I think that the new tab page has a lot of potential based upon already existing things it has, so it should be easier to implement I hope, I’ll give my ideas and rationales below.
First off, having the top sites being not just a hidden list, I think that it should instead be reflected in your bookmarks in a folder that’s not seen in the bookmarks bar. This would allow users to manage sites they want quick access to that they don’t necessarily visit all the time ( online banking for instance ), this would also allow users to move around the icons to their preferences very easily.
Second, I think there is a large missed opportunity with cards, at the moment they only really tie in to crypto ( which I personally don’t use ), however the card framework could potentially allow you to facilitate more productivity focused cards, for instance a card that shows me a stock ticker, my new messages in gmail, my upcoming events on my calendar etc, I’m not sure if this is baked in so to say, but being able to make extension that adds new cards would be incredibly helpful and would take work off the devs to focus on other things while the community refines plugins as such.
Third, I think that there should at least be an option to have a search bar on the page, while yes it is redundant I believe that it does add a nice touch to the home page if wanted by the user. as well as being able to set the color theme of top sites to something darker to match cards, the white vs black doesn’t do well with some backgrounds, for example this
I hope that this has helped at least somewhat, I think that the feature might be used more if it had a bit deeper functionality.
Thanks for reading!