Australis is the name for the new design of Firefox‘s interface, currently in development. The proposed design will mean future versions of Firefox will be less customizable, which for many years has been one of it’s more popular features.
The new design is looking much more minimal. This follows the lead of Google Chrome, which has been eating into the markets of other browsers using simplicity and speed, while not offering the customization options of Firefox.
The proposed new Australis interface is in very early stages, and currently very much under discussion. Here are the current proposed changes:
- Join the Stop and Reload buttons into a single button for customizing,
like the back/forward buttons.
- Prevent back, forward, url bar, stop and reload buttons from leaving
the nav-bar or overflowing out of view, while still allowing them to be
- Remove the ability to hide the Navigation Toolbar.
- Toolbars that are collapsed will not be visible while customizing.
- Remove the add-on bar from the core product.
- Remove primary UI for adding custom toolbars.
Apparently a common Firefox user complaint is ‘disappearing navigation buttons’, as a result of customization. These proposed changes would prevent customizations moving those buttons, but this will result in many popular current customizations being broken.