsistent with the other toolbar buttons - do people even use Refresh? It has to be the least used button in the GUI.

Siemova wrote:But there are other reasons as well. For one, it would eliminate the need for a separate throbber on the navbar, thus saving space.

A 16 pixel horizontal saving is irrelevant next to having a GUI that makes sense. If reducing GUI was a goal of Firefox, the browser could probably have nothing but a URL bar and a "Back" button and still satisfy the majority of use-cases. However, I think we can all agree that this would be somewhat silly.

The status bar offers a loading indicator as per every other browser. If anything, we could have progress bars built into tabs or the location bar. Making an arbitrary button spin is not the answer.

UrbenLegend
 
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Post Posted February 17th, 2008, 12:24 pm

I think the throbber and favicon should be merged together. After all, during loads Firefox always displays a default page icon anyway.

jethrox
 
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Post Posted February 17th, 2008, 12:31 pm

UrbenLegend wrote:I think the throbber and favicon should be merged together. After all, during loads Firefox always displays a default page icon anyway.

Safari has an option to do this (well, not the throbber so much as a pie charty kind of thing that replaces the normal progress bar) it works great. The less cluttered the interface is = win. Unfortunately FF3 seems like a bit of a step back from that idea.

MechR

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Post Posted February 17th, 2008, 12:55 pm

UrbenLegend wrote:I think the throbber and favicon should be merged together. After all, during loads Firefox always displays a default page icon anyway.

Huh. I'm on Firefox 2, and that's exactly what my tabs do... Oh, you mean in the address bar. Good idea!

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