Another glimpse at Firefox's upcoming Proton design refresh: the new menu
Mozilla is working on another design refresh for its desktop version of the Firefox web browser. Some may fear the worst, others may be looking forward to design changes.
The refresh is a work in progress, and that means that things may change along the way, may not change at all, or may look totally different from what the current state shows.
The screenshot below was captured on a Windows 10 device running the latest version of Firefox Nightly with all the Proton preferences enabled.
The screenshot shows the refreshed New Tab page, the tab bar, and the main menu.
Compared to the current design, which you see on the screenshot below, you may notice that several things have changed.
The New Tab page features new icons that fit better in the page and use less space on the page at the same time.
The main menu has a new cleaner look, thanks to the lack if icons, but also menu items that have been moved. Some menu items are not present in the new menu, e.g. Developer Tools are nowhere to be found, and the menu starts with the New Tab option, a new menu option not present in the old menu.
Since this is a work in progress, it is possible that the order of menu items will change, and that missing items will be added before the final release.
The tab bar looks large by default and somewhat out of place. It may be ideal for touch users as it is easier to interact with tabs in Firefox, but users who use the mouse may find it too large. There is an option to change the density to compact, and the following screenshot shows the difference between the two designs.
Firefox features a touch option when it comes to density as well, and it questionable why tabs in normal mode should become bigger as well, as touch uses may use the density instead.
One reason for the tab bar to look out of place right now is that the changes to the address bar are not visible yet. It remains to be seen how the final design looks like once it lands in a future Nightly version.
We talked about the changes to tabs in Firefox and the New Tab page already. Mozilla plans to change the design of other interface elements in Firefox. Apart from the main menu, which features the new design already, plans are underway to refresh the design of the address bar and info boxes.
It is unclear if the right-click context menu will also see a design refresh at this point in time.
How to enable the Proton redesign right now
Users interested in checking it out need to download the latest Nightly version of the web browser and enable a few preferences on about:config to unlock the current state of the redesign.
- Load about:config in the Firefox address bar.
- Confirm that you will be careful by selecting "accept the risk and continue".
- Search for the following preferences, and set them to TRUE to enable the feature, or to FALSE to disable it.
- browser.proton.enabled the general toggle for the new design
- browser.proton.appmenu.enabled to enable the new main menu.
- browser.newtabpage.activity-stream.newNewtabExperience.enabled to enable the New Tab page design.
- browser.proton.tabs.enabled to enable the new Tabs design.
- Once you have made all the changes, restart Firefox to see them in action.
Now You: What is your take on the new design. Keep in mind that it is not final at this point.Advertisement