The Ubuntu Firefox Startpage

The Users Speak Out

A user over on  Reddit posted a complaint about the default Ubuntu Firefox start-page.

User kristbaum writes:

I don’t mean to complain, but everyone who uses Ubuntu, sees this page[1] , and it really isn’t that useful, or good looking.

It is one other thing that you have to replace… Would it be possible to integrate links in there, to set Google or Duckduckgo as your start page? Or maybe also make it scale a little bit better?

It really isn’t that bad, but it is not a awesome first impression. What are your views on this?

I agree with his statement, it needs updating and this is something I feel as if I could help with. Since we are Ubuntu and we love convergence I don’t see a reason why we can’t have a scalable, beautiful and responsive homepage that looks part of the operating system.

There is now a bug report on launchpad about this issue.

What are the “others” doing?

When redesigning something that already exists on other platforms it’s always good to look at how they do it, we are not going to reinvent the wheel here.

Safari on Apple OSX

Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 13.41.52

The above image is the start-screen of Safari on Apple OSX. There are a few key things:

  • Favourites – these are preassigned favourites of links to popular sites.
  • Frequently visited – List of sites visited by the user.
  • No search bar, this would be redundant since Safari shows one at the top of the application at all the times.

 

Vivaldi on Ubuntu 15.10

browser-screenshot

The above image is the start-screen of Vivaldi on Ubuntu 15.10. There are a few key things:

  • Speed Dial – these are preassigned favourites of links to popular sites.
  • No search bar- Like Safari this is redundant as there is always one at the top of the application.

Conclusion – Design roundup

Looking at current browsers on different platforms shows similar patterns; no search bar on page, list of popular or most frequent websites shown and both beautifully designed and structured. I’ll be taking this into consideration when I start the work on some working mockups for Ubuntu’s Firefox Startpage.

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