Mozilla Labs have revealed a new design for the New Tab page in Firefox. It’s designed to be zero-configuration and minimally distracting to users. The current version divides the New Tab page into contextual actions on the left and quick-access to sites on the right side. The list of sites is driven by the concept of frecency (jargon for frequent + recent) with support for RSS feeds on sites which appear in the list. Here’s a screenshot of how the Google Reader site appears in the list:
The contextual actions are designed like Ubiquity and provide one-click access to a useful action. For example, here’s the one-click to undo a previous Close Tab action:
Likewise, with something in the clipboard, the contextual action displays a one-click Search button: In tests so far, there’s one annoying bug – bringing up the New Tab page seems to lose focus from the address bar and from the Firefox window! Other comments on the Mozilla Labs page have also highlighted the privacy issues with showing RSS feeds like Gmail in the New Tab page. In its present state, it seems like Chrome and Safari 4 provide a much better experience for the New Tab page.
If you are using the Firefox 3.1 beta or newer release, the New Tab prototype is available as an extension.