October 26th, 2009
Linux Theme Refresh
In many ways working on concepts for the Linux theme has probably been more challenging than for the Mac and Windows themes. Probably the most difficult part is the absence of a unified look and feel.
There are many flavors of Linux with various themes. As well as two major desktop environments along with several other minor ones. All with their own unique style. Even though it’s challenging one really great thing about working on a Linux theme is how amazing these environments are looking now.
As I stated in my post about the Mac theme refresh one of the goals has been a greater cross platform visual consistency. This shouldn’t necessarily come at the expensive of a native look however. For 3.0 a lot of fantastic work was done on making Firefox on Linux use native controls and icons. It would be really nice to balance that with picking up some of the same ideas from the Windows and Mac theme.
Refresh for Firefox 3.7
In addition to theme and UI changes already discussed for Firefox 3.7 and 4.0, there are some proposed Linux specific visual changes:
- Consistent Back/Forward Buttons: Use the same back/forward shape as on the other platforms. The back button would use the same texture as the other buttons however it would be round and larger.
- Buttons vs Icons: Switching to a button+glyph style for the toolbar items. This would be instead of the more representational style that is widely used. It also is a deviation from the common system standard of having icons and then a button shape on hover.
- Curvier Tab Shape: Match the tabs to the proposed tabs on Windows and Mac while keeping the native texture and color.
- Removing Toolbar Separators: Goes a ways towards reducing visual complexity as well as external consistency.
Alternative Icon Treatment
Another idea would be to include the back/forward shape but use traditional icons instead of glyphs everywhere else. However this looks a little strange and doesn’t meet the goal of cross platform consistency.
How Would This Look with Various System Themes
As I talked about above there are a wide variety of distinct themes available for Linux. The most ideal approach to this would be to use the native button style, theme specific icons and replace the glyphs based on color scheme.
Some examples of how this could work out:
Refresh for Firefox 4.0
As discussed perviously a goal for 4.0 is to reduce the UI footprint of Firefox. Adding tabs to the top of the UI accomplishes this (along with other things).
Please keep in mind this is all customizable.
For this configuration the menubar would be hidden and Page and Tools menu buttons would be aded to the toolbar. The titlebar would extend down behind the tabs.
Ongoing Discussion and Feedback
If you would like to leave feedback on these designs or just follow along there are few places to do that. You can comment on this blog or visit the Linux Theme Refresh wiki page.
This entry was posted on Monday, October 26th, 2009 at 12:58 pm and is filed under Firefox. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.