Introducing the Design Challenge: Summer 09

Take on the challenge. Start experimenting.

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Mozilla Labs Concept Series, together with IxDA and your very own Johnny Holland, have launched the second in their series of Design Challenges. The Summer ’09 challenge – Reinventing Tabs in the Browser – closes on June 21st.

About the Design Challenge

The Design Challenge is a series of events to encourage innovation, and experimentation in user interface design for the Web. The aim is to provoke thought, facilitate discussion, and inspire future design directions for Firefox, the Mozilla project, and the Open Web as a whole.

Design Challenge: Summer 09

For this Design Challenge Mozilla Labs decided to team up with IxDA, a network dedicated to the professional practice of Interaction Design, and Johnny Holland (of which we’re really proud). Each one of us will provide two panelists and we’ll also be available for help (via @ixda or @johnnyholland). During the challenge Johnny will provide the teams/designers with inspiring articles related to the subject. In this Summer 09 challenge we are focusing on finding creative solutions to the question: “Reinventing Tabs in the Browser – How can we create, navigate and manage multiple web sites within the same browser instance?”

Tabs worked well on slow machines on a thin Internet, where ten browser sessions were “many browser sessions”. Today, 20+ parallel sessions are quite common; the browser is more of an operating system than a data display application; we use it to manage the web as a shared hard drive.

However, if you have more than seven or eight tabs open they become pretty much useless. And tabs don’t work well if you use them with heterogeneous information. They’re a good solution to keep the screen tidy for the moment. And that’s just what they should continue doing.

So why are you still here? As Dan Saffer urged us: don’t wait for permission and face the challenge.

Steve Baty

Steve Baty, principal at Meld Studios, has over 14 years experience as a design and strategy practitioner. Steve is well-known in the area of experience strategy and design, contributing to public discourse on these topics through articles and conferences. Steve serves as Vice President of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA); is a regular contributor to; serves as an editor and contributor to Johnny Holland (, and is the founder of UX Book Club – a world-wide initiative bringing together user experience practitioners in over 80 locations to read, connect and discuss books on user experience design. Steve is co-Chair of UX Australia – Australia’s leading conference for User Experience practitioners; and Chair of Interaction 12 – the annual conference of the IxDA for 2012.

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