Mozilla is working on an updated version of the preferences in the Firefox web browser to remove inconsistencies and improve the user experience.
The Firefox preferences page allows users to modify various important browser settings such as the homepage, update behavior, or search engines.
The 2017 update to the preferences page of Firefox will change things around fundamentally, but won’t remove any options from the preferences (not that I’m aware of).
Note: The development is still in progress. Things may change along the way, Mozilla may move preferences around, create a new category, or make other changes that are not reflected here right now. We will update the article once we become aware of these changes if they happen. If you notice them first, let us know and we update the article asap.
The design goals are simple: remove inconsistencies, and improve categories for better navigation. Mozilla did ran some tests and results indicate that the “average success score” improved by 30% over the current implementation.
Average success core in this context means whether users managed to complete tasks in the settings successfully, or not.
The current implementation of the preferences in the Firefox browser uses the eight tabs general, search, content, application, security, privacy, sync and advanced. Advanced is further divided into the tabs data choices, network, update and certificates.
The new design will reduce the number of tabs to the following five: general, downloads & links, privacy & security, Firefox account, and updates.
No sub-tabs are used either. This means that some categories, general and privacy & security in particular, will be bigger than before.
Take a look at the following mockups which highlight the new layout of the preferences:
Note that Firefox Account looks like a new category, but it is just Sync renamed.
As far as inconsistencies are concerned; Mozilla plans to remove those as well. To name some: learn more links are placed on the right or next to a preference, search may be next to an item, or on top of it, and options or description fonts may be bold or normal weight.
The new preferences make the preferences more compact, as all are listed on five tabs instead of eight (plus four sub-tabs).
Mozilla plans to integrate a search option on the preferences page that enables you to find preferences quickly using it. A demo video has been published on YouTube that shows how that search works on Firefox Nightly.
I prefer less tabs over more tabs when it comes to preferences. Others may prefer it the other way around, especially if the new system requires scrolling to get to certain options.
Now You: What’s your take on the new preferences in Firefox?
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