Personas and Usability

If you are a Firefox user, or more so, a Firefox aficionado like I am, using Firefox since it’s first betas, you might have realized the interesting new Personas addon, which gives you thousands of different skins for your browser windows.

Why is it, I ask myself, that almost all of them are designed in such a way that it is almost impossible to read the toolbar?

Have a look at some screen-shots and you will know what I mean.

Example for Personas 1

Example for Personas 2

Example for Personas 3

Example for Personas 4

Example for Personas 5

Example for Personas 6

Example for Personas 7

Example for Personas 8

Example for Personas 9

This can only lead to one of two (or both) conclusions:

Either designers are not aware whatsoever that there might be writing on their images (which I doubt) or they assume that no one reads what is written in the toolbar anyway (which I doubt also). What is more is that the browser viewport gets a competitor because the use of flashy colors leads to a massive distraction. Don’t you learn that frames should be unobtrusive? I think that it’s a nice idea but once again, it leads to a number of results that you wouldn’t wish for.

I know what you want to say. „Stop being a troll, stop being grumpy about it, you don’t need to use it.“ And yeah, you are absolutely right.

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