March 18, 2011

Firefox 5 UI mock-ups; New concepts emerge

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The guys at Mozilla never sleep. The machine seems to chug on and on to develop and release iterations after another. With Firefox 4 RC barely out (and the final version still to be released on March 22), the Firefox dev team has already started with the UI designs of what may seem like the next version of browser – Firefox 5.

The current mockups showcase ‘desktop apps’ which, I think, are ‘App Tabs with site specific functionality’. Similar to IE9‘s pinned sites.

The ‘search-bar’ will also get a facelift with ergonomically better UI. Different search engines will have different colored buttons so even a user with less peripheral vision can notice which search engine is being used.

Also, the enabling and updating process of add-ons will also undergo some time and effort saving enhancements. Mozilla aims to provide two sections for add-ons, a section that enlists automatically installed add-ons and a section that shows user-installed ones. Also, the add-on compatibility check, which previously required up to 12 steps, will now be streamlined to just 8.

Finally, it looks like Mozilla is keen on spreading the use of Firefox Sync, making it clearly visible and prominent in the new UI. From the default start page (about:home) to the Remember Password and Edit Bookmarks dialogs, you will probably find an option to set up/manage Firefox Sync.

AWPY will feature with Panorama mockups soon. It is important to make a note here that any of these mockups may change anytime. The designers are still in the process of brainstorming. Those using the pre-release versions of Firefox (i.e Minefield), might see some of the changes mentioned here in the weeks to follow. Might.

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