Firefox has introduced a new feature in the tab bar in version 24. You can close tabs to the right of your clicked tab, with the use case of opening a lot of new pages in new tabs and then closing them all at once. This seems good, since I always do this on news pages or the like.

Well, they got it out wrong.

Personally, I always have about a screen wide tabs open, it’s about 10-15 tabs. If you happen to have tabs after your current tab, links from your current tab will open in a new one right next to the current.


Now, if you think about that, what does happen and what should happen, having the use case in mind?

What happens:
It closes ALL tabs to the right, including ones completely unrelated to those you opened from your current ab

What should happen:
It should close those tabs that you opened from your current tab.

Firefox needs a way to remember which tabs arose from which tab. IE (God forbid) already does that, showing you this by colour-grouping them. I don’t know if Firefox has implemented some tracker like that, I can only tell from what I see.

Currently, this feature is non-sense. It is labeled correctly, but got away from the use case waaaaay down to the actual technical implementation, something that should not happen.

Even worse, if they manage to do that correctly once in a time, no one will ever try out (without relabeling), because it’s “that scary function that closed all my important tabs once”.

What do we learn?

  • Stick to your use case and build your implementation around it, not the other way around.
  • If a feature has a bad image, it will never be used properly even if it does work later. It takes a lot of time and promotion to let users use that feature again.