Firefox gets clean new look in browser revamp

Mozilla makes an early version of its new user interface for the Firefox browser available to try in its Firefox nightly build.
Written by Nick Heath, Contributor on

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

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