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.