Alopex – TabZero navigation model prototype feedback

Few days ago, Mozilla ask for feedback for it’s Firefox OS 3.0 new navigation model prototype.

I’m an dogfooding user. I just tried the new UI prototype. Here is my feedback.

I globaly liked the prototype and thank you to UX work (and sharing!).
Here is my feedback. Note that I tried to be more user-story-centric (how do I understand what I see and not bring me back this feature or implement exactly this) :

Lockscreen

  • How can I do fast actions (directly open an app) from the lock screen (ie. for the camera) ?
  • I would like to be able to decide/customize/disable the notification/data stream that my lock screen show me. I might decide that something else (my RSS feed, a sys update, a meeting, a warning from my cloud server/provider/admin, …) is more important to me.
  • How it is if I have a sys password ? Will the lockscreen combine the unlock and the enter password actions (ie. the Android screen with dot where you draw is an example) ?

Animations

  • I like that swapping down the notifications don’t overlay, but push down the homescreen content showing the notification (and the basics aka wifi, battery…) were on the background. It’s mentally clear to me notification happen in background and hardware is at the deeper layer than my content
  • Scrolling on tabs in the tabs manager is vertical VS tab switch animation is horizontal. It feel not intuitive to me. I feel confused.
    The second time I used it I liked that swipe right to delete a Browser Tab was the opposite animation to tab creation : will tabs always come from the right side ?

Tabs

  • In tab manager, especially for websites, I’m worried that the thumb will not give enough visual content to a) visually differentiate 2 tabs from the same website (that is faster than reading the title) b) show some content (and not only the login link + logo +…) (maybe to preview, to fast switch) as it can crop too much
  • When I’ll be on a tab with history, I’ll have to swipe-up from the arrows (area) (I’m right handed) to get to the tab manager. But this action is not related to arrows so that could be confusing. We have to make clear that the action zone is the screen’s bottom and not the arrow area.
  • When I will click an app from the homescreen and that app will have multiple tabs opened, 1) to witch of it tabs I’ll be drive to ? 2) How I’ll be able to view the other tabs of an app / or (fast) go to then ? (Did I need the 2) to work around things that didn’t work as good as I expected? Maybe ; like multitasking, opening many links on one website to then read them [and not especially read later], copy/paste an link from an email to add it to an other [not a new one, one that I’m already editing]…)
  • Homescreen is the root. From there I can lunch or go back to any app. But it seems that there is no browser icon: How I will be able to go to Web content tabs as I can to other apps from the (root as) homescreen?
  • Opening a tab from the homescreen can’t overwrite the homescreen tab (ie it have to open a new tab): short pressing will drive me to the current open tab of the app? Or reopen it if a tab was already open ? Long-pressing (that mean by the past I want to interact with you, not your content) don’t drive me to customize ? BTW, I had to learn it, but I like being able to open the write a new email by long pressing.
  • Why opening a new tab is not consistent with other Firefox I use during my day ? It’s mentally confusing, as to decide my behaviour I think “I’m on/using FF”. In FF desktop when I open a link in a new tab, it open in the background by default. I’m used to it: why in FxOS it’s the opposite ? (May I be notified by a small preview, 10% large on the screen, on the right , so I can see a new tab open I be able to swipe it to expand/switch to it ?)

Search

  • When I click the sear box on the top, it come to me by an animation from the bottom. Confusing. During the animation I’ll see two search box ?
  • Why searching from the homescreen don’t give me results about the home screen content (and about web search instead) ? how do I do that ? Is there a place for a global search ? Is there a way to filter the content I see ? Is this search box a Web search and/or a context filter (like ctrl+F in desktop) ? As a user I might need both (combined or not). To me, the search panel that overlay the content means that I’m doing a meta action (content filter action). I now feel confused (with the meanings): why the tab manager overlay, isn’t it things that happen in background ? Why the notification happen in background but are about content ? For sure, there is a mind map that I don’t get I’m confused with the overlay/push content animation and the top/bottom root animation meaning. (Is this because the prototype doesn’t include the minimizing search bar ?)
  • It’s easier to search for something and fast switch (go back) to your previous task to use the result of the search (but it have to be consistent then with activities, like send this link/page by email). But at the same time it’s easier to loose where live the task you were doing (where is the email I was writing. I even don’t find it in the tab/task manager. I’ve to open email app/browse to drafts/open my draft again.) In FF desktop, when I’ve a app tab, it’s clear that when I open a link it opens a new (normal) tab and when I close this tab it get me back to the app tab. I expect FxOS to be consistent with FF as I’m looking for continuity with my task across devices.

Home button

  • I felt having all the time this home button bar at the bottom taking too much screen size, it make me loose content and too focus on this UI.

Tab centric OS

  • It seems to me that being more tabby and less appy could get us to the disadvantage we face with tabs on desktop (having multiple tabs with the same content, having dead tabs left after switching from one task to an other and finishing the day crowded by dead tabs, …

Update: This post has been sent as a comment on the github issue thread.

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