Firefox’s redesigned user interface, nicknamed “Australis”, inches ever closer. The latest move is its appearance in the browser’s Nightly build, which suggests we’ll be seeing it in the mainline version in the near future. Quite a few brave users have already given it a try and the early results are in… and they’re not positive. According to a report published by Mozilla, less than 20 per cent of users are happy with the new UI.
The report, posted to the Firefox developer mailing list yesterday, collates 190 “pieces of feedback” with a breakdown of opinions on Australis and the new version in general. The criticisms with the most overwhelming responses are “generic anti-change” and a lack of customisation options.
Now, there are a few points to consider. Firstly, 190 isn’t a large sample and secondly, you’re naturally going to have resistance when introducing a new look to your application. As for customisation, unsurprisngly you’re going to have issues with add-ons and extensions with a new browser version.
That said, I doubt it’s the type of response Mozilla was hoping for. To add insult to injury, it’s already possible to download an add-on called “Classic Theme Restorer” that transforms the UI back to its classic look.