Firefox 3 location bar just became almighty

Or at least as mighty as it will get for final release.

So far, the most useful new feature I’ve found in Firefox 3 is the much improved location bar autocomplete that unlike Firefox 2 which only looked for web addresses in my history, this one looks on visited and bookmarked page titles and tags along with web addresses.

As expected, two more features have been added and will be available for Beta 2. The autocomplete list now shows page titles and addresses in two different lines and colors. According to studies on human cognition, it is easier for us to isolate elements on an image based on different coloring than any other attribute.

So, if the user knows she is entering part of a web address or a page title it will be easier for her to find what she’s looking for. Highlighting the match result also helps to direct the user’s attention.

 

You may also notice that the Go button is overlaid on the location bar replacing the star button because the focus is on the location bar right now, so it is possible that the user may want to click on it. This is part of the working Firefox 3 visual refresh.

The round right cap is also gone, but I think this is temporary and in preparation for the new themes landing.

I have to mention that I don’t recall reading and hearing so much about usability and usability experimentation in previous Firefox releases development as in Firefox 3’s. It could just be me but I’d bet the change is really in the approach and the design process and I like it.

Update: For tweaks including ways to exclude bookmarks and history from the location bar, check these 9 tweaks for Firefox 3’s location bar.

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