New Firefox design to provide uniformity across platforms

A new design for Firefox will create an interface that's consistent across both mobile and desktop platforms, according to a recent report by Ars Technica. Mozilla recently combined its desktop and mobile design teams to create the uniform appearance. The new design scheme is part of the company's "Kilimanjaro initiative," which Mozilla is terming as an "integration milestone" that will be set across its product line, creating an interoperable experience.

According to Ars Technica's report, Mozilla is creating a design language that will incorporate similar elements across platforms including Android, Metro-based environments and traditional desktop environments. An example of the design language the company is aiming for can be seen below.

The new design, called Australis, was developed by Stephen Horlander and will bring a more round look to the interface, complete with curved tabs akin to Google Chrome. Australis will also incorporate a simpler menu system, which includes merging the bookmark star and bookmark menu. While the appearance won't be identical across platforms, key elements such as the design's curved nature will be consistent. On Android tablets and the iPad, for instance, tabs will still appear at the left side of the Firefox app, as the currently do; in Windows RT, however, the Firefox app will feature tabs which are more consistent with the Metro style located at the top, as seen below. 

A release target for Australis is not currently listed on the feature's page on the Mozilla wiki. The company's Kilimanjaro wiki page lists a proposed target date of Sept. 2012 for platform interoperability.

Images via Ars Technica

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43 Comments

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remixedcat said,
uhhh they should focus more on bloat control and stability rather then mindless UI changes that nobody cares about...

Amen. MS's Internet Explorer is looking better and better.

I just can't wit to see them actually put the design up in action so I can get my hands on it.. had enough mockups now where's the real thing?

Agree with commenters above about Firefox on Android, the release channel in the Play store is god awful. Recommend you try Aurora, their dev channel (v14), which is quite a bit improved. They recently moved to v14 which has introduced a bunch of problems, but the last few v13 builds were pretty good if you want to find them on the Mozilla FTP somewhere. I'm running CM9 nightlies on an HP TouchPad though, so I find myself switching between browsers a lot because X won't play Flash, Y crashes if you have 4+ tabs etc etc, so my experiences may not be entirely correct!

Interestingly, while the terrible release FF looks basically like the image above, Aurora on Android has the tabs coming down from the top of the screen with the tab button on the right hand side like the Metro image...

Now if they could make mobile Firefox less of a system resource Godzilla. I installed the latest version on my Android phone (not a weakling, either). It gobbled up memory and CPU even when I wasn't running the thing (Taskmanager proved that). Within an hour my battery was drained. I don't know what the H Firefox was doing, but I deleted that POS quickly. I exclusively use Firefox on my desktop and laptop, was looking forward to syncing my bookmarks to my phone. But that mobile version is simply horrid.

fuzi0719 said,
Now if they could make mobile Firefox less of a system resource Godzilla. I installed the latest version on my Android phone (not a weakling, either). It gobbled up memory and CPU even when I wasn't running the thing (Taskmanager proved that). Within an hour my battery was drained. I don't know what the H Firefox was doing, but I deleted that POS quickly. I exclusively use Firefox on my desktop and laptop, was looking forward to syncing my bookmarks to my phone. But that mobile version is simply horrid.

Definitely a problem when a company tries to make one Operation System, or Application, or User Interface to be same for two entirely separate platforms/form factors. Microsoft will learn or is learning their mistake with Windows-8, will Mozilla recognize this with its new Firefox?

I personally don't like rounded designs in apps, whether they are on PC or mobile. Too cartoon-like and old.

I do like that they are unifying it across the platforms though, was long overdue!

Mozilla makes cool UI concepts in my opinion, but they can't seem to get out of the concept stage. And if they ever do the design will by that time be outdated.

Lol what redesign again? My are they lost. Why not focus on advancing *just* the rendering engine and leave a perfectly working UI alone. Chrome seems to get it and isn't fooling around with the UI constantly.

Isn't it already inconsistent if on the desktop on the top left is home whereas on tablets and mobile (on which it is on the other side for some reason) there's a new window button?

Good to see them dropping the separate search bar though.

LaXu said,
Isn't it already inconsistent if on the desktop on the top left is home whereas on tablets and mobile (on which it is on the other side for some reason) there's a new window button?

Good to see them dropping the separate search bar though.

Mostly consistent, but I find it odd how the new tab button is on the right in the Win8 concept. The system UI uses the left for app management and right for system management. I think it would make more sense to have it on the left like everything else.

pack34 said,

Mostly consistent, but I find it odd how the new tab button is on the right in the Win8 concept. The system UI uses the left for app management and right for system management. I think it would make more sense to have it on the left like everything else.

it's only on the right in the rendered image, in the top concept it's on the left

Well, since more people still use FF, how about Google Chrome goes away? Don't like that so much do ya? I agree with Meph., it's all about following the web standards. That's why W3C exists.


...and I didn't hit reply X-(

Ci7 said,
resistance is futile!


I switched to Safari years ago because I couldn't deal with Mozilla's cross-platform junk anymore so it seems like resistance is pretty effective and extremely easy as well.

Mainer82 said,
Awful in my opinion.... Please still allow me to move my bookmarks button to the left of the screen.


You will be allowed

I can't await the news: Firefox uses now Webkit engine now.
It looks like chrome... It's time that it feels like Chrome

thekim said,
I can't await the news: Firefox uses now Webkit engine now.
It looks like chrome... It's time that it feels like Chrome

"I'm not creative enough to come up with a real comment"

Varemenos said,

"I'm not creative enough to come up with a real comment"

If you don't see the similarities I can't help you. This is 1:1 the chrome concept.

thekim said,
I can't await the news: Firefox uses now Webkit engine now.

............................... Seriously? You want to reduce competition on the Web even more? Doing so would cause more harm that good. Mozilla will never do this. And I don't see how WebKit is superior, anyway.

They need Gecko to run their UI, as well.

Meph said,

............................... Seriously? You want to reduce competition on the Web even more? Doing so would cause more harm that good. Mozilla will never do this. And I don't see how WebKit is superior, anyway.

They need Gecko to run their UI, as well.

ok... It was not clear... I was just joking. A little sarcasm, nothing serious.

But to give you an answer on your serious question: Yes, I would like to reduce competition in explicit this case. Webkit is free, opensource, fast and if every browser would use it, we had no more compatibility issues. A too much fragmented market is not good.

thekim said,
ok... It was not clear... I was just joking. A little sarcasm, nothing serious.

Oh lol. Sorry, I didn't realise.

But we wouldn't have compatibility issues if all layout engines followed Web standards, and Mozilla and Opera seem to be the only ones championing that, at the moment.

Meph said,

Oh lol. Sorry, I didn't realise.

But we wouldn't have compatibility issues if all layout engines followed Web standards, and Mozilla and Opera seem to be the only ones championing that, at the moment.

No problem.

Web standards a great. But many things are not defined. In example: Forms. Often I could cry because forms has different sizes or distances because there is no rule which define this. So you need to make a style sheet for every browser. In CSS3 we have the prefix crap. -webkit-transition, -moz-transition, -o-transition and there is no end in sight.

thekim said,

Webkit is free, opensource, fast and if every browser would use it, we had no more compatibility issues. A too much fragmented market is not good.

Gecko too is free , opensource , fast (well i cant help your perception , Firefox 9+ is fast IMO) . Having another engine is good for web. So many times we see Gecko technologies being ported to other engines , say Do not track and similarly we see WebKit supported standards coming to Gecko etc. If all browsers use WebKit , i guess we will see a decline in performance. Its like if everyone uses IE6 and all sites support IE6 standards , we are good to go! And the browser Chrome you are bragging about has used so much of Gecko codes and methodology! The crankshaft is again used as a competitor to JIT. And the looks , umm lets not talk about them when every software/OS is taking stuff from each other to make something better

thekim said,
I can't await the news: Firefox uses now Webkit engine now.
It looks like chrome... It's time that it feels like Chrome

Competing rendering engines is a good thing. If there was only webkit then standards would be meaningless as it doesn't matter what the standard is, just how webkit displays it. Thus making a greater barrier to entry for anyone trying to create a start up to compete with it.

pack34 said,

Competing rendering engines is a good thing. If there was only webkit then standards would be meaningless as it doesn't matter what the standard is, just how webkit displays it. Thus making a greater barrier to entry for anyone trying to create a start up to compete with it.

many companys work on webkit. Google, Apple, KDE, Nokia, Adobe, Samsung... many more. I think there is no greater thing when everybody work on the same thing for one standard in the web. If webkit, Gecko or whatever, I don't care. But I think Webkit has the best conditions for that.

thekim said,

ok... It was not clear... I was just joking. A little sarcasm, nothing serious.

But to give you an answer on your serious question: Yes, I would like to reduce competition in explicit this case. Webkit is free, opensource, fast and if every browser would use it, we had no more compatibility issues. A too much fragmented market is not good.

a word of advise then, when using sarcasm on the internet include a /s at the end, helps as an indicator

BTW chrome doesn't have rounded tabs... , they are quite edgy , its just that both UIs have trapezium tabs.

And the Kilimanjaro logo looks like Netscape