Earlier this year, Mozilla’s design gurusbegan exploring the possibility of improving on the principle of tabbed browsing. They launched a discussion about various ways to transcend the limitations imposed by the current tab system.
To encourage broader community participation in this discussion, Mozilla Labs launched a competition and called for designers to submit mockups and concept art that depicted new ideas and interfaces for tabbed browsing. The results of the Summer Design Challenge wereannounced this week and Mozilla has published the best entries.
The winning designs are listed by category—including the most innovative, the best executed, the best user interaction model, and easiest to ship. These were selected by a panel comprised of representatives of Mozilla, the IxDA interaction design community, and the Johnny Holland collective. There was also a separate “People’s Choice” category where the winner was elected by the community through a voting process.
A design calledTabViz took the top spot in the category for most innovative entry. It was created by a team of three students from the University of Michigan School of Information. After conducting user studies to determine how people use tabs, they decided to tackle the problem of tab overload by implementing a radial tab navigation control system. They have published a prototype implementation which isavailable for downloadfrom the group’s Google Code webpage.
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