firefox 57 photon start page

More screenshots of Firefox’s Photon redesign have surfaced online.

The new screenshots continue to reveal more details about the upcoming redesign, including the purpose of the library button, the behaviour of side panels, and the new-look main menu.

Mozilla Firefox 57 is set to arrive in November. The release will be a major one shipping with a number of significant changes, including the “Photon” redesign on show in these mockups. 

Firefox Photon

Interestingly the latest batch of screenshots tell us there will be light and dark mode options, as well normal, touch and compact spacing of key interface elements.

We also get a closer look at the new start-page, aka ‘Activity Stream’, that is currently testing as part of Mozilla TestPilot.

Activity Stream replaces the standard speed-dial start-page when opening a new tab. You still get quick access to your most frequented and favourite sites, but you may also see Pocket suggestions (Mozlla purchased Pocket earlier this year) based on what’s visible in these screenshots. 

firefox photon theme dark

New Main Menu

I’ve never been a fan of the over-sized icons that make up the bulk of the Firefox main menu. And in Photon, they’re gone.

The new main menu is a classic vertical list, with one entry per line. These items cannot be re-ordered. The new menu optimises the use of space allowing more actions to be visible, and takes fewer clicks to do what you need.

firefox 57 photon - main menu

Fans of the old “customize” view for tailoring the toolbar needn’t panic. This feature is still around, albeit in a different place.

photon firefox customize page

You’ll notice that the “flexible space” option it back. This handy expander last made an appearance in Firefox 28.

The new Library button on the toolbar is revealed to be an all-in-one place for browsing your recently viewed pages, bookmarks, history, downloads, and synchronized tabs.

Photon also introduces cute new designs for error, connection and warning pages:

firefox error graphics

You can see more screenshots over on Sören Hentzschel’s blog. While the text is in German you can get a gist of what’s on show from the screenshots.

Users will be able to get their first hands-on with the new interface when it arrives in the Aurora channel later this summer.

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