Interview with Mozilla's UI lead

Jan 04, 2006

Interview with Mozilla’s User Experience Lead Mike Beltzner. Good read. Here's what I want Firefox and Thunderbird to do for me that they currently don't, and all of these are related to the talk.

Firefox

I want to tag my bookmarks, not folder them. I have far more bookmarks on del.icio.us than I have in my browser, simply because the menu/folder system is much more "uncool" than web-based tags, and even through posting to del.icio.us is far more trouble for the user. Now I know there are surely some del.icio.us extensions for FF already now, but I haven't bothered to check them out yet. I sure will.

Expected behaviour: I want to bookmark my bookmarks through some fun (del.icio.us-like) interface, not drag them in stupid folders. I want to tag my bookmarks with tags and then access those tags as smartfolders/collections.

Related to the above and to the interview: I want to have a unified browser experience across the world in all computers and Firefoxes. This means my bookmarks, stored passwords, extensions... that should be pretty much it. (Maybe go as far as history and cookies too, but that would perhaps overdo it. Certainly not the cache though ;)

Expected behaviour: I want to "sign in" to Firefox and get the whole experience from… somewhere. Either a paid subscription service or my own SFTP space (Firefox saves and loads its settings to/from a file).

There was an extension which synchronised bookmarks nicely using this scheme, but it broke in my FF1.5 and I don't critically need it so now I'm without syncing again.

Third and last, RSS and feed reading. I'm using FeedDemon which has some Firefox integration but I never figured out how it works or why I should use it. I mean I hacked my registry to turn on the experimental Firefox features but it didn't have any major effect over IE for me. In my view, "integration" means not only using the basic HTML/page renderer, but also having access to toolbars and bookmarklets. I often "blog this" stuff I find in FeedDemon, and currently the most optimal way for me to do it is to copy-paste the URL from FeedDemon into the full Firefox.

Expected behaviour: either make a RSS reader in Firefox which is at least as nice as Feeddemon, or let Feeddemon and other similar developer embed FF's browser component with all the associated toolbars, extensions and all that cruft.

Thunderbird

E-mail tagging. I want to tag my e-mails and view the tags as smartfolders/collections. I don't want to think whether to file an e-mail with product X and partner Y for event Z in products/X, partners/Y or events/Z. I want to tag it all of them and later be able to access it through those tags. Reportedly Opera's email client can do that but I never looked at it.

Expected behaviour: tags.

The "Subject or sender" quickfilter is brilliant. I want it to extend across folders and also search in content and other fields like body, so that every time I want to search for e-mails whose subject or body contains "XYZ", I wouldn't have to go through Tools, Find, Search Messages and construct a query and then have the messages returned

Expected behaviour: Spotlight-style search

Oh, and what's with being able to open only one e-mail to read in a window? Is it just me and there's an option for that, or is it a real decision by someone that this is how it should be? I should be able to open as many e-mails in separate windows as I want. (One day I'll go to TB's bug database and search/submit it.)