Firefox gets clean new look in browser revamp

Firefox gets clean new look in browser revamp

Summary: Mozilla makes an early version of its new user interface for the Firefox browser available to try in its Firefox nightly build.


Mozilla has unveiled the new look for its Firefox web browser, stripping away features from the interface to give it a "clean" look.

The new UI, dubbed "Australis", will be rolled out to the Firefox browser on mobile and desktop platforms and an unfinished version is available to try in Firefox's nightly build, where Mozilla makes experimental Firefox features available for the public to test.

"You'll notice elements of Australis across all our platforms, mobile and desktop, as we try and have Firefox feel like one product everywhere," said Madhava Enros, who leads the Firefox user experience design team.

The new UI changes the look of tabs, introducing rounded corners and making the current tab stand out by changing its appearance so it appears to sit in the foreground. The outline of tabs are also highlighted when hovered over.

Tabs get a new look in the Australis UI. Image: Mozilla

Windows now have minimal borders, allowing tabs to sit higher in the window and creating more space for the web page.

Only the Favourite, Home and Download buttons are shown in the toolbar, with other less frequently used icons, such as Print and New Window, hidden behind an icon in a menu. Users can also customise the look of the toolbar by dragging and dropping icons onto it.

Mozilla claims the simplified look complements earlier changes that streamlined the look of the Firefox UI, such as hiding the forward button when it is not needed and having a Download button that turns into a progress indicator during file transfers.

Mozilla's design goals for Australis. Image: Mozilla

Further reading

Topics: Web development, Software


Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic UK. He writes about the technology that IT-decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Lipstick on a pig...

    ... As far as I'm concerned. How do they plan to address its infamous bloat? Until then I'm back on IE.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • Double Whammy

      IE and Windows, good luck and I hope you have solid back ups.
      Alan Smithie
      • Time to get with the program...

        It's not 2001 anymore. Just what are you getting at?
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
        • tempora mutantur

          et nos mutamus in illis, yet Microsoft never seems to change.
          • editing

            misspelled, due to proximity of the keys, not that I have grown old and forgot that it's a passive voice ( indicativus passivus, if I remember it correctly)
          • If you think that

            you obviously haven't been paying attention
            Michael Alan Goff
        • so what...

 was bloat in 2001 also.
        • Backups?

          What backups are required based on a choice of browser? Why would I need backups based on the tool I use to access sites, data, and apps hosted on someone else's system?
    • bloat?

      No, you're mistaken, all the patents for bloat belong to Microsoft. Mozilla cannot afford the licenses.
    • Check your numbers

      Bloat? For over a year now Firefox has beat out the other major browsers in memory usage (with multiple tabs open).
      Which bloat are you referring to?
    • Bloat? If that were an issue you would not want to be on IE!!

      It has the largest executable/DLL footprint of any of the browsers by a country mile... not that I have a problem with this, as Trident compatibility with earlier versions is a great feature for businesses with proprietary web apps.

      But be that as it may, it does make a "bloat" accusation a very difficult thing to lob at Firefox!
      • lol yes...

        it's like banking cartel accusing non profit organization of being greedy!!!
    • IE 12 is phenomenal!

      Just got the latest bits. You are ahead of the curve, my friend!
      • always...

        ahead of curve in bloat always
    • no sand-boxing yet.

      downside - until its sandboxed i wont be using it...
    • LOL

      Calling Firefox bloated and "going back to IE". Like IE isn't bloated to begin with!
    • you live in what universe?

      ms is symbol for bloat.

      how is firefox bloat comparing to ie?
  • Its whats under the hood that matters

    I agree, Firefox has some real issues with what's under the hood. Making it look more like Chrome won't fix it. Even Internet Explorer is better then Firefox now. that's really a low blow!
    I feel for Mozilla, they are trying but the fact they are going in too many directions and not really having the funding and support for it. Is really showing its ugly head. I think we can all agree, Firefox started its demise when it went to the rapid release system. I wish them the best, but I won't be suffering with Firefox anymore.
    • you must be kidding...

      >>"Even Internet Explorer is better then Firefox now."
      Not even close.
      Let's examine IE's (dis)advantages:
      -- Non crossplatform (no GNU/Linux, *BSD and others). This means that the code is of poorer quality, more dependency on the underlying platform
      -- proprietary
      -- more exploitable vulnerabilities (especially lately)
      -- fewer and less functional plugins and add-ons (the most important one that is missing is Noscript)
      -- less configurable
      Firefox perhaps remains the best js-capable web browser out there, Chrome(ium) is the close second or arguably it's equal .
      • YAWN

        How do those first two negatively affect a majority of users? And that line about "that means it has poorer quality code" is pure gold. Being open source doesn't automatically make it better. Being cross platform doesn't automatically make it better.
        Michael Alan Goff