• Modern user interface design

    Home » Forums » Outside the box » Rants » Modern user interface design


    This has been inspired by the Firefox Proton update but has been brewing for a while, at least since iOS 7…

    I’m really getting fed up with these modern flat-coloured user interfaces. Part of the reason why dark mode is such a necessity for some is because the current obsession with solid white designs can be hard on the eyes. It’s like we’re going back to Windows 3.1 and 16-colour UIs, even though we have millions of colours, and therefore shades, to choose from. Why can’t they just use softer shades?

    4 users thanked author for this post.
    Viewing 9 reply threads
    • #2369067

      Yeah the latest Firefox up date is blinding. If it’s not broke don’t fix it.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2369114

      Yes indeed, and right now Firefox isn’t broken, it just needs security updates!  Please listen Mozilla, you’re going to lose loyal users like me if this malarky keeps up!

      Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you recognize a mistake as soon as you make it again.

      • #2369507

        Mainstream Firefox = new features with more point release updates and experimental bloat.
        Firefox ESR = Security Only (SO) with functionality based on the 78.x.x series.

        Although Firefox ESR(SO) will optionally be the same as Firefox 91 with the possibility to stick with older ESR 78.12-78.15 (SO) before moving to Firefox ESR 91(SO) based on Firefox 91.3 scheduled for a merge on November 2nd 2021.
        more info: Here

        Keeping IT Lean, Clean and Mean!
    • #2369213

      It’s all about fashion, not usability. The people who like the new Firefox design on the Firefox subreddit comment about its aesthetics, how it looks fresh and modern, while the people who dislike it comment on the wasted space, low contrast, lack of connection of tabs to content, and things like that. One set of people is looking at the body style and paint job, while the other is looking at whether the thing is going to work as well as last year’s model.

      The quest to appear “modern” is as much a moving target as clothing-oriented fashion, while human brains still process information just as they did hundreds of years ago. Something that by design has to keep changing is not a good match for something quite static, like how people think.

      Every new version of Firefox makes me wonder if this is the one that will drive me away. As long as I can fix most of the latest batch of Mozilla mistakes, I am inclined to put off the inevitable move for another month, since anything based on Chromium is just so bad, and I don’t know if Waterfox can sustain the effort to back out the errors. It is not merely a likelihood that one of these Firefox blunders will finally push me away. At this point, I consider it a certainty, with the only question being whether it will be “soon,” “very soon,” or “probably when the next version comes in a month.”


      Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
      XPG Xenia 15, i7-9750H/16GB & GTX1660ti, KDE Neon

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2369287

      Will making a restore point right before updating enable me to go back to the previous version 88.0.1 of FF I have on Win 7?  This is probably too simple, but thought I’d ask anyway.

      Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you recognize a mistake as soon as you make it again.

      • #2369317

        @Charlie – I can’t speak to the issue of extensions or add-ons, but regarding the “look” of 89.0, it really isn’t much different than previous versions. The hamburger menu is considerably condensed, so you might want to consider displaying tool and menu bars, if you haven’t already, before you move to 89; the bars get carried over with no changes as near as I can tell. The 2 biggest immediately obvious visual changes are that my start page icons are rounded and smaller and that tabs are rounded and appear to “float” above the main content of a web page.

        That’s just my opinion of course, and as they say YMMV.

        Seems to me you might be able to test 89 and revert to 88 more easily in your Mint set-up (as I recall you either dual boot with W7 and Mint or have another computer with just Mint). If you still have the installation usb flash drive you could boot from that and then try to update FF to 89 and try it out.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2369511

          Okay I got it, and it’s bearable, but cheaper and chintzier.  Mozilla says this is in response to what people are asking for?  Must be mostly the people on flip phones that want this.

          Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you recognize a mistake as soon as you make it again.

          2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2369520

            I agree, it is cheaper and chintzier, and I prefer the 88 version. From all the talk about 89 I thought it was going to be unrecognizable and require learning a new browser. So I was just trying to say that the actual changes don’t seem very drastic. I’m definitely not an FF fanboy.

            And, to address the title of this thread, I think most modern interface designs are worse than older ones, and are basically updates for the sake of updates. Frankly I think the whole software update situation is ridiculous and it seems sometimes that I spend more time on the update journey than I do at the destination of actually getting something useful done.

            2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2369318

        You don’t restore OS just for restoring from non-liked installed app.
        First use portable apps so you can just delete app’s folder and download previous version… if you desire.
        I use Portable Firefox 78.11 ESR.

        Mozilla Firefox, Portable Edition 89.0

        2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2369295

      Restoring using the restore point is one step in going back, but with auto-update turned on your system will update to Firefox 89 again.  So learn how to backup profile instead, and also how to block updates.  IMO if you don’t like unexpected change Firefox ESR is a better choice.

      • #2369501

        I’ve always had Firefox’s update set to Check for updates but let me decide when to install them.  I don’t like or trust letting programs updating themselves.  As far as I know this has not changed in FF 89.

        Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you recognize a mistake as soon as you make it again.

        • #2369529

          I have my non-Linux FF updates set up the same as you do. On Win 8.1 (and Win 7) that same update method continues to work in exactly the same way in 89 as it did in 88. I typically wait a few days before installing an update just to see if anyone reports bad things.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2369342

      I’d though this was a discussion on “modern interfaces” in general, but as it turns out, is one on the current look and feel of FireFox, just another browser for which there are probably better options, and one that I rarely use. Oh, well …

      Ex-Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7); since mid-2017 using also macOS. Presently on Monterey 12.15 & sometimes running also Linux (Mint).

      MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
      Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
      macOS Monterey; browsers: Waterfox "Current", Vivaldi and (now and then) Chrome; security apps. Intego AV

      • #2369745

        I first noticed the new, stark, minimalist, black & white, grey & white, occasionally some blue allowed here and there, “modern” interface when Adobe Acrobat Reader DC used it.  I’m not sure who did it first, but Win 10 is like that too.

        Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you recognize a mistake as soon as you make it again.

      • #2369874

        I had a response written out but then the site went down just as I submitted it!

        I suppose Firefox was just the most recent one that made me post the rant but as I said, I think it goes back as far as iOS 7. It started with Windows 8 to some extent but it wouldn’t be the worst offender. Same with Windows 10 because I found that even changing the menu bar colour helps a lot. Another recent example is VMware Workstation 15 and 16; I have a licence for 16 but it looks awful with the solid white UI.

        Regarding Firefox ESR, unfortunately I feel it’s a “kick the can down the road” situation; it’ll catch up eventually. I was a big fan of Waterfox Classic but stopped using it about a year ago as more sites became unusable in it. I’ve been reluctant to touch any Chromium based browser but may have no choice in the matter.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2369457

      FWIW I do not want a ‘phone app’ gui on my computer. W 10 is bad enough but my browser (where I spend the vast majority of my time) can not be so counter functional (and just plain plain). I will be using Pale Moon until such time ( I hope it never comes to that, but life is uncertain) as I can not do to usability. For now I am happy with my few extensions.


      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2370713

      Regarding the new UI introduced with Firefox 89, Dedoimedo has a critique and lament.

      Techies don’t care about bling, they care about functionality and efficiency. When you make their search box almost indistinguishable from the background, they care. When they need extra mouse clicks to find a desired option, they care.

      I don’t have FF89 on any of my PCs yet. If you don’t care for the new UI, fortunately there seems to be a way to turn it off (for now) in about:config with browser.proton.enabled –> false.


      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2371107

      I’m getting more accustomed to it as I use it more, but I prefer black and white to grey and white.  Also, I’d like to have my bookmark folders be yellow like they were.  Other than those two items, it’s really not too bad.

      Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you recognize a mistake as soon as you make it again.

    • #2377647

      It looks like Firefox 91 may have helped a little. The betas are now respecting the accent colour like version 87 and earlier did. It adds a bit of contrast to the interface rather than the solid white mess that it was, so that might be enough to keep me happy. In the meantime, I have the new UI disabled via browser.photon.enabled but this is being removed in 91.

    Viewing 9 reply threads
    Reply To: Modern user interface design

    You can use BBCodes to format your content.
    Your account can't use all available BBCodes, they will be stripped before saving.

    Your information: