Firefox 3 Getting a Visual Makeover

Software isn't just about functionality anymore, users want brains and beauty. And beauty, as we know, is in the eye of the beholder, which is why the team behind Firefox 3 plans to ditch the unified cross-platform look of the browser in favor of a sexier look tailored to specific operating systems. Rather than a single look across all platforms, which is the way Firefox currently ships, Firefox 3 will feature different skins for Windows XP, Windows Vista, Mac OS X and various Linux distributions. Alex Faaborg, Mozilla's interface designer, posted a note on his blog yesterday about the divergent themes coming for Firefox 3. Echoing the sentiments of many a Mac Firefox user, Faaborg writes, "personally I think a unified cross platform UI results in applications that at best feel foreign everywhere, and at worst don't even feel like real applications."

With both Windows Vista and the upcoming OS X Leopard, there is an increasing focus on sexy visual appeal, and fitting in with the unique visual design each platform has clearly become an integral part of building software. Some might argue that this comes at the expense of new features, but the trend shows no signs of abating. Applications that don't fit the design of an OS stand out like a sore thumb and users shy away from them."The Web browser is an incredibly central piece of the user's operating system, and we don't want the user's initial reaction to be that they have modified their computer to add some type of strange, foreign application," Faaborg writes. "Mozilla's user experience team literally wants to do a better job of visually integrating with Windows than IE, and a better job of visually integrating with OS X than Safari. I don't know if we will be able to pull that off, but that's the goal."

Screenshot: Vista and OSX
View: Full Story
News source: Wired Blog - Compiler

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

RaimaRadio 1.46

Next Story

WYSIWYG Web Builder 4.3.5

63 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Pippin666 said,
Omg it still eats my computer's ressources but now it does it with a better look omg opera is crap!

Pip'

What does Opera have to do with this thread?

Thats actually the best overhaul to date, firefox has had it's theme for years and finally were seeing a change in the winds and the team are listening to peoples ideas.

As long as I can disable it and it conforms to Windows Classic I don't mind.

BTW, please stop using the word "sexy" to describe electronic appliances or boring software, unless you actually want to have intercourse with the things you're describing, that is.

I don't see what the big fuss is about. Just get one of the million user created skins..... Moving buttons and other stuff around isn't necessary imo...

I actually think the Vista screenshot looks more like Windows Explorer, which I guess looks the same as WMP11, but I think they did that to maintain consistency with Windows Explorer more than WMP11.

WarLuigi said,
End of november is not likely they are only at Alpha4.

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.9a9pre) Gecko/2007102105 Minefield/3.0a9pre

Do they have an estimated release date? I'm surprised no one asked this here... A quick search on Google got me nowhere Anyone?

universal looking mean user friendly interface among every platform... now they change this and its a problem at least for people that got used to firefox already

Ehh why mess with a good thing? I anticipate a big ugly blue bubble theme for XP, and I sure hope that we can just remove it and go back to standard theme. Personally, I think Mozilla should be focusing on features, not themes.

I like how it's implemented Aqua widgets, and it's very well done - but I don't like the way text boxes don't glow like they do in Safari. As silly as it sounds this is something I really like in Safari.

i for myself will switch to safari 3 for some time as soon as leopard comes out, the new features seem to be good but i will for sure install firefox 3 right away and then look for what feels best. =)

I was thinking, oh I prefer the way it is now, then I clicked the screenshot
Firefox looks lame on OSX currently, it'll be kick ass if it looks like that!

Some of you are saying firefox + wmp, but what you can see on the screenshot is just a dialog from firefox with a vista look (not especially wmp), so you can't say if the main UI will look the same (I can almost say for sure that it won't). So we'll see, don't make such a hassle about 1 dialog.

Nice, though I didn't know it didn't already do this. I mean doesn't an application normally take on the look of whatever OS it's running on? The OS provides APIs to draw windows, controls, etc.

Not all applications stick with the look of the OS it's on.

For a good example, download Apple's Safari browser for Windows. Looks good on OS X, but on XP it just doesn't look right at all.

rofl...
way overdue, but wtf... firefox + WMP look... COME ON!
mac os x shot = finally a good job, not freaking your look of OS X ;)

Glassed Silver:mac

Uh, you do know that's what Vista looks like, not just Media Player 11. So if you don't have Vista you don't have to worry. It will have the XP look on XP.

TRC said,
Uh, you do know that's what Vista looks like, not just Media Player 11. So if you don't have Vista you don't have to worry. It will have the XP look on XP.

I know but with the tool bar like thing from windows media player 11 is fugly i'm not talking about aero i'm talking about the main organizer programs interface which is based on the way windows media player 11 looks and manages content, it really wouldn't be a wise choice to make firefox look like windows media player 11 ...

Digix said,

I know but with the tool bar like thing from windows media player 11 is fugly i'm not talking about aero i'm talking about the main organizer programs interface which is based on the way windows media player 11 looks and manages content, it really wouldn't be a wise choice to make firefox look like windows media player 11 ...


That's just the Places Organizer.

i sure hope like hell they dont get that IE7 interface (for Firefox 3) as i think it sucks... IE6's (which is similar to firefox 2) was much better!

cause just getting used to IE7 took me a while and i still dont really like it even though technically it's functionality is better than IE6.

me personally i hope theres no major changes as i think the overall layout of Firefox 2 is pretty much perfect as it is... maybe some minor tweaks but any major changes i think will suck.

Looks really good I'll definitely have to give it a try on OS X. I've always in the past been really put off with the Firefox UI when in OS X (although it fits in well with Windows and Linux). Now it looks like it'll finally be viewable without engaging the gag reflex.

Jugalator said,
I agree... That, and the Linux look. I wish they'd include just an XP screenshot too, along with something from either KDE or GNOME.

I hope this makes it into the nightlies real soon so one can give it a personal look.

edit: lol, i'm not alone http://steelgryphon.com/blog/?p=108


I thinks something similar to the OSX style but flatter will look alright

SniperX said,
Can't really say that the screenshots do enough to make a judgement, but thank **** it's getting a visual overhaul!

I agree.

I am quite wowed by the screenshot. It finally complies a lot more with the rest of OS X designs. But it looks way too much like Safari though