It seems some work is underway to give Firefox a much-needed paint job. Firefox Proton – the project is on the move now.
Firefox Proton – is the name of the project which Mozilla is working on right now. The project Proton brings significant UI changes and some in-progress mockups are available (see below). A bug is created in Bugzilla to track the progress of the work.
Before you read, here is a disclaimer. The following information is summarised from the web forums, posts and not official. The design is still in progress and may completely get changed in the final release.
Here is a quick summary with mock-ups of the Firefox Proton design changes.
The design change touches every visual aspect of Firefox. It changes the base color palette – from Orange to Turquoise based palette. The icons (e.g. back, forwards, reload, etc) all look crisp and flat.
The controls such as buttons, checkboxes, sliders have color gradients with a 3D flat look.
Built-in Light, Dark, and custom theme. The themes are also based on the new color palette.
The default new tab may contain feeds from websites with an upcoming calendar event section. I am not sure which app the calendar events are picked up. For example, if you are using GNOME Calendar and Thunderbird both – not sure how Firefox is parsing those. These will reveal as the design change progresses.
On the toolbar and menu, the changes are really good. For example, when you are downloading a file, the download icon animates and shows the download progress.
The Firefox “Open Menu” is changed completely. It’s adaptive based on your usage. Based on the new design it only shows the most used menu items at the top. This is really a good UI change.
The information popup color is changed with a turquoise tone to minimize distraction when viewing a webpage.
When you first launch firefox, the import wizard is completely changed. It is more visually appealing and looks modern as well.
When it will be available?
Firefox Proton changes are expected to be in Firefox 89 which releases on May 18, 2021. However, you may get it in Firefox nightly once it is in a test phase. You can follow the development here.
That said, the changes really looks good. And a much needed visual refresh for Firefox. The turquoise tone looks great and appealing. I hope the changes are widely accepted by users when releases without much debate. On a side note, the orange Firefox logo with “blue” firefox seems not fitting well (personal opinion). For example, the Edge browser logo and base color both are green/blue-based palettes. And they look great together.