Firefox Panorama Satisfies Tab-Crazed Users
Firefox 4 beta 4 Panorama playground.
A new version of Firefox 4, beta 4 became available yesterday with a new organizing feature called Panorama. What once was called Tab Candy has evolved into Panorama, a built-in feature that lets tab-crazy users organize their open tabs in visual ways. Users can group tabs into sets, adjust the size of the group to reflect its importance, delete tabs, and navigate more quickly in Panorama's playground, a virtual desktop accessible from the Firefox bookmark bar.
Panorama's designer Aza Raskin tapped into the principles of cognitive psychology to create the program in just under seven months, according to his blog.
"Spatial memory is universally strong in everyone: we just remember where things are if they don’t move on us," Raskin said. "That’s why in Panorama we are careful to never mess with your organization and layout — it is always the same even after you restart the browser ."
He found that recognition-based interfaces are generally less taxing and are more preferable than recall-based interfaces. This implies that an overview of everything is the right approach to organizing a user's online life. Panorama shows all tabs just the way there were before, letting the brain use recognition rather than recall.
"We, as humans, are bad at multi-tasking," Raskin said. "The secret to productivity is removing distractions and focusing."
Panarama's piles can be made by shrinking a set box so small that individual tabs become a less distracting stack, so users can focus on the task at hand.
"Strategic hiding is key to a mind free of info-guilt," Raskin said.
Panorama is available by updating Firefox 4 beta to the fourth and most recent version. Mozilla says that if Firefox users have customized their toolbars, they may not see the "Group Your Tabs" button. Resetting toolbars and controls will replace this button on the tabstrip.
Further development is expected based on this Raskin tweet: Panorama will be so much more than just tabs soon.
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