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defcon1
Strollin' around
Status: In development

Make tabs visually distinguishable from another (as they once were)

Lately I can't visually tell where one tab begins and the next begins, except by referencing the "X" (close tab) buttom, since it's all white text on a black background.  How about making them look like actual tabs again or alternating the colors or something?   

The visual appearance should follow the function. Being able to distinguish one tab from another is a functional issue. Compare the attached screenshot (old vs new appearances).  The old way is clearly superior from a functional perspective.

At least give us an option in the Settings. It doesn't have to be a default (though I suggest it should be). 

33 Comments
Ari
New member

My experience is also that I frequently get it wrong which tab is active.

Good luck in finding a better solution!

kalo925
New member

Seems there is an Update, but it stick sux compared to Chrome. I just downloaded chrome again. Just copy chrome! Change is NOT BETTER. 😞

Nich
Making moves

Do as in my photo, and it will be perfect, namely, the line on top of the tab, and on the rest of the tabs with gray strokesfirefox_lNVnVuXF9k.png

vo
Strollin' around

Yes, this is the reason I'm finally commenting. I was hoping the devs would realize it without anyone telling them. It's like they don't use Firefox. If multiple tabs are open (which is pretty much always), all the tabs look the same, flat with the active one being just slightly deeper shade and a barely visible frame.

I appreciate minimalism, but if it hurts functionality so much, it's just art and it's pointless in terms of useful/practical design.

It's very hard on the eyes (I'm using the dark/system mode...guessing the light mode would be the same) to find out which one of e.g. 20 open tabs is the one I've just jumped to and want to go back to the one I previously worked on. Very tiring.

Thanks.

vo
Strollin' around

Hey there, actually I was also very frustrated with this and commented. I remember I was able to do it, but seems like I used this addon (by Firefox) and had to remove it because something was not working properly: Firefox Color

vincentj
Making moves

Hi @Jon @rayf Any update on this?  It moved to "in development" over 7 months ago... when can we expect this to be delivered?  Can we at least see the designs so we can provide feedback before it gets shipped instead of after?

rayf
Employee
Employee

@vincentj- Thanks for the follow up. We actually tested an updated tab contrast concept in Nightly a few cycles back. We decided to back out the change based on the feedback we received.

Moving forward, we have a plan to use a phased approach to address this request. The next update will likely land around release Fx113.

vincentj
Making moves

@rayfThanks for the update.  Is there any way to see these designs without downloading Nightly?  I have been digging through Firefox Nightly News, nightly release notes, the accessibility and nightly chat channels, assorted Bugzilla tickets, other ideas/discussions on this site, and various web searches, with no luck.  I would love to follow along with the progress on this but I just don't know where else to look.

rar45
Strollin' around

Has this been released?

I am still having a lot of trouble determining which is the current tab - I use the purple theme and it takes me a few moments to locate the current tab - very faint outline around it.  If I have enough tabs open, it is easier to look for the "X" (i.e. close button).

Thanks, -randy

ff.png

bhandscomb
Making moves

Just had a quick peek at Firefox 115 ESR on a laptop I don't normally use Firefox on and seems tabs are still an indistinguishable mess with the exception of the active tab.

IMHO this means for me the "easiest to use" Firefox ESR out of the box is still v78 (of regular Firefox 88), pre-Proton.

In most cases though I've been on 102 ESR for a while with a whole bunch of CSS fixes to make tabs look like tabs again i.e. visually distinguishable!