New Mozilla design mockups [September 2012]

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 27, 2012
Updated • Sep 27, 2012

Last month's Firefox design mockups highlighted several upcoming key features of the browser. This included important changes to the brower's click to play functionality, a new HTML5 video player, user feedback popups and new shots of the Firefox Metro version.

These mockups do not necessarily make it into a future version of Firefox. Some will, some get modified along the way, while others simply won't be integrated at all.

Mozilla engineers and designers have posted new mockups recently which highlight some new features and changes that have been made in the past month.

The designers are still working on the new tab page of the browser. The idea right now is to merge the default homepage and new tab page into a single page that gets displayed when the homepage or a new tab page is launched in the browser. The layout and design has changed again. What you will notice right now are small down and right arrow icons that you can click on to display other information like the recently closed tabs, tabs that you have opened on other systems or bookmarks instead. The mockup showcases how the new tab page may look like on desktop computer systems, tablets and mobile devices.

firefox new tab page

The wiki reads:

On each instance of Firefox, a user will see the sites most likely to be useful to them grouped into categories. These categories will include recently closed, recently bookmarked, history, etc.

Firefox itself, regardless of device, will have a default list of site categories that is determined by its chance of being useful to the broad swathe of users. For instance, the first category will be top sites, meaning those with the highest frequency score. The order of subsequent categories will be in order of decreasing usefulness.

Any device Firefox runs in will have present these categories in consistent behavior and layout. For users who have not logged into Firefox on multiple decides, the categories will always default to the same order. Scrolling to the right on every devices shows additional categories, while scrolling down on one category maximizes it. This means that even if a user has no Firefox account, they can use muscle memory to find the category they want, even across devices.

The differences between devices are dependent only on the devices themselves: touch vs click, small screen vs large. On desktop, all categories past top sites will be shown in list form, while on tablets and mobile devices only thumbnails will be shown.

In keeping with the Sandstone Mozilla style, a "supertab" at the top right of all new tabs on all devices will allow a user to access additional items and customizations.

Things get interesting once a user has a Firefox account. Then, all of the devices they log into will keep the same categories with the same sites in the same order, and muscle memory will increase further.

The following screenshot highlights how web notifications will be displayed to the user in the browser.

web notifications

The next mockup shows how the Metro version of Firefox on Windows 8 handles bookmarks. Probably the biggest change here is that you can't create subfolders anymore, as everything is handled in root and the folders there.

firefox bookmarks windows 8

Developers may want to take a look at the following video that is highlighting some of the changes coming to Firefox's developer tools.

What's your take on the proposed changes? Seen anything you like, dislike or are impartial to? (via Sören Hentschel)


Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Anonymous said on September 28, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    The Bookmarks protocol sounds a bit inauspicious! Choice is my no.1 concern. I am fed up with Apple, Amazon and the like with their dictated or extorted misnomer “-choices.”

  2. Peter (NL) said on September 27, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    I have seen so many mockups already in the last months, I do not know. I noticed that companies in lots of cases do show photos, etc. on an Apple Macbook. In my opinion this looks nicer than on a Windows device.

    Personally I am more interested in security stuff (e.g. improvement in add-ons & plugin management), speed and web compliance. All that social media stuf is for me not relevant.

    We will see the coming year how it turns out with Mozilla Firefox…

  3. PixelWizard said on September 27, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    I’m drawing a blank on that megaphone icon, its tooltip and the article’s line, “The following screenshot highlights how web notifications will be displayed to the user in the browser.”

    Web notifications? “…in the browser”? Desktop notifications?

    What do these refer to, and on an older OS (Vista): are they relevant? Necessary? Can be disabled?

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.