The project marks the first major design refresh for the popular browser since 2017.
Mozilla is preparing to unveil a design refresh for the group’s Firefox web browser. Details at this time are limited, but we do know that the project is being referred to internally as Proton.
The last major design refresh of Firefox was unveiled in Firefox 57, a design known as Photon at that time.
Indeed, when hearing the name Proton, some people might get the idea that this is a typographical error and that it should actually be called Photon. In fact, Mozilla developed the current design of Firefox under the name Photon, which was introduced with Firefox 57 in November 2017. Proton, on the other hand, is the internal project name of the upcoming Firefox design.
Mozilla did change several interface elements after the release of Firefox 57, recently the controversial address bar overhaul that it launched in Firefox 75 Stable.
Mozilla has created a meta bug on Bugzilla as a reference to keep track of the changes. While there are not any mockups or screenshots posted on the site, the names of the bugs provide information on the elements that will get a refresh.
More than just a new look
Proton brings a revamped visual appearance on several levels. This includes, among other things, the display of tabs, the main menu, context menus and information bars. But Proton should be more than just a new look.
Mozilla is also looking at possible improvements to the user experience. For example, a mockup shows tabs placed to the side in compact mode. Another mockup shows the grouping of so-called tab environments as fold-out tabs.
What Mozilla will actually achieve with the introduction of the Proton design cannot be said at this time. Likewise, whether every idea currently in mockup will make it to the final version cannot of course be answered at this point in time. We do, however expect to learn more details over the coming weeks or months.