Here’s how Firefox’s “Proton” redesign will tweak the browser UI
Mozilla is working on a major redesign for its desktop Firefox browser. But before the final product is released to consumers — sometime in mid-May — we have an early glimpse of what the updated browser will look like.
Code-named “Proton,” the Firefox redesign was first teased by Mozilla earlier this month. Now, the company has shared a few mockups (via Techdows) that reveal the subtle visual changes Firefox will undergo when version 90 is released.
Techdows reports Mozilla is planning to tweak a handful of Firefox UI elements, including the address bar, toolbar, tabs bar, hamburger menu, info bars, and door hangers. In one of the mockups, we can see that Mozilla will make it easier than ever to customize the look of the New Tab Page. Users will be able to choose their theme of choice, a background, and toggles for Top Sites and Pocket recommendations.
Mozilla will also allegedly change the hamburger menu in Firefox. One of the biggest changes will be making the menu less overwhelming. In the current version, when you click on the hamburger menu, about 20 options are presented, from opening new tabs to changing the zoom and more. Going forward, your Firefox menu will only show items that you frequently use. If you don’t see the setting you want, you can expand the menu to see more.
Finally, it appears the new Firefox update will also introduce rounded tabs, which refines the overall look of the browser. The current version of Firefox uses sharper corners.
You can actually try some of these new features out if you’re curious about the changes. Firefox makes it easy to tweak developer settings by typing “about:config” in the address bar. Then search for “Proton” and toggle the browser.proton.enabled option to “true.” Mozilla warns that tweaking these features could have a negative impact on performance.
You can follow Mozilla’s progress on the Proton update for Firefox at the company’s wiki. If you’re uncomfortable with testing out features that are still in development, we expect Firefox 90 to be released in mid-May so it won’t be much longer before the redesigned version hits. In the meantime, you can use other new features that have officially been released, including pinch-to-zoom and HTTPS-only mode.