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Multitasking in Firefox

kkim
Employee
Employee

Hi, everyone!

Firefox Product Manager tuning in here. Following the awesomeness of media-focused features of Picture-in-Picture (PiP), we want to dig a little deeper into your browser user experience. So I'll kick things off with a blue sky prompt:

When and how do you multitask in Firefox? How can we make multitasking easier for you?

Some food for thought:

  • PiP, but not just for videos
  • Facilitating productivity when you're online
  • Sharing content with colleagues, family, and friends

Thanks in advance for your time, ideas, and commitment to make Firefox a more delightful browser!

16 REPLIES 16

MissMu
Making moves

I play games and browse news articles while watching youtube. Lately it has not been going well. Quite often Firefox freezes my games. I tested in other browsers and the problem does not occur. Its getting really frustrating as games come with timers and resources that I can not get back once its frozen. I have to close out everything I was doing and reopen Firefox. This started a few months back. Tonight I am leaving this comment because it happened and I am now forced to use Edge. Frankly, the experience in edge is smooth and my game loads faster. Used to love Firefox but whatever has changed it just isn't working for me.

Thank you for letting me know, @MissMu, and I'm sorry to hear about the games freezing. If you're able to access https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/home, could you please add a ticket with a recording/screenshots to reproduce the bug? Definitely want to get to the bottom of the issue with someone from the Media team.

lovelyjubbly
Making moves

Hello. 

When and how do you multitask in Firefox?

I use Firefox at home and work.  I usually use Firefox while working on a 'main task' of some kind.  This could be gaming on the main monitor, and Firefox open on the second monitor, with something open like a forum, reddit, or if it's a difficult game, a wiki, tutorial, or walkthrough.  Another type of main task is programming, where Firefox will be on either monitor with various Stackoverflow pages, blog posts, or forums or documentation pages open.  If it's web development then one of the Firefox tabs, or a private window, has the website open on localhost as I develop and debug.  And also a few container tabs to have the same site, side-by-side, with different logins. I'll also have a few pinned tabs running YouTube or Twitch video streams for hours and hours. 

During 'downtime' I'll use Firefox to browse tech sites and if something's interesting at work/home and I want to send it to home/work, I'll use the 'Send tab' feature and send it to the device name, or my phone. 

How can we make multitasking easier for you?

I view a browser as something that should get out of my way and not interrupt me. So I only have one way that the multitasking can be made easier.

On Ubuntu, Firefox now comes in a Snap by default.  When a new Firefox update is ready, a message appears, saying "Pending update of "firefox" snap. Close the app to avoid disruptions".  Which is annoying, fine, I close Firefox.  But closing Firefox doesn't actually do anything. If I reopen Firefox I am still on the old version and later I get the same warning message appear.  I have to remember to manually run a command to update the snap.  Now it's true that this is a limitation of snap so why am I bringing it up in your topic about multitasking?  Because this is a choice that Mozilla deliberately made, and without much consideration towards update workflows, which inhibits multitasking and getting on with the task.    

We live for this kind of detail - thanks so much, @lovelyjubbly! (And I'm with you on the on-side walkthroughs for the more difficult games...).

Thank you also for bringing up the snap messages--I'll bring it back to the team and follow up on any developments. We want to make sure you can go about your tasks with minimal interruptions.

igorlogius
Familiar face

Well, i would like to multitask ... by using multiple sidebars.  In general i think this would be nice/helpful for people with only one monitor/display.

I opend this idea: https://connect.mozilla.org/t5/ideas/2nd-sidebar/idi-p/4968  which sadly has not recieved much attention.

But i think it would be a huge benefit for multitasking (inside the browser) if the browser could provide a second sidebar (to display browser build in stuff (i.e. downloads) but  that can also be used by addons,  to display addional information and provide addional functionality, like newsfeeds, page actions, and so on ...)

That would be an awesome feature to have (again).

Thanks for reading.

Thank you for bringing up multiple sidebars and linking the original idea for easier reference, @igorlogius! Ooh, a second sidebar would indeed be helpful, especially (as you mentioned) for our single display users. I'll bring this idea to the relevant teams. In an ideal world, the browser experience should be equal regardless of number of displays.

Thank you for taking notice and taking the time to reply.

I agree with active use of sidebars. For example,

  • Controllable videos and music
  • Preferences
  • Downloads
  • Logins and passwords
  • Addons Settings

-- Code bless you. https://github.com/Hackgets

Excellent examples, @Hackgets! Thanks for bringing them up -- will also follow up on any developments with you. 😄 

s1fly
Making moves

I also use Firefox for work and personal use on two screens.

At work, I will often have Gmail (we are a Google Workspace ran business) on one screen with Google Chat open and the other screen will be a series of tabs with the project I am working on. Quite often an email will come through with some extra information which needs opening on to the working screen.

What I would love is to be able to do is name the windows I have open and then send tabs to that window by name. I know you can right-click a tab and select Move tab > Move to new window but I'd like to right-click and said Move tab to Project xyz window. Simply naming window spaces could be very useful when multitasking.

The other aid for multitasking would be grouping open tabs into projects - it's something that a lot of people would like to see happen.

Thank you for walking me through, @s1fly. This insight is super helpful! And agreed, having assigned project windows to direct open tabs to would make multitasking so much easier. Let me check in with the appropriate teams and see what we can do.

Apologies for the delay in my response--I'm back from a week-long conference. Thank you again for the feedback and linking the other Connect post (makes it a lot easier for me! :D).

Hackgets
Familiar face

I use two displays and sometimes use Firefox on both displays at the same time. In such multitasking, less memory consumption is desirable.


-- Code bless you. https://github.com/Hackgets

Great shout @Hackgets anything that can be done to reduce memory and CPU usage is important.

Absolutely! Efficiency and performance are big goals for us now and going into next year. Thank you for the feedback, @Hackgets and @s1fly!

kkim
Employee
Employee

Thank you, everyone, for your walkthroughs, feedback, and ideas around productivity and multitasking in Firefox! To summarize, here are the main points you've brought to light:

  • More consistent workflow updates + less disruptive messaging
  • Sidebar love to 1) levelize the web experience regardless of # of screens, and 2) more ease of use!
  • Containers...but for specific windows! (or tab grouping in general :D)
  • Better performance (less memory consumption/CPU usage) across multiple monitors

We're working on making Firefox a better user-agent so that you can multitask more easily with fewer interruptions, and your insights help us steer decisions towards features/enhancements that are most valuable to our users. We appreciate them so much! Thank you for your time, and I'll be keeping these notes on me in strategic meetings moving forward.

Stay tuned for any updates in our release notes and blog, and I look forward to following up. Have a great week!

Jon
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hey all,

Thanks so much for participating in this insightful conversation around multitasking in Firefox! We are closing out this thread but want to encourage you to continue sharing your feedback and ideas on this topic (and others too, of course) in new posts—just be sure to use the necessary labels and tags, so your posts are easily searched for and discovered by our teams.

Also, there is another exciting product discussion currently happening here: Blue Sky Ideas Thread: What Do You Wish Your Browser Could Do?. Please feel free to join and share your most 'blue sky' ideas for new features/products/you name it. 

This is an ongoing series here in the Mozilla Connect community, so we look forward to continuing to collaborate with you all 😀

-The Community Team