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FireFox 4 First Impression: It Sucks

I downloaded the new version 4 of FireFox and installed it on my 1 GHz Asus Eee PC Netbook.  I have to tell you that I am extremely alarmed by what I see.  The very first thing that caught my eye was that although FireFox was describing this version as faster, it was noticeably slower on my lil’ netbook.  That does NOT bode well for me.  On top of this, I just plain hate deceitful advertising.  My web pages were loading at least 1/2 speed.

What struck me next was the new interface.  Why is it that developer’s ignore design?  Why is it that when guy does one thing another guy has to follow suit? Since when does Mozilla jump into a “Monkey see, monkey do.” attitude.  This is pure idiocy!

When Microsoft’s IE8 came out and misplaced the refresh/reload page button to the right side of the browser address bar, it was Internet Explorer’s death knell.  This was such a huge user interface navigation mistake that it helped usher in a new age where FireFox became the predominant browser of choice because so many people were absolutely frustrated with the IE8 interface that moved everything around where no one was used to them.

Guess what?  Mozilla does not want FireFox 4 to be a familar tool that works well, anymore.  They have decided to follow suit and copy IE8’s pathetic user interface by hiding all the most often used controls in plain sight.  Once again, the page reload button is relocated to the right of the browser’s URL address bar.  This gives me great pause, to realize that corporations are so secure in their knowledge of what is best for us in terms of the human interface experience.  So I wonder whether it will be Google Chrome or Opera that we migrate to?

Safari has already made the jump to a right side refresh/reload button, so I don’t think that they will ever be a factor in the browser wars until the iPhone becomes a significant web browsing platform.  And it just may, they already dominate the smartphone market.  Furthermore, I think that the impact of small device web browsing has not yet been felt.  Mobile device web browsing is, afterall, not yet in the hands of everyone.  Nor is anyone making it affordable for everyone, yet.  But once someone realizes its potential, we will all be jumping on it because it is so convenient, in order to accommodate our growing digital lifestyle.

Why is placing the refresh/reload button on the other side of the address bar such a navigation nightmare?  This practice is breaking simple user interface friendliness guidelines.   The issue is not that the button has been moved to the other side of the browser bar, the issue is that the user interface has not been moved to the other side of the browser bar with it.  The forward, back and reload buttons offer the most used rudimentary control over surfing.  To separate any of these navigation devices simply decreases their convenience.  To not understand this one aspect of the user’s navigation interface experience is quite simply shamefully stupid.

There will be those who will take issue with the last three lines in that last paragraph.  Their argument will be that all a user has to do is type a return in the browser bar.  But what they fail to realize is that not everyone is like them.  Not everyone thinks or does everything the same way and the complete failure to either understand or provide for these alternate minded people is complete insanity.

Let’s face it, we have been doing things certain ways for years.  People are accustomed to them.  They are used to clicking buttons, they are used to finding all their navigation in the same area.  It makes no matter that “Instead you can…” that is not an argument, that is an excuse.  Navigation, whether on a web page interface, or in a software interface, should never be separated.  Especially when it all performs a simple derivative of the same function (GOTO: back a page, same page or next page).

Developers are thinking logically while creative types are thinking creatively.  For an anal mind to dictate how a user interface is setup without consulting a creative mind shows true lack of vision for the big picture.  Straight out of the box, FireFox 4 not only fails to impress, it offends me.  Don’t get me wrong, I am only speaking for me.  But it does.  It fails to take into consideration any alternate view of navigation or user friendliness.  It separates the navigation buttons and discombobulates the system, completely.  I, as a designer of friendly interactive web page navigation systems myself, consider this UI a sinful, evil thing.  It amazes me that they would ever allow this interface to ship as it is.

OK, there it is, my first impression after downloading, installing and running the new version 4 of Mozilla’s FireFox.  It just plain sucks.  It looks like crap and it scares me because it makes assumptions on what I need and takes liberties with a user interface that worked.  In my view, it is less useful and extremely unfriendly as a user interface.  My web pages all load slower now, and that also ticks me off. I am not impressed.

That’s my first impression.  FireFox 4 sucks.  I hate it.  But that is only after my first impression.  Mozilla says that it is completely customizable.  That will be my next post, can we fix this piece of crap?  All it really needs is a few tweaks.  Or is it completely broken?

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March 25, 2011 Posted by | Brands, Computing, Devices, Graphic Design, User Interface eXperience, Web Design & Development | , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Had to rant…

I just had to rant, I am getting sick and tired of the pathetic state of our industry…

http://blog.abitofallright.com/2011/03/illogical-web-standards.html

If anyone wants to take the reigns and contact me about revamping our current web standards, and has the muscle to make it actually work this time, please contact me immediately.

This is no joke.  Our industry is crap and I am ashamed of it.  We appear to be engineering in nonsense just to secure our positions as online media experts, and that is just plain wrong.  The reason that business needs to hire web designers is not because they can’t do these things themselves, it’s because they simply don’t have the time to dedicate to the project.

I want to change how websites are designed and developed.  I want to make it easier, more logical, easy.  And it is such a simple thing to do, but it requires someone with push.  The push I don’t have, and very few do.

It is long past time.  Things are getting worse and they are already bad… really bad.

March 12, 2011 Posted by | Internet, Web Design & Development | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Busines Card Reader

If you have ever wanted a Business Card Reader (BCR), I just bet that it would have to be something handy.  This is one of those cases where, if you were offered a program that you would install on your computer that would scan in business cards, you probably wouldn’t even bother with it unless it was free, am I right?

Well, the reason is simple, it just isn’t convenient.  Having to take a business card home and scan it in just to have it available with all its contact information is actually more like a huge chore.  But now-a-days we are all walking around with smartphones and finally, the convenience we require is available as a little app for our Android or iPhone!

Check out my article which covers the Android based version of the CamCard – BCR (western) which I absolutely love on My DroidX.  But note that there is also a version for the asian market (Chinese/Japanese/Korean characters), another version for business, and that there are also alternate versions of each for the iPhone market as well.

With the convenience of hand held devices, the Business Card Reader has finally become a reliable and useful reality.

March 7, 2011 Posted by | Business, Computing, Devices, Photography, Smart Devices, Software, User Interface eXperience | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Business Apps: Password Safe

Although I have already reviewed Kuff’s Password safe on my android apps & widgets blog called Widget Droid, most readers here probably don’t realize that Kuff’s Password Safe is also the very best Password Safe/Vault application on Windows machines, as well.

So here is a link to my article on the very best Password organizer and encrypted safety app on the market…

What’s the Very Best Password Safe?

Just remember the master password that gets you into the program.  😉

March 7, 2011 Posted by | Apps, Business, Computing, Devices, Internet, Media, Smart Devices, Software, User Interface eXperience, Windows | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Outlook 2010

Well, my wife has had a little time to get used to how Outlook 2010 does things now.  So this is a brief update on our impression of it…

My wife likes it, but has some issues.  The same issues cause me to think that it is a worthless piece of crap.

  1. Old contacts from Windows Vista Mail were never imported.  Not doing this automatically (or at least asking permission to) is just pure stupidity.  What was the sense in transferring everything over from Vista in the first place?  To have the old files, yes, but also to have the very same application data and configuration.  Outlook 2010 is pathetic because it craps on the whole idea of maintaining a so-called “seamless” upgrade path.  This is absolutely inexcusable and stands a testament to the absolute thoughtlessness and complete lack of vision of the entire Outlook development team.
  2. Multiple accounts?:  Multiple Inboxes!  This in itself is completely void of intelligence.  The fact that Outlook has to have multiple inboxes for multiple email addresses and never incorporates them all into a streamlined universal inbox is beyond the realm of stupidity.  This is yet another stupid task that should have been done completely automatically.
  3. Adding contacts is pretty awkward as well. You don’t get access to this function unless you have an email previewed.  THEN you can add its contact and have access to the contacts.  But not until you have an email cued-up somehow.    Really?  I mean, maybe the only reason I ran the damn program was to change Aunt Len’s address because she moved.  And the social contacts is just in the way.  My wife doesn’t participate in any social networking sites, so it is just in the way and confusing her.

Really Microsoft? With the release of Windows 7 I was finally ready to take you seriously, and more than just a necessary business toy that I was required to have and support.  But Outlook 2010 can’t incorporate the simple email functionality that we have come to expect from every other email program in the world?  C’MON, MAN!  C’MON YOU MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION!  Get with it.

I already started taking Microsoft seriously when I found that their hardware products were so damn good (XBOX, mice and keyboards).  But I have still been waiting a very long time for them to develop any usable software products.  With Windows 7 I thought that Microsoft had started producing software that actually worked, but they have completely dropped the ball with any other software packages they produce (Expression, Publisher and IE8/9 are direct examples of this ineptness). With Outlook 2010’s pathetic featureless release I don’t really expect Microsoft to ever get what users expect out of their computing experience.

March 7, 2011 Posted by | Apps, Brands, Business, Computing, Internet, Product Design, Software, The Human Condition, User Interface eXperience, Windows | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment