Firefox.future theme update mockup

Mozilla’s Stephen Horlander has posted several mockups of an updated Firefox theme on Windows Vista and XP (Strata). Before getting to excited about it, note that these are mere mockups for “brainstoming and exploration only”. Second, the page title suggests it won’t be available until spring next year, the targeted Firefox 3.7 release date.

In the meantime, here’s what’s new:

  • Aero Glass support, another
  • No menu bar, which is becoming a design default on Windows Vista/7. Of course it brings the challenge of how to distribute the many options and actions the menu bar holds without affecting usability or accessibility.
  • A Bookmarks button would take care of a few menu items, probably opening to the bookmarks menu and giving access to the Library.
  • A Tools menu, which would probably collect the most options: the managers (Downloads and Add-ons), Options, Error Console, Import, Private Browsing, help, updates, etc.
  • Page menu, not sure if the tab bar is the best place for it (perhaps the site button?), would collect all page related actions: most of the File menu, zoom, page info, source, style
  • New glyphs, and always visible buttons, necessary to provide enough contrast over Aero Glass.
  • No status bar? I think it’s just an omission, like the scroll bars.

Here’s the mockup on Windows XP, similar to Windows Vista but the Page menu goes just next to Tools.

Another important change is to have theme updates mockups so early in the development cycle giving more opportunity to people to voice their concerns.

One unsolved issue is the Edit menu and tabs/windows restore options, but still I find a very nice update that modernizes Firefox while making it look much more native on Vista/7. I really hope the update can make it for Firefox 3.6 targeted for next North fall (October – December).

What do you think?

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