Learn more about the design of the new Firefox version 29

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The latest Firefox (version 29 and above) includes visual improvements to streamline and unify the interface as well as new features to make it more efficient and easier to customize. We'll take a look at these changes and the thinking behind them.

Note: This applies to the latest Firefox Beta version which can be downloaded from mozilla.org/beta.

A simplified main interface

The efficiency of using Firefox depends on how quickly and effortlessly you can get to the features you use. Instead of overwhelming you with all options, we identified features that most people use most of the time based on heat map studies. Then we gave those features primary placement alongside the address bar and search field. Limiting the number of controls in the primary interface makes those that are there much quicker to find. Keeping the browser simple and clean also helps you better focus on the content of the webpage.

This thinking shows up in how carefully and sparingly the default toolbar is filled. It also shows up in the new way tabs are presented. They sit higher in the title bar and background tabs are visually de-emphasized, leaving a space that’s uncluttered and calm.

New tabs and toolbar - Win8

A handy new menu

While the main interface only contains the most commonly used functions, it is crucial to be able to access functions you need occasionally without hunting for them in menus and sub-menus. To accomplish this, the latest Firefox introduces a new menu that opens by clicking the menu button on the far right of the toolbar. Features like Zoom, Find in Page and Print are conveniently put into the menu, and represented by icons so that they are easy to recognize and click on. The new menu opens when you need it and helps get things done instead of getting in the way.

New Menu - Win8

An easy-to-discover customization interface

The browser is an essential tool for people’s online life and everyone uses it differently. We believe that you deserve a personalized browsing experience that caters to just your needs. By adding the customize button on the bottom of the menu panel, we wanted to increase the discoverability of the new customization page so that you can customize Firefox just the way you want.

The new customization page allows you to prioritize functions in the menu, toolbar and tabbar by simply dragging them to the desired position. For instance, if you don't use the search field you can simply drag it out of the toolbar or into the menu as needed.

Give it a try:

  1. Click the menu button The image "new fx menu" does not exist. and choose Customize.
    Customize Fx 29 Win8
  2. When you are done, click the green Exit Customize button.

Of course, there are many more tools than those that come with Firefox by default. One of the best things about Firefox has always been the availability of thousands of additional features built as Firefox Add-ons. The new customization interface allows adding and moving add-ons between toolbar and the new menu. This gives you the ability to have exactly the right set of features, built-in or added-on, in the same places in the interface.

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