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Thunderbird new design: improve "cranky old user recovery" path

Making moves

Bad title, I know, but it's several bits of sillyness...

With the new design, the "Get Messages" and "Compose" buttons move from the, uh, main toolbar? to the folder pane toolbar. Subjectivity aside, if one removes this toolbar, access to both buttons dissappears. I was familiar with the customize function; I would not necessarily expect my dad to know this.


I've got a few thoughts on this:


 - If I'm already a TB user, I'm not bound to want an UI change. It's disorienting to open a program that I trust specifically because of how little it changes (i.e.: how predictable it is), and suddenly find the UI so aggressively different. I believe if it was only the positioning changes or the styling changes alone I'd feel less strongly, but both at the same time felt frustrating. I personally consider it a good gesture, and well-thought software maintainership, when changes like this, which are mostly user-revertable anyways, are only implemented for new installs, with existing installs staying as-is. Maybe add a doorhanger or w/e those are called telling me hey, we've got a new design, want to check it out, which I might be receptive to if given the choice first.

  - This feels like a "wontfix: will be in final/stable because who is silly enough to use beta and also not want the new changes", which is fair 😛

- If I remove what seems like an optional/very context specific toolbar, specially given it's a new thing that I might not enjoy, and extra-specially where the functionality isn't gone, maybe automatically put those buttons in the "old" place so that they're not lost. Since I expected my "main" toolbar buttons to be the same as before, the first thing I did was removing the folder pane toolbar; this left me confused when looking for the "get messages" button, which I didn't realise had been moved.

- The folder pane toolbar has an overflow/hotdog menu with one single lonely option to hide the toolbar. This is silly.


Thunderbird Team
Thunderbird Team

Thank you for posting. 

Sounds like you are testing the beta version.  It is natural to be uncomfortable with change, and there are certainly some interesting changes starting with this beta. It is a major refresh with important new ideas which may take some time to get comfortable with. And is still being finished and improved.  Please check the release notes - there is much information there, including why this release is different and will be incomplete for a few more weeks to complete the development and improvements. Plus there are pointers to a beta forum.

One of the interesting changes is the toolbar at the top. This is an area that is very much not yet complete and needs a migration of buttons from your prior toolbar, so please reserve judgement for a few weeks. It is now a unified toolbar which will be shared across multiple panes. Please see

Hope this helps.


Wayne, Community Manager, Thunderbird