Mozilla Firefox introduced a new theme starting with version 89, dubbed the Proton UI. Here’s a screenshot running on macOS Big Sur:

Screenshot showing Firefox 89, with barely discernable UI elements and thin, difficult to read icons.

It’s telling that much of the press coverage has been dedicated to describing how to turn it off. I love Firefox and have been using it (with brief forays into Mozilla Camino) since the Phoenix days, but it hasn’t had a good UI for years.

But here’s Resigned Ruben speaking: I can empathise with Mozilla’s position. Apple, Microsoft, and Google have been trending away from accessibility, contrast, and functional design for a while now with macOS, Windows 10, and Chrome. Firefox had to look the same, or it’d look outdated.

A part of me wishes Mozilla would have a Jean Luc Picard moment from First Contact, and say “here, no further!” though. A browser making a stand for privacy and accessibility would be fantastic. Being similar to other browsers doesn’t seem to be improving their market share.