If I click a link and you start up your steam engine and get those gears turning so you can start the 45-second cycle necessary to launch Firefox, and I switch to another application because I don’t want to watch nothing happen for 45 seconds*, don’t interrupt whatever I’m looking at by putting an interim and BLANK Firefox window on top of what I’m looking at. I know I launched Firefox but I’m doing something else while waiting for that. And don’t interrupt it again whenever a not-significant-to-the-user chunk of data loads and causes a “refresh” of that BLANK Firefox window. And don’t interrupt it a third time when you’re finally done launching Firefox. If I put it in the background again twice, don’t bring it to the foreground a third time. FYI on my Mac if I launch something, I’ll sit in the background until I get around to it.
(No, this isn’t just Firefox, Windows does this for all my programs.)
And if I open a bunch of files at once, and each of them requires some sort of confirmation (like a Photoshop file created on another computer and the color profile doesn’t match), don’t interrupt my foreground work for every single one. I don’t care if you have to hang in the background with 20 confirmation dialogue boxes waiting for the queue, don’t interrupt my foreground activity! You know what my Mac does when a background app wants attention? It bounces its icon on the Dock. It doesn’t shove itself into the foreground over and over again.
And Windows people think their UI is friendly? No, they’re just used to the abuse and don’t know any better.
*Note: I also like it how Windows might go 10-30 seconds without letting you know it’s doing anything. Did I misclick? Is it launching? I’d better click it again. Still nothing? I’ll click … oh, crap, there’s the hourglass, I guess it worked the first time … which means it worked the second time, which means now it’s opening up TWO copies of that appliciation.** Whereas on my Mac, it starts bouncing the app’s icon on the Dock right away so I know it received my command.
**Which, mind you, doesn’t make ANY sense. If I have Word open and I click another Word document, it should open that document in the currently-open Word application, not start up another copy of Word just for that file! In fact, if I click a Word file and it has to launch Word and then I click another Word file, it should stick that in the queue and wait for Word to finish loading and just put the second doc into that ONE Word app running.