For some reason when I think of the bland grey appearance most web browsers have when I install them, it gets me thinking of other technology that’s had a longer life span and sort of come into it’s own in terms of design. Take television for example. When manufactures began to produce television sets for the home, the idea was to make them look similar to things people already owned. It usually looked something like a cabinet or coffee table and sometimes even had sliding doors to cover the screen when not in use so that you’d never even know it was there. Now, people proudly display their televisions in places of prominence. And the design is customized to the function of the television sets themselves, not the room around them. In fact, most “TV rooms” are built around the television set because so much time is spent watching it.
But there’s more than one type of prominent screen in most homes today. Besides the television, and maybe preferable to it, there’s the computer screen. And one application on that computer is universally used to access the web: the web browser! So my question is: why are browsers usually designed to look like any other plain and boring window on your computer when it’s function is unique and we spend so much time using it for specific purposes?
Fortunately, while browsers like Mozilla’s Firefox may come with a uniform look “baked-in” they have made it possible to customize your browser’s appearance through their theme add-ons. In case you’re not familiar, an add-on is simply a lightweight program that can add a new appearance and/or functionality to your browser once you’ve installed it. Below you’ll find seven really amazing browser themes that can be installed on Firefox. You can choose which one has the right combination of looks and features to give your browser the face-lift it deserves.
1. Weather Browser
This browser theme replaces the normal grey of your window and toolbar with a nice sky blue and a few clouds. In the top right-hand corner you’ll also notice this theme keeps you informed with real-time weather forecasts right in the browser. And if you want a more detailed update, all you have to do is pop out the sidebar for more weather information.
2. Neon Lights
This flashy theme offers quick access to your favorite sites like Facebook, Twitter, and more. It also has a video sidebar that features top news stories.
3. Starry Night
Similar to the theme above, this theme also offers quick access to your favorite sites and a video side bar but with a cosmic look.
4. Online Radio
With a design inspired by music and radio this theme has some really cool features for the music lover. There’s links to live music, instant access to online radio stations, easy access to your favorite social media sites, and a side bar that keeps you updated on the latest music news.
5. Fish Filled Aquarium
If surfing the web is getting a bit boring, you can install this aquarium theme and take the view below the surface. You’ll have quick and easy access to Facebook, Twitter, and other favorites – with the option of popping out your video side bar to see what’s interesting in the news.
This theme is a must have for the space enthusiast. Staying up to date on what’s happening with Nasa is made really easy with this attractive theme. All of their primary social sites and links are prominent in your toolbar along with a running “news ticker” of official Nasa stories and news. You can also use the side bar to view videos and photos Nasa has posted.
It can be a bit annoying having to always “go” to twitter. With this theme twitter comes with you where ever you are on the web. Without leaving the page(s) you’re on you’re able to search twitter, tweet what you’re reading/watching, and view your entire twitter stream right from the side bar.
About the Author
Patrick Murphy is the founder and CEO of Brand Thunder(BT). With its extreme makeovers for Internet browsers, BT creates persistent engagement between major brands and their online consumers. BT’s new platform, BT:Engage gives everyone the tools to build and share their own browser themes.
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