IE User Experience


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IE User Experience

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The information published in this post is now out-of-date and one or more links are invalid.

—IEBlog Editor, 20 August 2012

My name is Bruce Morgan, and I am another one of the development managers on the IE team.  I manage the developers who work on the User Experience of IE – the UI and related infrastructure.  I spend most of my time focused on the features “outside the rectangle” of the page the user is browsing, such as Favorites, History, the “Internet Options” dialog, and the like.  Essentially, John is focused on security and platform issues, Dave is on web developer issues, and I’m all about the end-user feature set.

I’ve read with great interest the feedback on this blog as well as contents of the Internet Explorer Wiki on Channel 9.  I think these are fantastic additions to our other, less public user feedback mechanisms such as MVP feedback, user focus groups, home visits, and the like.  I wanted to roll up the UX related feature requests that I’ve seen frequently and get your input and feedback.  Note that this list intentionally doesn’t include web developer/designer oriented features (transparent PNG comes to mind) or security related features.  While those may indeed have UX implications, they’re better suited for a different post.

Commonly requested UX features include:

  • Tabbed browsing (far and away the most requested UI feature)
  • Richer popup blocking (more than what’s in XPSP2)
  • Better printing (don’t chop off the right inch of the page, etc)
  • Richer, easier Favorites
  • FavIcon fixed and used in relevant places in the UI
  • Inline search (search field in the IE chrome)
  • Richer Find dialog and functionality
  • Find as you type
  • Page Zoom
  • Better keyboard support
  • Roaming of settings / favorites / history
  • Skins / Themes
  • Mouse gestures
  • Richer Download Manager functionality
  • Better ability to delete browsing history / cookies / autocomplete / forms data
  • Richer (and better documented) UI extensibility for toolbars, menus, right-click menus, etc.

I’d love to hear more about ideas you have on the merits of these features, other ideas you may have, or other suggestions for ways for us to improve the user experience of IE.  You can update the Features Request Wiki directly, or just reply to this post.  I’ll have later posts where I discuss some of these features in depth.

Note that, as Dean said in an earlier post, we can’t commit publicly as to whether a feature will or will not make it into the next version of IE, or talk about specific dates and the like.  But that shouldn’t inhibit us from having a conversation about features, their merits, and what would make IE better for you. 

A bit about me: I’m originally from Portland, Oregon. I lived and worked in and around Silicon Valley from the mid-1980s, working on software for PCs and Macs. I started at Microsoft in early 1995 on the Encarta team, where I was first a developer, then a dev lead, then the dev manager. I worked on the CD product for Mac and for Windows (as far back as Win3.1), the online product, and on the custom content management system. I then became the development manager for the browsing and mail composition features MSN 8.5 and MSN Premium. About three months ago, I joined the IE team in my current role.


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