Keyhole Coming to OS X and Windows Themes

A lot of people have been asking what our plans are for introducing an iconic form, which was discussed in my previous post The Shape of Things to Come?

Before the code freeze for Beta 3 next week, we are going to land one of the shapes we are considering, which we are calling Keyhole, in the Proto theme for OS X and the new version of our Windows theme. Here is a wireframe of the form:

Firefox 3 Beta 3 will also include revised versions of many of the icons being designed for our new Windows theme by the Iconfactory. The OS X theme Proto will land on land on trunk (we probably need to rename it since it isn’t a prototype theme anymore). Linux has been featuring a native look and feel for awhile now, but the Linux theme will be getting some improvements as well for Beta 3.


  1. Looking forward to seeing how this looks in practice. I’m a big supporter of the ideas in “Shape of things to come” and I think/hope a lot of naysayers will change their minds when they land. Good luck.

  2. That looks a lot like the Flock star button design. I’m glad that design is being picked up elsewhere too, I think it’s a nice idea.


  3. I rather like it. Might be confusing to newbies though, since you have a button inside of a button.

  4. I’m concerned that the forward button is going to be too tiny to comfortably/easily click.
    Also, visually it appears that clicking the right outer rim will bring up the forward history. How will users access the back history?
    Granted this may not be the case, perhaps it brings up a hybrid list or something, but visually this is what it says.

  5. >since you have a button inside of a button.

    That’s just an artifact of the simplified wireframe, the background etch that contains the drop marker will be styled very differently from the buttons in the actual design we are landing.

  6. OK – I’ll just have to see it then. Guess it will land within a week. Any leaks if the colours will be blue or green? :)

  7. It looks great to me, and the fact that you guys have tapped the Iconfactory gives me great hope for the final product.

  8. Why is Linux keeping those GTK old fashion navigation buttons? Doesn’t make sense because they are also ugly.

  9. All that’s OK if there’s an easy way to revert them to normal, sequential, rectangular buttons (like Fx3/GTK). I don’t want a different look every time I reboot.

  10. Looks cool, can’t wait to see it in action. I think the combined back/forward history is one of the things IE7 gets right, and it would be great in Firefox.

  11. I prefered the original idea where the arrows would come appart from eachother, revealing the history button.

  12. Yeah, I think the history in the middle makes more sense but I don’t know. Funnily, this looks more like IE7 except for the asymmetrical back/forward button sizes. But either way, combining the back/forward histories just makes sense since it’s a separation of information that really should just be together.

  13. That looks a lot like the Flock star button design.


  14. I quite like this, even though I like to split my forward a back buttons on to opposite ends of the menu bar.

    I think it’s looks very nice, clean and the functionality seems that is will be clear and obvious.

    It’s better than the version with the history in the middle, which I think was too cramped and cluttered (something that might have been fixable with more margin/padding).

    One problem could be that people think a drop menu is only available for forward navigation. However eventually they should be able to understand since the forward button is clearly inside what is attached to the back button.

  15. An easy option for the back history would be to mirror *just* part of the right hand “background etch containing the drop marker”. I think this would also be a lot clearer for the end user.

    My amateur example can be seen here:

  16. I don’t know about anyone else but I think that the history drop icon idea is a curse.

    I always remove them and simply right click the back or forward button if I need the history.

    Allow us to remove the arrow drop down easily and keep the right click ability and I will love this even if you bring it to Linux. I still want to be able to switch back like Bielawski said though.

  17. I rather like it. Might be confusing to newbies though, since you have a button inside of a button.