Tell Mozilla how you feel about Firefox 29 Australis

When Mozilla published the update to Firefox last Tuesday, it updated the stable version of the browser to the new interface Australis.

I have talked about Australis before here on Ghacks and it is currently one of the hot topics here on this blog with three of the top five stories of the last 90 days about it.

Reactions to Australis are mixed. If you look at the comments here on this blog, you notice that most are at least somewhat negative.

Especially the missing customization options are mentioned, as well as the requirement to install add-ons to fix issues that were non-existent before.

When you look over to the Firefox Input website, a site that is tracking user feedback by version, product and other platforms, you will notice that more than 80% of users say something negative about Firefox in the last 30 day and 7 day period.

Of the more than 53000 surveys filled out by users of the browser in the last 30 days, 84% of them selected sad as the sentiment while only 16% happy.

firefox 29 australis

Not every comment is about the Australis interface, but the majority of them appear to be about it.

You may wonder why there was a big upswing in sad votes in the beginning of April. When you filter by those dates, you notice that user comments were about Mozilla's decision to fire its CEO, or not to fire it soon enough.

The Australis comments start to pour in on April 28 and to get a clear picture of how users rated it you need to filter by the last seven day period.

Sad votes are down somewhat to 81% while happy votes up to 19%. Considering that the majority of voters mention the new version explicitly,  it is fair to say that the majority of users who have voted on Firefox Input in the past seven days dislike the new interface.

australis

You may say that it is natural that users who are opposed to something vote for it while users in favor of it may not, as users who dislike something look for places to voice their frustration or anger.

If you go through the comments, you will notice that the majority voice common concerns like tabs that cannot be moved to the bottom anymore, the missing Firefox button, too large icons in the Hamburger button, or that the browser looks too similar to Google Chrome.

Give Feedback

firefox happy sad

You can leave a comment on the site to give feedback to Mozilla. When you do, you are asked first if Firefox made you happy or sad, and get an option afterwards to write a comment or remark that describes what you feel or the problem you experienced.

I think this is an excellent opportunity to provide Mozilla with Feedback whether you like the new interface or not.

Now Read: Firefox after Australis: what may be next

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Tell Mozilla how you feel about Firefox 29 Australis
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Provide Mozilla with your opinion on Australis on the Firefox Input website.
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Responses to Tell Mozilla how you feel about Firefox 29 Australis

  1. Redgrave May 2, 2014 at 7:28 pm #

    I know it may sound a bit childish but they so totally deserve it. Mine was "Seriously now, Mozilla, the new Australis interface of Firefox... open a few tabs and it looks like a bunch of asses. Totally meant that pun."

    Anyway, I scrolled down and went for older messages, I can barely find a happy comment about the new change.

  2. tuna May 2, 2014 at 7:40 pm #

    I told them when I left for a fork, everything else is just metrics for their statistics/marketing department to construe the data to reflect [b] their [/b] desired objective.

  3. Sören Hentzschel May 2, 2014 at 8:05 pm #

    Please note that Mozilla Input is no barometer of public opinion, it's a tool to give feedback. It's no surprise that there are a lot more negative comments, it's the same with Firefox 28, Firefox 27 and so on. The same applies to support forums. Usually the dissatisfied users are the users who give feedback, less the satisfied users. The feedback volume is higher, yes. Mozilla did surveys and "Early survey results look positive for the release in general" (https://wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox/Planning/2014-04-30#Desktop)

    • Gabrielle May 15, 2014 at 8:11 am #

      Excuse me, but you sound very much like a Mozilla employee defending the indefensible.

      "Mozilla did surveys" did they? Funny, but I was never asked to participate in a survey to voice my thoughts on the junk they're now palming off as a browser.

      I wouldn't mind betting that if we were all to take a look back in time, we'd find that no other version of FF has had so much negative feedback and so many angry end users, as this version has.

      Not that it matters. Mozilla aren't interested in end users anymore. They've become The Google Wannabes and now they're succeeding.

      • Sören Hentzschel May 15, 2014 at 10:08 am #

        Every tester of pre release version was asked to participate via the first run page. And Mozilla implemented some of the feedback, for example toggable title bar or wider tabs. After release it's to late for whining.

  4. marius May 2, 2014 at 8:34 pm #

    I'm of the opinion that the new interface rocks,I like minimalism!On the negative side I f...ing hate the bookmark button merged with the bookmark menu,and no amount of addons or hacks can change this stupid decision,I always get confused when bookmarking or accessing the bookmark menu!Come on Mozilla get your head out of your ass and fix this idiocy!

    • Keith May 2, 2014 at 10:55 pm #

      "Star-Button In Urlbar" puts the bookmark button back where it was. But, you also have to install a bookmark menu, like "Unsorted Bookmarks Tool Button" because the star-button completely removes the new merged button.

    • Bobby Phoenix May 2, 2014 at 10:56 pm #

      100% hate that new bookmark button. I hit the star so many times I had to get rid of it. Thankfully Classic Bookmark Button saved me! Why combine them? Who needs to bookmark so many sites all the time. I haven't added a new bookmark in months, and previous to that I think it was years.

    • ern May 3, 2014 at 2:54 am #

      If you like minimalism, you could have even to a tiny title bar with what you needs. Of course you need no to not want a ton of icons, but you could have menu, tabs, adress bar and maybe a few other things. See this screenshot for an example : http://imgur.com/K1QIpc2.png
      Such a thing is not anymore possible in vanilla ff29. So in fact, there is a downgrade on that aspect too !

      • JohnJ May 4, 2014 at 5:48 am #

        This is exactly why I downgraded to 28. Mine looks a lot like your image with a couple more regularly used icons. Not being able to move the back arrow is what finally did me in. I'll wait until this whole business levels out then MAYBE I will upgrade.

  5. Niks May 2, 2014 at 8:40 pm #

    Firefox 29 looks great on Ubuntu . Till version 28 FF looked hideous on Ubuntu .

    • Alex May 2, 2014 at 9:30 pm #

      Not only in Ubuntu. Firefox in Linux had a very ugly interface until Australis

  6. Tom Hawack May 2, 2014 at 9:21 pm #

    If it weren't for Pale Moon which gave me a lift when Australis hurricane was in sight, I'd be out of my mind.
    But, for a new user I'll admit the GUI is more attractive (besides the horrible curved tabs), the layout is more attractive.
    I think Mozilla simply decided to choose newcomers and abandon old users to their fate.
    I believe they could have found a compromise between the old structures and the new layout. But they didn't and, consequently, many users of the past may choose their browsing future elsewhere.

  7. Kulm May 2, 2014 at 10:14 pm #

    Will the negative feedback change anything?
    I'd be surprised if it did.
    Which is why I switched to PaleMoon today.

  8. downrange May 2, 2014 at 10:42 pm #

    I would make a comment to the FF developers if I thought it might make a difference. I believe the folks at Mozilla don't really give a hoot what I or anyone else thinks. It they did we would not have seen FF head in the direction it has.

  9. Nebulus May 2, 2014 at 11:24 pm #

    Kulm, at least they will find out that people are not happy if you give them negative feedback. If you just switch to PaleMoon they won't even know... Sure, there is a long way from "finding out" until a real change...

  10. steven May 2, 2014 at 11:26 pm #

    I like it.
    http://dedoimedo.com/computers/firefox-29-sucks.html

  11. George P. Burdell May 2, 2014 at 11:37 pm #

    It amazes me that people will complain about something they are given for free as a gift. And not just any gift, but a very complicated and versatile and useful gift. I refer here in the first place to Martin's writings, which some people find reason to be rude about. But also to Firefox. I am grateful for both, which cost me nothing and which meet many of my needs so well.

    I think that Ghacks readers are not "normal" or "unsophisticated" consumers of computing resources. This audience uses every browser option, and even adds external options when the hundreds already in Firefox are not enough. No wonder they are upset to lose any feature they were used to. But they are not thinking of the wide range of users who never open up the Options or Tools menu on any software, but instead use what they are given as is. For these people, I think the new Firefox does a very good job.

    To those who would complain about the new Firefox, I say you are repeating your past mistakes by switching to another browser you may think better, but which you did not code for yourself.

    • JohnMWhite May 3, 2014 at 12:07 am #

      This is a rather strange road to take. You are suggesting that unless people code a complex program themselves, they have no right to complain about needless or destructive changes to it and should roll over and accept changes they do not like. That simply isn't a requirement; people have the right to be displeased with any software they are invited to use. And Firefox isn't a free gift, Mozilla is an organisation with an agenda like any other. It may not be profit (at least not directly), but they are offering products and the people who use those products have the right to voice their opinion about them.

      It also makes no sense to remove options just because you can or just because a lot of people won't miss them. That isn't productive, it is exerting effort for a net negative. The average consumer might not notice (though I'm sure even they will notice the missing x button on their tabs, and will likely flounder), but they never were bothered by the existence of these features either so why remove them?

      Furthermore, you seem to have missed a significant point of the article: 84% of Firefox users surveyed are not happy with the at least some of new changes. It's not only unhelpful to blame the commentators at sites like this for daring to have an opinion, it is inaccurate to paint them as the only ones with a problem.

  12. theMike May 3, 2014 at 12:05 am #

    lol @ falemoon. good luck with that worthless crap. these comments reminded me of the girls at neowin. i might have to ditch this whiny baby site soon...

    • Hge63i76 May 3, 2014 at 1:20 am #

      ...go back to /g/

  13. itunu May 3, 2014 at 12:18 am #

    They did mostly good things on this version. I don't like the merged bookmarks menu and the fact that I can't remove the back button from my toolbar (i use mouse gestures for that).

    Sincerely, if you listen to the average Joe, now we would still be living in the stone age.

  14. Mike May 3, 2014 at 2:33 am #

    I hate this new version. Why do they keep removing options then adding addons if we want to get those optinons back. I f...ing hate chrome and now my firefox looks just like chrome. I despise the tabs being above the nav bar. In the last version there was an option to put them under it. NOW I need a frelling addon to put them under it. Stop with the addons already. And stop trying to look like other browsers. This is a joke. I swear I'm almost tempted to go back to IE...

  15. Joe May 3, 2014 at 3:06 am #

    I'm using the new Australis and I don't really have a problem with it. Ya it's different, looks a little like Chrome but so what. It's a hell of a lot better browser than Chrome, and as far as getting used to the changes it's not a big deal. People need to get over it, and stop pitching such a fit. If you hate it that much then use another browser, otherwise suck it up, and stop whining. It's a whole lot better than i.e.

  16. InterestedBystander May 3, 2014 at 3:22 am #

    Australis does look similar to Chrome, gotta say. I remember reading (way back in the last century) that a GUI designer should never make an interface different just to make it stand out. If everyone else uses a dropdown menu for a certain function, then use one in your design too. Users won't thank you, they'll just use it without thinking because it's already a familiar idea to them. That's convergent evolution.

    On the other hand, designers tend to mimic a successful design even when it makes no sense for their purpose. iOS succeeded with a tiled desktop on iPhones and tablets, Android used a similar desktop on cheaper phones and tablets, and then Windows used tiles on full-sized screens -- which made no sense to most users. (To be fair, Linux developers did the same thing with Gnome 3 before Windows did it.) Fad behavior is NOT convergent evolution, it's just dumb.

    Time will tell which camp Australis tends toward the most. Personally, I tend to think the changes are OK design-wise -- I think they're mostly convergent with modern browser evolution. Just me, though, and as a regular OS-swapper I'm kind of easy-going when it comes to interfaces.

  17. Marc Falck May 3, 2014 at 5:00 am #

    Well, they didn't listen to the few surveys pre-Australis...

  18. Boris May 3, 2014 at 5:08 am #

    How I feel about Firefox 29? I changed to Waterfox today. Thats how I feel.

    P.S. I would have stayed on Firefox 28 but it started updating automatically to 29 even when I set all settings to no updates.

    • Frank June 27, 2014 at 7:08 am #

      Waterfox will make the move to 29 UI too. That leaves only Palemoon.

  19. pschroeter May 3, 2014 at 5:08 am #

    The past year has been awful for my computers. First Windows 8, which I still don't like 10 months later, My Yahoo being redone, and now Firefox and Australis . At least I won't have to experience Australis as I have turned off updates. No, I won't like it if I try it. Why do software manufacturers think everything needs to be hidden now?

  20. El-D May 3, 2014 at 5:56 am #

    Australis has real problems, but most of the comments are negative because nobody cares to report positive feedback. We'll see if 80% of the actual userbase moves to other browsers soon enough. There is a good chunk of the userbase with every right to be hostile about it, like the people who lost a highly customized interface without any warning. But for the most part this is a storm in a teacup, with people whining that they can't move a freaking button around anymore, or that they had to temporarily disable their preferred theme until it's fixed to work with Australis or something. Lord forbid something goes wrong and you should have to install an addon for something, it's not like we don't do that at all. As it stands there are just way too many people who are reacting to Australis with even less tact and grace than Mozilla's fumbled attempt to release it. And it's just sad to think that I use the same browser as these people. Thank god they're just a minority of the naysayers. At least there have been a few people to help the rest of us tweak the interface back to how we like it, rather than spazzing out and switching to Pale Moon and blowing their reactions so out of proportion it could make one lose their faith in humanity.

  21. Karl Gephart May 3, 2014 at 5:57 am #

    I'm having a little glitchiness with Australis. Everytime I do anything with addons (add, delete, disable, or update), I lose the same 3 addons from my navbar (Sticknotes, New Private Tab, and Bluhell). I have to go into customize and add them back. Then, to make them stay after a browser relaunch, I have to create a new profile and copy my folders and files over. Pretty annoying. I'm sure it's something to do with those particular addons just not playing nicely with Australis.

    • Martin Brinkmann May 3, 2014 at 7:28 am #

      Actually, I noticed that too.

      • Karl Gephart May 3, 2014 at 1:46 pm #

        Well, for all the good it does, I reported it via your link above. :)

  22. Neal May 3, 2014 at 9:40 am #

    I supplied my constructive feedback for whatever that will do, I doubt even 80 something plus negative feedback will do any good. If you read any of the UX team on their blogs or meeting notes for the last 2 years, you know that they continually ignored consistently overwhelming negative feedback through the whole testing process.

    • Karl Gephart May 3, 2014 at 1:41 pm #

      Several months ago, when Australis was still fairly new to the Nightly channel, Mozilla ignored negative feedback on Reddit. Instead of addressing complaints head on (whether about functionality or even cosmetic), they just called many of the comments "insults" and refused to respond. (i.e., one person called the GUI, "dummied down." They could've at least asked for specific details rather than taking offense). It was very telling and quite disappointing to me.

  23. Rocky May 3, 2014 at 1:08 pm #

    I haven't had enough time with FF29 to comment authoritatively yet but my first Impression is it looks like Goggle Chrome. But then as I read Joe and InterestedBystander above I thought why not look at this another way - now Google Chrome looks like Firefox !

    I think InterestedBystander is correct - time will tell if usage stats go down or not

  24. Henk van Setten May 3, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

    I think I can understand the indignation of long-time Firefox users who have to adapt to interface changes they didn't ask for.

    But please let me add a view here from a completely different perspective.

    The last couple of years I used Chrome as my main browser (having migrated from the slowly dying Opera). To be honest, I've always found the classic Firefox interface a bit of a clunky mess. To give just one example, take the positioning of extension buttons -- to me it looked like totally random: some extension buttons would appear in the top right corner, but some other ones would appear at the bottom right in a largely empty but space-consuming status bar.

    This week, I migrated from Chrome to Firefox 29 as my main browser. Why? With its new more modern and consistent interface, Firefox has now become the best browser there is!

    The new Firefox has all the Chrome advantages, plus it addresses most of Chrome's problems -- to name just two that always irritated me, Chrome's lack of a bookmarks side bar, and Chrome's tendency to exhaust your system's resources when you have multiple open tabs.

    Once many Chrome users like me will come to realize that Firefox is now by far the best option (and will make the switch) it may turn out that the Firefox UI upgrade was in fact a very sensible decision.

    • Redgrave May 3, 2014 at 11:03 pm #

      "The new Firefox has all the Chrome advantages"

      No, no it doesn't. For one, there's Chrome's Multi-process Architecture. Mozilla seems to care more about redesigning an interface that didn't need a redesign. At least they could have make it better and not Chrome inspired. Not to mention it is ugly.

      Another? Ok. Uninstalling addons from Firefox leaves traces in the profile folder in most cases, different files, folders, while uninstalling an addon in Chrome completely removes any trace.

      Mozilla hasn't come up with anything new lately, only trying not to remain behind.

      And so many other aspects. Sadly, Mozilla is failing. And like someone else mentioned in another comment here, each new version of Firefox is worse than the previous. No, having a 10% faster version than the one before doesn't really count.

      Edit: Even IE is Multi-process now. Just saying.

  25. Pierre May 3, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

    My wife, who uses Firefox from time to time, didn't even notice the new interface !
    It is "exagerated" : the button with 3 bars should contain normal lines as in Chrome or Thunderbird, not buttons.
    FF 29 is faster than 28 but still slower than Chrome and i still prefer Chrome.
    Avoid Adblock Plus, very heavy in terms of startup time.

  26. Maou May 3, 2014 at 5:57 pm #

    Besides the lack of customization, I´m having occasional freezes.
    So sad am I :(

  27. smaragdus May 3, 2014 at 9:16 pm #

    Firefox developers are deaf and blind and are doing the same Opera developers did- driving users away from their browser. Every new version of Firefox is far worse than the previous one. This is unbearable. I intend to switch to SeaMonkey but unfortunately many Firefox add-ons are incompatible with SeaMonkey.

    • ern May 3, 2014 at 10:14 pm #

      Try palemoon. It is based on firefox 24 ESR with some features which were removed by mozilla added back, so it is compatible with most add-ons.

      • smaragdus May 3, 2014 at 10:28 pm #

        @ern
        Thanks for the suggestion. I have tried PaleMoon before, the problem is that I am not sure whether the PaleMoon developer will keep the classic GUI.
        However the situation with browsers nowadays is depressing- K-Meleon is dead, Opera is dead, Firefox is dying, I see a herd of chrome-like zombies marching conquering the web.
        Chrome? NO! I will rather use IE or even outdated browsers like Safari than install a Chromium-based browser.

      • ern May 3, 2014 at 10:57 pm #

        The PaleMoon developer will keep the classic GUI and never adopt Australis.

  28. Jack May 3, 2014 at 10:27 pm #

    Boris, I use a "Check for Updates in Help Menu" [add on] -- it tells me (when I click it) IF a new version IS available, but won't update automatically (until you want it). I got that because I got tired of add-ons not working with new versions. [It's possible I (additionally) changed a setting or 2 via about:config.]

    So I'm still with 28... and intend to stay here (for a while). LOL.

  29. XenoSilvano May 4, 2014 at 8:13 am #

    [ http://www.ghacks.net/2014/05/02/tell-mozilla-feel-firefox-29-australis/#comment-2056042 ]

    or you could just install the Classic Theme Restorer add-on like person opposed to Australis would.

  30. XenoSilvano May 4, 2014 at 8:28 am #

    @ Joe

    [ http://www.ghacks.net/2014/05/02/tell-mozilla-feel-firefox-29-australis/#comment-2056042 ]

    or you could just install the 'Classic Theme Restorer' add-on like person opposed to Australis would.

    thank goodness for that add-on.

    I bet you that the perceived performance improvement in Firefox 29 could have been done without touching the UI,
    Mozilla timed this performance improvement with Australis to give users a better impression of the new UI.

    • Neal May 5, 2014 at 7:59 am #

      Addons should not be the answer to restore functionality. Look at the official Mozilla troubleshoot guide, what the is the first thing they tell us to do...oh yeah safe mode which disables addons. The more addons you have especially ones that drastically changes Firefox's behavior like Classic Theme Restorer the more likelihood you run into trouble, there are already reports that some addons conflict with Classic Theme Restorer for example.

  31. vamsikrishna001 May 4, 2014 at 8:52 am #

    I am very happy about firefox 29 and it's real good.I now like it much more than ever.I always use it and will be using it.It's modern ,simple,good looking. :)

  32. Jon May 4, 2014 at 10:26 pm #

    I'm a long-time Firefox user and I've been using the beta of 29 for several weeks. My initial reaction to the UI changes was the same as everyone else but I got used to them after a couple of days and I now prefer the new UI. I would recommend that the people who immediately downloaded PaleMoon or reverted back to 28 actually try it for a few days before making any drastic emotion-led decisions.

    • ern May 4, 2014 at 11:59 pm #

      Actually, at the question "Can you adapt yourself to the new UI, and after downloading add-ons to restore some functionnality, use FF29" I would probably answer yes.
      But why would I ?

      Being able to restore most of removed features via an add-on is better than nothing, but why were these features removed in first place ? Didn't seen any argument about how it IMPROVE user experience. If you've seen any valid argument about that please let me know. Reducing from 0,5% dev work is a bad argument for something which is useful and used, like tabs on bottom or addon/status bar.
      I don't want an UI designer decide what I should like, just let me the choice.

      Also, to be honest, I'm afraid of the direction taken by Mozilla : -pure marketing crap talk "the most customizable firefox ever" or on "added value for customer" (see directory tiles, and why not the user personnalization proposal)
      -while I thanks these who improve performances & resolve bug, there are numerous features removed for unclear reasons
      -they increase more and more informations sent from the browser to them. Yeah sure I can desactivate it. But can I support this direction ? No.
      -don't care of the feedback from users. This is a huge problem imo.
      -finally the stupid disdain against desktop. It seems trendy to be all touch/mobile. I don't want my browser to be downgraded because of the stupid "one to fit them all". And anyone who think desktop will die anytime soon has a very poor analysis.

      The browser I use now is efficient, has the customization features I need, some other nice touch, the add-ons I need...

      So shy would I bother to adapt to australis ?

  33. BobbyT May 6, 2014 at 4:36 am #

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I was perfectly happy with Firefox, but they seem to have a pathological need to change things on a continual basis. Just when i get used to one way of using it, they change everything. They messed up the back button, and the "forward" button has disappeared. Compatibility with add ons always an issue. I would like to go back. Worst "update" ever!!!!

  34. Tom L May 12, 2014 at 10:11 pm #

    The new Firefox 29.0.1 Australis sucks big time. The Classic Theme Restorer also sucks. I had it they way I wanted via customizations and it's all screwed up. I dumped Firefox and downloaded Comodo Ice Dragon. Being a Firefox Distro I'm now back the way it used to be. I also run Xubuntu Linux. Those who are unhappy, check out "Comodo Ice Dragon. http://icedragon.comodo.com/ Send Mozilla a message by downloading IceDragon. You won't be sorry. Now I'm happy. :>)

  35. nicola November 13, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

    I find myself loosing more and more time in restoring old features (or trying to restore them) and look-and-feel each time a new version of firefox comes out (I am a user, not system administator, on certain hosts and am not permitted, for security issue, to "keep" old versions).

    I find that developers SHOULD NOT use their time in streamlining the browser to look and behave like others.

    Examples:
    at a certain point the target of a link could not be read any more if the mouse was hoovering over a link (now this has been cured).
    menus disappear,
    icons changes shapes, size, behavior and positions,
    position of tabs changes....

    I have recently discovered that menus could be show in a different way if using the mouse or the keyboard....

    This is completely unnatural

    Nobody accepts to come into the office and find that somebody overnight has changed the keyboard. Why software is treated in a different way?

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