In a post on his Mozilla blog Ben Goodger discusses some of the UI research being done on tabbed browsing at Google, along with some solid proposals for streamlining tabs in Firefox.
This is great news because, as it stands now, the tab UI in Firefox is fundamentally flawed. Well, the tab close button to be specific. In the current implementation (a single close button, positioned to the far right of all open tabs) there is little to no connection between the button and the specific tab on which it is going to perform its designated action. It’s subtle, but fatal. At first blush, one might even say it makes it look as though the purpose of the button is to close the entire tab bar (that is, all open tabs at once). This is one case where Safari gets it right. Each tab contains its own close button. The relationship is obvious, direct, and instantly recognizable.