Losing the Firefox Searchbar

 by Martin Belam, 5 May 2006

Until a few days ago I you'd asked me why I preferred to use the Firefox browser, I would have given a couple of answers - tabbed browsing, good range of extensions and handy bookmarklets, tabbed browsing, the ability to tweak it to browse faster, and did I mention tabbed browsing?

One thing I'm sure I wouldn't have mentioned was the little search box up in the top right-hand corner. I know it is there, after all Yahoo! recently reminded me, and I've added a few extra engines to it, but I don't use it very often.

Last week I had some weird glitches on my laptop, and one of the results was that the search bar in Firefox stopped working. I couldn't believe how much it affected my browsing experience. I'd forgotten what it was like to type www.google.com and get re-directed to my local site automatically against my will - where my user experience is now in Greek. I realised that I didn't actually know the URL for Yahoo!'s My Web 2.0 Beta. It turned out that I performed my searches almost exclusively using the searchbar without realising it. Thankfully it was a known issue I was able to quickly fix.

Which is a handy reminder that when doing usability testing, don't just ask the user what they do, get them to demonstrate it. You'll probably find that what they say and do are quite, quite different.


I am having the same problem with my Firefox Search bar!
Did you ever get it fixed???

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