Stephen Horlander, a Mozilla designer has posted a set of screenshots showing off what may be the the future of Firefox's interface, and it includes some major changes that give it a more modern look.
Mozilla is calling these as "really early mockups". "The UI mock-ups shown on these pages were part of a internal Mozilla meeting, and were for discussion purposes, and to explore different design directions. Some of them are already out of date," stated Mozilla.
Now, one of Firefox's trademark features, the dedicated search bar alongside the address bar, is gone -- it's been replaced by a field that presumably serves both functions, just like the one in Chrome. It's also possible to enter Full Screen Mode, which merges a smaller version of this Awesome Bar and your tabs into a single line, further reducing the browser chrome and leaving more room for content.
Tabs are getting a rounder curve to them (in Firefox 5 they're rectangular), which is very similar to the design in Chrome. Now, Only active tabs are presented with those rounded edges, whereas inactive tabs have very little chrome to them at all.
Also, there's a new 'functionality' menu that includes common tasks (cut, copy, paste, new tab, etc, along with icons for app extensions.
Here're the picutres:
Mozilla works in the open, and the "way to get the latest in UI improvements to Firefox is to download the UX channel build for your OS, which will auto-update every night with various design experiments we're looking at," said the company.