The Australis redesign of the Firefox web browser is the most controversial change since the removal of the status bar in Firefox 4. That's at least my opinion on the matter, and judging from comments left here on this site, it is fair to say that I'm not the only one who does not really like it.
My personal concerns are not about aesthetics though. I could care less if tabs are curved, squared, or in triangle shape, or if there is a Firefox menu button or a single icon button.
What I dislike are the changes that impact functionality. The new menu, as customizable as it may be, does not provide you with all the functionality that the Firefox menu button offers. That's the main reason why I have removed everything out of that menu with the exception of addons, options and developer.
In fact, ever since my version of Firefox was upgraded to Australis, I have started to use the Menubar more frequently (by using the Alt-key to display it).
The menu is just one example though. Moving interface elements around, or merging them, may look good on paper, but it is impracticable for many users who do not use the browser the way the designers want it to be used.
Why merge the bookmarks star icon and bookmarks menu? If you only want to display one of them, or both but in different locations, then you cannot do so unless you install extensions.
Why remove the add-on bar and force all extension icons in the address bar? Why force tabs on top? Why remove options to modify the icon size of interface elements, or the ability to display text icons?
If you have played around with a version of Firefox that was moved to Australis already, which is Nightly only or special builds, then you may want to voice your opinion on it. While there is little chance that Mozilla will undo Australis completely, it may resolve some of the issues that users are experiencing.
Anyway, Mozilla has created a survey for users of Firefox 29 which they can use to voice their opinion on Firefox Australis.
- Thinking back to when you first saw this change in Nightly, please tell us about your initial impression. On a scale of 1-7, with 1 being that it was a horrible change and 7 being that it was perfect, how did you feel about the new interfaceat the time? [Scale from Horrible to Perfect]
- After having used this new Firefox interface for a while, how do you feel about it now? Please, let us know on a scale of 1-7, with 1 being horrible change and 7 being perfect. [Scale from Horrible to Perfect]
- Has this new interface significantly changed the way you use Firefox or is it keeping you from using Firefox the way you want? [Yes or No]
- If you select Yes, another text area pops up which you can use to elaborate what has changed for you.
- Do you have any general comments about this interface change that will help us improve the experience for other Firefox users as we roll it out? [Text area}
Once you have filled out those, you are taken to the second page of the survey:
- Prior to the new interface, what methods did you use to customize the look and feel of Firefox? (installed extensions, moved buttons or elements around, made my own toolbars, edited files directly such as userChrome.css, used Firefox themes, other, did not customize Firefox at all)
- After using the new interface, what methods did you use to customize the look and feel of Firefox? (installed extensions, moved buttons to the new dropdown menu, moved buttons or rearranged the new toolbar, used themes, edited files directly, other, did not customize Firefox)
- If you select the "dropdown menu" answer here (you can select multiple), a new slider comes up which you can use to grade the new customization features of Firefox from Horrible to Perfect.
- Is there anything else you'd like to tell us about your experiences customizing Firefox that will help us improve Firefox for future users? (Textarea)
There you go. If you have something to say about Australis, now is your chance to do so.