Firefox is known for the large amount of themes that they have available, with most of them being pretty subtle. After all, no one wants to sit and stare at a browser that would make your eyes water up…or would they?
Before I get into listing the slightly more “interesting” themes that I have found, I want to first say that I use the default Firefox theme. That might make me a little bland but I think the way Firefox looks out-of-the-box is simply marvelous, just like Flock, Opera, and even Internet Explorer. I think all of those browsers come with a great default theme/skin and I have never swayed away from them. So if you use one of the themes that I list here (and it is a great possibility since they total nearly 3.5 million downloads) don’t take any offense to it because they are solely my own opinions.
–Walnut (about 1,500,000 downloads)–
The Walnut theme doesn’t seem too bad at first and I actually think that I would be able to tolerate it had I no other choice. Of course, with over 1.5 million downloads I would have to say that there are a lot of people who have made this their theme of choice. Like most themes, when it is just the toolbars that are skinned it doesn’t seem quite so bad…but when you take a peak at the options you’ll notice that it is surely a lot of wood!
–RedShift (about 900,000 downloads)–
There is no way that I could use RedShift on a daily basis! The solid black background and bright red text would make my eyes bug out of my head. It’s like trying to read a website that is written on a solid black background, although you typically don’t do a lot of reading when it comes to items that have been skinned. Typically you’ll just be pressing buttons and typing things in the text boxes, but those too have black backgrounds.
–PimpZilla (about 730,000 downloads)–
Out of the five themes that I have listed here, this would be the only one that I would ever consider using. It doesn’t strain your eyes at all and actually has some well thought out replacement icons. So if it isn’t that bad then why am I listing it here? Because it is just too funny with the icons and leopard print background to your tabs bar! I’m surprised that this one doesn’t have more downloads than it currently does.
–GlowyBlue (about 270,000 downloads)–
I would rank this one right up there with the RedShift in terms of usability. The background/text combination is sure to strain your eyes after just a short period of time. The blue version is the most popular but it can also be found in wine, gold, green, and red.
–Pink Paula (about 90,000 downloads)–
In order to find this one to be tolerable you better like pink because you’ll be seeing a lot of it. Some people may think that it takes it a little too far, and I might have to agree with them. However, the pink is not terribly overbearing because of its washed-out appearance, but it might help to increase the number of female Firefox users if they knew that this existed. There is also another Firefox theme designed for Breast Cancer that doesn’t go over-the-edge with a pink background, but it does look slightly more like magenta.
So, there’s a different perspective on the themes that are currently available for Firefox. Some of them might be kinda cool for giggles around the office, but they could surely put some strain on your eyes if you are a heavy user of the Web browser. For me the default theme works great and is subtle enough that it doesn’t distract me from the sites that I am trying to read. Even the Noia theme seems to be a little too much “eye candy” for me, but I have been tempted to try out Blue Ice…it’s subtle yet attractive.