The search word buttons in Googlebar Lite are occasionally a source of frustration for me. With the user interface changes made in Firefox 28+, I’ve heard of an increasing number of users who place Googlebar Lite in the nav-bar (the toolbar that houses the URL field, forward / back buttons, etc.). When search word buttons are enabled, they cause the toolbar to shift around wildly as they appear or disappear. The toolbar can even get into a mode where it completely overflows into a breakout panel, with the only way to restore it being to close Firefox and reopen it!
I’ve been trying to think of ways to improve the way search words are handled when Googlebar Lite appears in the nav-bar. One option I thought of is to use a fixed width search word area. Some words would fit, while all the other overflow into the overflow menu, as they do today. This comes with its own set of problems, however (a bunch of blank space in the toolbar, being one of them). The other solution I’ve thought of, and which I’m currently leaning towards, is to have a dedicated search words menu button that appears in this nav-bar case. Search words would then become children of this menu button. This would make things compact, the size wouldn’t jump around, and the words would still be easily accessible (though it would require one more click).
What do you think of this idea? Are there other ways that search words might be handled in this case? I’m leaning towards implementing the second option above for the next release, but I’m open for other suggestions.