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Summary:

Even as Mozilla’s Firefox browser continues to strip market share from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, the company has been showing off user interface mockups of the next major release: Firefox 4. Now, with its new Firefox 4 Design Challenge, you’re invited to pitch in.

Even as Mozilla’s Firefox browser continues to strip market share from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, the company has been showing off user interface mockups of the next major release: Firefox 4. Now, with its new Firefox 4 Design Challenge, you’re invited to pitch in.

True to its long-standing focus on openness, Mozilla has a long history of opening up Firefox development tasks to the public. With the Firefox 4 Design Challenge, the company is specifically concentrating on ideas for switching Firefox’s Home button to a Home tab, which will facilitate start pages in the browser similar to MyYahoo and iGoogle start pages, complete with widgets and gadgets. According to the announcement of the challenge:

We will keep the existing functionality where you can display a web page of your choice — or disable it altogether — but since we’re moving this page to live in Firefox instead of on the web, there are some interesting opportunities. [The new Start] page will have access to a lot more of the user’s information since it never leaves the browser — history, add-ons, bookmarks, and pretty much anything you can see in Firefox at the moment.

The company has supplied the following mockup of how the browser might keep the new start page concept available up top via the Home icon at left:

To participate in the Design Challenge, you must submit a short video explaining your concept and presenting a mockup that clearly shows how a new start page might work. Wireframes and polished graphics are especially welcome. Mozilla has a submission form available here. To get your creative juices flowing, example templates are available. Perhaps you can use the long holiday weekend to influence how millions of users will work with the next-generation version of Firefox.

  1. chrome… very chrome…

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  2. I love it when developers invite us to collaborate on their products – this is the way forward, ‘customers’ have valuable input, I have loads of ideas to make Firefox even better!

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  3. I’m glad to see that the early ideas shown on Mashable won’t be the final ones. But as it stands, there’s still the huge question of what to do with the tabs, should they be at the bottom, at the top over the address bar or under the address bar. I’m hoping that they move away from tabs and instead go for a Windows Seven style clone in a task bar that doubles as a bookmark toolbar.

    I’ve also got huge hopes for a revamp of the feeds system. I’m hoping it’s totally revamped and separated from the bookmarks system. Give it it’s own process, let it minimize to the bottom right of the browser (in the status bar) and allow it to have pop-ups down there too.

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  4. Firefox has the worst looking UI at first launch right now in my opinion, so can’t wait for the changes. Though they need to work on speed too … it’s also the slowest to load for me!

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  5. [...] Mozilla Invites You to Help Design Firefox 4 [...]

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  6. wow! this is really nice!! I would love to participate in the design challenge!! I’m excited to see the Firefox 4!!

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