Removing Ctrl + Mousewheel zoom shortcut

Alexander Limi limi at
Fri Jan 25 23:43:29 UTC 2013

On Friday, January 25, 2013 at 14:04, Marco Bonardo wrote:
> I totally agree, and I'll tell you more, I think we must create an
> actual plan to increase users awareness of the browser. We often build  
> features that look plain easy for us, and fall on our knees when looking  
> at our parents using them.  

Absolutely. There's a lot of features in our browser that are very easy to accidentally enable or change, and almost impossible to figure out how to get them back to their default state.
> Well, the real world is often that one.
> We need people "aware" of functionality of their browser, so that they  
> feel like they are controlling it […]

…or just design it in a way that supports undo or avoids accidental activation in the first place.  
> 1. Fancy zoom settings (not aware of zoom)

There are a number of issues around zoom:
We persist the zoom level on a domain — which is a great feature for power users, but when it gets accidentally changed, we just broke that site for people, since they can't get it back to the default setting. I have seen sites reduced to their lowest zoom level — which is unreadable, why do we even allow a zoom level like this? — and even reinstalling the browser won't fix it.
Ctrl/Cmd-scroll for zoom is easily triggered by accident, and should be a power-user feature (add-on!)
Gestures are particularly dangerous. The accidental triggering of gestures among users is very common, and do more harm than good. Gestures are great on touch screen devices, not so much on trackpads. It's bad enough with the great Mac trackpads, the bad PC trackpads takes this harm to a new level.
There's no indicator when you are not at the default zoom level. During the Firefox 4 cycle, we proposed adding a zoom control to the window whenever you get out of the standard 100% zoom level, so you can easily get back. No need to show it all the time, but at least when you deviate from the default, it should show.
Maybe we should consider *not* persisting the zoom level by default, but giving it as an option instead, "remember zoom level for this site"-kind of functionality. No surprises.

> 2. Custom toolbars never installed by will (not aware of add-ons)

There's no obvious connection to why a toolbar suddenly showed up, and no obvious way to remove it easily. To this day, I have never encountered a user in the wild that when I ask "do you use that toolbar" says that they do. They always answer "oh, that one? I have no idea where it came from or how to remove it".  
> 3. Firefox at version 9.0 (bug, but also not aware of updates)

Our updater has gotten a lot better, but often got stuck for various reasons in the past. Not much we can do here except for warn people if they're on old versions and go to one of our hosted pages.  
> 4. Frequent crashes (not aware of add-ons)

We can't expect people to troubleshoot. We need to aggressively blocklist add-ons that crash our browser, like Norton Confidential:

We can't let other companies kill our browser.
> 6. Home page set by third party (not aware of the home page)

Getting data on what people have set as their home page would be interesting. People are on, our old, or hijacked by e.g.
> 7. Search engine set by third party (not aware of search)

I believe there was a project to reset this, but it may not have happened? Gavin?  
> Just for anecdotal fun, 2 days ago I told a friend: "open a new tab and
> visit (". He went Firefox / New Tab / New Tab, typed the  
> domain in the about:home search field, then clicked Search.

If you enter a domain in our search box, it should go directly to the site. The edge case of "search for in Google" shouldn't trump the 99% behavior.

— Alex Limi · Product Design Strategy, Mozilla · ·

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the firefox-dev mailing list