The first stable release of Mozilla’s Firefox appeared exactly 7 years ago on November, 9 2004. Quite a few things have changed for Mozilla and Firefox since then, including the arrival of interactive web apps that most developers and designers were only dreaming about 7 years ago. Instead of looking back to how Firefox changed over the years, though, Alex Faaborg, the principle designer on the Firefox team posted some of hts design ideas for the browser that never made the cut.
As he puts it, these are some of his “crazier concepts that we never rolled out, and highlights some of the stranger scenes that we have on the cutting room floor.”
Without further ado, here are some of the highlights:
1) A theme for the Firefox private browsing mode (somehow that one never made it into the stable releases):
2) A fluffy pie menu (Faaborg: “But what I really like about this particular pie menu isn’t what it does, but how it feels. It’s fluffy, it’s soft, it’s friendly. It’s like interacting with a happy cloud.”)
3) Immersive full screen mode (it’s a shame this design never made it. The full screen mode in most browsers still doesn’t feel right)
4) Location bar as a graphical command line (I gather this one would have been too advanced for most users):
5) New interfaces for searching and bookmarking (I would love to see those in a future version of Firefox):
You can find these images, including a discussion of each of them as well as more examples on Faaborg’s personal blog.