How many popup boxes do you see in a day’s time? I’m not talking about the popups that most browsers these days will automatically block, instead I’m talking about the popups that ask you things such as “would you like to update your browser?” These are things that you don’t necessarily need to take action on now, but currently a window will popup asking what you want to do.

Mozilla is looking to make things a little easier on the user by possibly creating a more centralized notification system. By doing this it would be more apparent when the browser is sending a notification, compared to a simple JavaScript popup window that may sometimes leave you unsure whether Firefox is asking for input or a website is. There would be no confusion in the new design they are thinking about:

Level 1 Notifications

This kind of notification would only display an icon on the toolbar. It is the least obtrusive out of all the ones available and would be used for things like notifying a user that a RSS feed is available on the site:

Firefox Dialog

Then the user can click on the icon to see more information and options:

Firefox Dialog


Level 2 Notifications

This type of notification would be used for things like notifying users that a download has completed or asking if they want to remember a password for a particular site. It wouldn’t require user interaction, and I’m guessing that it would probably fade out after a short period of time:

Firefox Dialog


Level 3 Notifications

This level would notify users of things slightly more critical that need to have action taken on them, such as an updated version of Firefox or extension updates being available. This would probably require user interaction before being able to close, instead of the previous level which would automatically close after a specified period of time.

Firefox Dialog


Level 4 Notifications

These are the most important notifications and would require interaction before continuing. To make the user aware that they have to select an option in this notification, the content area would be blacked out to draw more attention. An obvious example of such a notification would be an alert for a suspected phishing site:

Firefox Dialog

Mozilla is currently looking for any feedback that you might have regarding how these new notifications will work. One other thing that you might notice is that the notifications are displayed in the Navigation toolbar next to the Search Box, but they are also toying with the possibility of having it show up in the Status Bar. I think that would be a better location simply because that is where notifications, such as the “download completed alert”, already appear. That will make it more natural for users in my opinion.

There isn’t much word on when we might see these notifications implemented, but I would like to see it in the Firefox 3 release. With that, is it better than the current solution?