Which of these tabs is the active one?

which tab is active

The left one

I ask because I just closed the wrong one by mistake. I've seen others confused about this too. If you were at Mozilla, how would you fix it while keeping within Proton's general design language?

  • Fun: I just noticed that in French, there are now three different hotkeys for deleting things from the bookmarks menu. A bookmark is deleted using Supprimer, a folder is deleted using Supprimer, and a separator is deleted using Supprimer. (They used to all be s.) I've already accumulated a number of misfires... Jun 10, 2021 at 10:29

1 Answer 1


The line at the top of the inactive tab breaks what users understand from so many other modern tab patterns.

Material uses a line on the active tab, though below the label. The line is shorthand for "this is active". Users thus think that whichever tab has a line on it is the active one. Material UI tab bar with highlighted tab

Older users, such as myself, remember UIs like this one, where inactive items were "beveled" to look more clickable, while active elements were made to look "depressed". I suspect Firefox is trying that idea.

ClarisWorks, very old school desktop software interface

If that's the case, then they should be consistent and make the "plus" button next to the last tab also beveled, rather than combining beveled and flat clickable elements.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.