Designing Firefox

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  • MozCamp, Buenos Aires Saturday, April 21, 2012

    Designing Firefox

  • Hola!

  • Correction: The user experience workshop tomorrow is at

    11:30am in Storni - not at 5:15pm!

  • My Name is Boriss Im on the Mozilla User Experience Team

  • Im going to talk about:

    What user experience is

    Design and user experience at Mozilla (including what weve gotten wrong)

    The glorious future

  • Our focus is on how Mozillas products and services are perceived, learned, and used

  • Fixing current problems

    Designing new products and features

    User experience

  • Design limited: based on annoyances, not possibilities

    Averaging user needs

    If only current UX problems are considered:

  • Whats your favorite color?

  • Our goal is designing based on user needs

    What are users trying to accomplish?

    What are their metrics of success?

    Who are they?

  • Many ways of determining user needs

    User testing and interviews

    Data analysis (eg Mozilla Test Pilot & Telemetry)

    Focus groups

    Contextual inquiry

    Eye-Tracking studies/observational studies

    Analyzing feedback

  • User experience design at Mozillabegan after Firefox

  • First user experience at Mozilla =

    hackers creating a browser for, well, them

    (and this is awesome)

  • Scratching an itchis important for Mozilla, open source, hacking culture

  • But, we used to look like this:

  • ewdwe

    Now, we look more like this:

    (~30,000 million of us)

  • We cant design for millions the same way we did for only ourselves

  • Partially, the UX teams goal is to make sure that UX at Mozilla:

    1. Is coordinated, cohesive, directed

    2. Still happens true to Mozillas organic, open, itch-scratching character

  • Two approaches to UX design:

  • User Centric Design

    I need...

    I want...

    I like A more than B!

    the customer is always right!

  • Strong Designer

    I know what you want more than

    you do!

  • Most design teams land somewhere between




    Complexity, grey, users lie

  • Historically:

  • Users lie!

  • Users lie!

  • So, were open source. We like scratching our itches.

    But we also need coherent design for our millions of users.

  • I love tabs!

    Everyone uses tags, not bookmarks.

    My mom doesntunderstand tabs.

    OpenID is the future!

    Nobody uses the Go button.

    There should bea preference setting. Add support for


    !I only use keyboard


    Add support forOgg Vorbis.

    Thats great!

    Thats awful

    The profile manager should be redesigned.

    Closebuttons are better at

    the end of the tabstrip.

    The URL bar should be removed.

    This looks too much like Chrome!

  • Have add-on infrastructure to explore new ideas

    Elevate contributors who know what theyre doing

    Focus on design principles

    Wat do?

  • Design Principles?

  • discoverability

    user control



    no interruptions





  • Beyond being well-designed, what should using Firefox feel like?

  • Soft Powerful


  • Who are we designing for (if not just ourselves)?

  • Our users: People whose lives or work revolve around the internet

  • Respecting Flow

  • Thursday, October 20, 11

  • Protect, but Dont Lecture

  • Protect, but dont lecture

    You cant teach people how security works

    Maintain blacklists for add-ons & plug-ins

    Dont ask people to do work

  • Be a good fit - visually and interactively -

    across devices

    (we dont do this well right now)

  • Listen to Users!

  • Measure in the Field

  • Do Whats Right for Users No Matter Where Idea Came From

  • Avoid Boundary-Case Design

  • Questions?