How People Use Firefox
In the heat map we can see that the menu items that are used vastly more than all others are the user’s bookmarks, copy and paste.
I use copy and paste all the time, of course, given that I spend a large chunk of my online time writing blog posts. Interestingly, however, while normal users use the bookmarks menu more than anything else, I seldom use it at all anymore. I’ve got maybe a dozen items on my taskbar menu — two thirds related to blogging tasks — but otherwise use the URL window and its auto-complete function or the Google search function to find most sites. I find it quicker to type in “nyt” and click than to scroll through the bookmarks for the New York Times website.
Regardless, the Firefox developer team is apparently taking the study to heart and working to change the browser accordingly:
For the common edit commands like Undo, Cut, Copy and Paste, we are looking into possibly placing these directly to the right of the Firefox button, but only when the user has focused a text field. The benefit is that they are even easier for mouse-based users to access, while maintaining an otherwise streamlined design. The downside is a slight amount of peripheral visual noise as they appear and disappear, which we may try to mitigate with a very light visual design.
We are considering grouping extension menu items that otherwise would appear in the tools menu together into one area at the bottom of the Firefox menu to make them easier to find.
Ten years ago, I loved innovation in software design. Nowadays, though, I’ve become such a creature of habit that I find most changes aggravating. (I still hate Office 2007, for example, finding it much less user-friendly than Office 2003.) Frankly, I’d rather Firefox developers invest their time in making their browser suck less — that is, not crash constantly for no goddamn reason — than tinkering around with the location of menu items. But maybe that’s just me.