thunderbird logoMonterail and Thunderbird are now working on the same team.

Yes, that Monterail, the Poland-based development company whose stunning Thunderbird mock-up went viral last year, before becoming a real, working Thunderbird theme.

“We got in touch with […] the Thunderbird core team to discuss possibilities. We wanted to establish how to enhance user retention and make Thunderbird more user-friendly for potential and current users. We also learned how Thunderbird is built which helped with planning iterations,” Monterail’s Krystian Polański explains in a new blog post on the company’s website.

As a result of those discussions, Krystian says, it became clear Thunderbird has a perception issue: people feel it’s stagnant; stuck in time; not as modern looking as email clients like Microsoft Outlook or Apple Mail.

But that’s about to change.

Thunderbird Redesign Survey

thunderbird dark gtk theme
Monterail Dark theme on Ubuntu

As we reported on in December, a big Thunderbird redesign is on the way.

‘Beauty is more than skin deep; will a new lick of paint address the more pressing questions facing the client, like its aging codebase?’

But redesigning an app that is used by more than 25 million people is far from an easy task. Thunderbird’s existing users ought to be involved in the redesign process.

Thus a new research survey has been launched.

It aims to learn what Thunderbird users think about the application’s current design, what they consider its biggest drawbacks, their thoughts on potential changes, and so on — information that will be considered before any actual changes are made to the app itself.

A new design will help improve users’ first impressions and (ideally) improve usability, too. Beauty is more than skin deep; will a new lick of paint address the more pressing questions of what Thunderbird is trying to be, how it’s built and maintained, and how it can keep pace with the ever changing communication needs in the modern world?

Probably not, but they’re at least a start.

Take the survey

The survey itself is pretty short, and pretty to the point. It also doesn’t require your e-mail address, name or blood type (unless you want to give it). I recommended filling it out. Certainly, if you know you want to help improve this open source email client in some way, but don’t know how to contribute, taking and sharing this survey is a good first step

The survey is available @

Just keep in mind that it is early days for this “team up” — so don’t get attached to the idea of Monterail becoming the default theme just yet!

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