Turn Firefox Into A Chrome Clone: Misunderstood Usability

Lifehacker has an article on how you make your Firefox browser look just like Google Chrome using a few extensions. While the article really speaks to the adaptability of Firefox—the results are a close match—there’s one feature about Chrome they failed (or forgot) to replicate.

Chrome has sacrificed the browsers titlebar in favor of pushing the tabs all the way to the top of the screen. Why is this so important? Well, in Windows that means your tabs will touch the edge of the screen, real-estate that in a usability context is highly valuable. Think about it, if you closed your eyes and moved your mouse based solely on memory, which parts of your screen would be easiest to find? The edges of course, because they stop your mouse from getting farther. As such, I’d argue the most important feature of Chrome is that the tabs are so easy to hit. That’s a feature worthy of adoption.

Responses to “Turn Firefox Into A Chrome Clone: Misunderstood Usability”

  1. Jeff says:

    You’re looking for Fitt’s Law here.

    The easiest place to find in any 2d space is the edge. (Corners are pretty good too.)

  2. Joen says:

    (Corners are pretty good too.)

    Corners are excellent. In fact, sometimes they’re too good. My girlfriends mac has 3 of four corners assigned to, consecutively, expose, dashboard and show desktop. All smart features and great when you need them. Really annoying when you’re watching a fullscreen YouTube video and need to move the mouse out of the way; whoop — there’s the dashboard :)

  3. khaled says:

    Thats actually spot on there. I use Chrome at work exclusively, mainly because of why I originally started using FF, it’s MILES faster than either FF or IE. It’s unbelievably quick to be honest and you’re right the tabs are exactly that usable. I thought that would have been a problem in the beginning but it was actually a massive boon.

    The thing that I’m struggling with is how this is going to be employed onto the mac. By default you’ve got the top menu bar always. But I honestly can’t wait for it to arrive onto the mac.

  4. Joen says:

    The thing that I

  5. The article is extra silly, because it’s not the graphical sheen of Chrome that makes Chrome so good, it’s what under the hood. And to make that point I’ve uploaded a screenshot and explained what extensions I would proscribe. Ironic.

    Firefox takes the best parts of Safari&Chrome

  6. The thing is, the only four* extensions you need to add to Firefox which nick features from other browsers are:

    1) Omnibar – To be able to search from the statusbar, like Chrome.

    2) Fission – To get a loading