Canada works on Firefox 2.0. If we are to expand this, Mozilla hired a Toronto software development company to design the user interface and improve the usability of the next version of Firefox.
Mozilla formed a team to develop a default theme for Firefox 2.0 earlier this year and in May, the team selected software development company Radiant Core over two other companies.
“They decided they needed to bring in some external firms to do some visual refresh for Firefox 2.0,” said Jay Goldman, president of Radiant Core. “They chose three firms that they felt were capable of doing the job recommended by Mozilla employees.”
Radiant Core, which has been working for Mozilla for about a year on other projects, was one of three vendors that the team asked to submit proposals for a new theme. The others were Meta and Raiz Labs.
Theme criteria for the proposals included that they respect native OS look and feel (Firefox runs on Windows, Macintosh and Linux platforms), that the themes appear modern and contemporary with current Web and client apps and appear consistent across platforms.
Slated for release in October, Firefox 2.0 will focus on four priority areas, according to Mozilla. These include search bar, icon polish, tab strip and buttons in textboxes. To date, Mozilla has already released a beta version of Firefox 2.0, which does not include Radiant Core’s theme changes, and is scheduled to release another beta in early September. That version will include some of Radiant Core’s changes, according to Goldman.
“There’s a lot more going on visually in the browser interface, which can be very distracting and confusing,” said Joe Wilcox, a senior analyst with Jupiter Research. “People get little notices telling them they need such and such Active X control.”
When it comes to usability, Wilcox says browsers should focus on two things: simplicity and hidden complexity.
“Simplicity is about making everything easy to get and to use,” he said. “Hidden complexity is about bulking up the features but without putting it right in the user’s face.”
If Mozilla succeedes in transforming Firefox 2.0 as they want, we may use the same Firefox we know but a reloaded version.