Mozilla Working on Firefox Redesign to Unify Desktop and Mobile Browsers

Mozilla designers have been pretty busy in the recent past. Mozilla introduced a significant user interface overhaul with Firefox 4, which received somewhat mixed reviews. Since then, Mozilla has periodically tweaked the interface to address many of the complaints. Now, a little more than a year after Firefox 4 was released, Mozilla is gearing up for another significant redesign.

Mozilla’s Stephen Horlander is working on a new design called “Australis” that will unify Firefox’s appearance across platforms and form factors. This includes Firefox for desktop (Windows, Unix, and Mac), Firefox for Android (phones and tablets), and Boot2Gecko.

The most distinctive features of Australis are soft textures, smooth curves, and a streamlined experience. Here’s how Firefox is expected to look in Windows, Mac, and Unix respectively.


As you can see, the tab strip has been redesigned in accordance with Australis’ design principles, and the menu button has been overhauled. It has now been merged with the address bar, and features a completely reworked layout.


Firefox for Mobile already looks a lot like the Australis mockups. It will be tweaked further to bring it in close alignment with its desktop counterpart.


We also know that Mozilla is working on a Metro compatible version of Firefox for Windows 8. Development on that still has a long way to go, but the mockups suggest that Firefox for Metro will look a lot like Firefox for Android tablets.


Although the frequent redesigns might irk some users, it’s hard to not get excited about the Australis mockups. The new design is modern, beautiful, and minimal. You can get a taste of the new Firefox design with the Australis theme that is already available in the Firefox add-on repository. Don’t forget to chime in with your take on the planned Firefox redesign.

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Pallab De

Pallab De is a blogger from India who has a soft spot for anything techie. He loves trying out new software and spends most of his day breaking and fixing his PC. Pallab loves participating in the social web; he has been active in technology forums since he was a teenager and is an active user of both twitter (@indyan) and facebook .

  • mickrussom

    Great with this news, it will now be bad at both!

    They are still trying to copy chrome – badly. Sad. I really, really like
    the massive features and power of Firefox, but the constant memory
    consumption, bloat and general bad behavior still makes this painful. I
    really want Firefox to be as fast as Chrome but have features. But
    lately they remove a lot of things, but its still bloated, slower and
    uses more memory than Chrome. Yes, I’ve created fresh profiles and
    reinstalled by the browser and the profile from scratch – in both OS X
    and Win and Linux. It works the best in Linux, actually, but the other
    two not as well.

    • Pedro Rosado

      wrong, wrong and wrong. Firefox uses less memory than chrome (and i’ve tested it on both linux and windows 7). with just the ad block plus on either firefox and chrome, and with 3 tabs open on the same sites on the 2 browsers, chrome surpassed 300 mb of memory usage while firefox stood stable at 248 mb. Chrome took lots of ideas from firefox and opera, so i rly dont see much of a problem if firefox does the same to evolve on the browser market. Firefox was once my favorite browser, but the stability of chrome made me switch to chrome (on linux only). But firefox is far more customizable and the add ons are way better. most part of google chrome apps are nothing but website bookmarks.

  • trlkly

    No, it’s really easy not to get excited about the redesign, because it’s crap. It adds no functionality, and completely destroys any semblance to a native application. They didn’t move the App button, they got rid of it–that icon means settings–that’s why it exists. They take all this time to get people to use the app button, then they get rid of it. And then, not because they want to, you know, actually give you more space for tabs, etc cetera, they put in several more buttons so you have even less room.

    And then, despite saying they are making it to match mobile, notice how Mobile always looks different, with the new tab button in a different place and colored differently, and looking nowhere near the same. So they ruin the consistency of the OS to not quite integrate the look.

    I’m sorry, but this is crap. And that’s not even getting into how bad the inactive tabs look. And how much less useful the settings button is than the app button, which was brilliant in combining menus and items. Now it takes up more space and is less useful. And why? Again, it’s not in the tablet/ohone version, the one that might actually need bigger buttons.

  • BOOTSY00

    Never Mind