We’ve entered a new year, and 2021 is the year Firefox gets a long-overdue makeover. The design refresh goes by the name of Proton, and in the coming months you’ll be able to try out what is not just a new look, but also a user experience improvement.
While it is some time until the Proton design rolls out to the stable version of Firefox that most people are using, you can expect Mozilla to give sneak peeks in the Beta, Developer and Nightly builds rather sooner. So, just what do we have to look forward to?
A previous new design for Firefox went by the codename of Photon, but this was way back in version 57 of the browser. The upcoming (and similarly-named) Proton redesign is due for release when Firefox 89 lands in mid-May. Among the areas of the browser that are getting an updated look are context menus, the menu Firefox menu, as well as infobars and more.
Tabs are also in line for a number of key changes including new grouping options, and a new vertical alignment when the browser is running in compact mode. Design mockups also show that Firefox’s context menu is getting a dark look, and the address bar is also getting an overhaul. As it is very early days, however, it is entirely possible that what is released later in the year will be rather different.
New year, new look
As we mentioned previously, there is currently no way to test out the Proton look as it is still undergoing internal development with Mozilla. However, if you are using the Beta, Developer or Nightly build of Firefox, there is a setting you can change to ensure that you get access to the revamped interface as soon as possible:
- Launch Firefox and pay a visit to about:config
- Search for browser.proton.enable
- Configure the setting to true
- Restart Firefox
It is impossible to say exactly when you will see anything new, but with the setting enabled you can be sure to clamp your eyes on the new look as soon as it is possible to do so – and this should be well before the planned May rollout to the stable branch.