"It’s not an interface adjustment or tweak. It’s not a bug fix. It’s a complete re-envisioning of Firefox’s user experience, and it’s been brewing for the past five years," +Jennifer Morrow says in her blog. Jennifer serves +Mozilla Firefox as the senior designer at Mozilla. This will be the biggest redesign since version 4 which brought us a much cleaner and faster Firefox experience and retired the 3.x design. The new aesthetic is being called Australis, and has already been released to all platforms though as of this writing it is not yet packaged by +openSUSE, though it can be found in the Mozilla community repository.
Australis has been designed to address some idiosyncrasies and deliver a consistent user experience. Users familiar with +Google Chrome will see some strong similarities in the redesign such as the tabs and menu placement. I feel however, that's about where the similarities end. Jennifer Morrow says, "This is when user experience design is most effective: when it envisions the system as a whole. When it steps away from the trees and sees the forest holistically."
Firefox 29 is doing more than simply delivering a pretty face, and is bringing the ability to easily customize buttons and toolbars via a simple and intuitive drag and drop interface. I think however, it is clear that this release is far more about user experience and aesthetics. In my tests the workflow is negligibly different. Performance may have taken a hit though, the responsiveness is sluggish and page rendering slower.
|Firefox 29 with GNOME addons|
You can read more about Firefox 29 on the blog of Jennifer Morrow.