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Updated: 2018-04-24T22:14:38.520-07:00

 



Mozilla Projects Featured in Facebook's HTML5 Showcase

2011-10-18T16:11:22.543-07:00

Facebook launched an HTML5 Showcase for developers today and I was excited to see that two projects that Mozilla has worked on in the past 9 months were featured: Mozilla's Mark Up (see my previous post) and Mozilla's Web O Wonder.
 
Although both of these projects have now run their course, its still really cool to see that them mentioned by outside initiatives, especially Facebook. 

For those of you interested in HTML5 demos, be sure to check out MDN's Demo Studio for our community built demos. For those of you interested in HTML5 Resources, MDN is definitely a great place to check out helpful documentation.
 



Mark Up : Beautiful Collaboration for the Open Web

2011-06-08T09:02:11.365-07:00

I’m happy to announce the launch of Mozilla’s Mark Up, a 3D collaborative art project for the open Web. Get involved and make your “mark” for the world’s largest resource. We BelieveMark Up is a site created for you to make a “mark” and stand in support of these values for the open Web. The Web belongs to us all. We all contribute to it every day, from maintaining our personal blogs to sending emails and watching videos, everything we do online contributes to the Web’s ecosystem. No one organization or company should control the choices you make, the content you create or the technology you build. These strong beliefs, along with the original Mozilla Manifesto, helped us to write the following “We Believe” statement and the core of the Mark Up site.  Make your “Mark”You can use your mouse or track-pad to input your “mark” for the Web. What that “mark” is, however, is completely up to you. For example, you may decide to submit a doodle. Others may write a sentence of support. Others may sign their name, and others still may try and create something intricate. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what kind of mark is made—what matters is that you actively choose to make one. Watch the following screencast to learn more.   allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPnDriqtsqg" width="500"> Once you’ve submitted your mark, you’ll see it replay, along with a randomly generated unique URL. You can then use that URL to share it with your friends, giving them a direct link to your mark.  You are also able to browse everyone else’s marks with your mouse or arrow keys, browsing an ever-extending 3D line of solidarity. Project BackgroundThe original idea came from Evan Roth, co-founder of the Graffiti Research Lab, co- creator of Graffiti Markup Language, open source advocate and popular graffiti artist.  Evan worked closely with Mozilla and The Barbarian Group to conceptualize and finesse the idea through several rounds of creative and development.  TechnologyMark Up uses open-source technology like Graffiti Markup Language (GML), Canvas and JavaScript, and is accessible with Chrome, IE9 and Firefox 4.  The use of GML was particularly key in the project because GML stores movement information on the X, Y and Z axes, recording details about individual strokes, varying pressure and speed.  This allows for rich expressions that can be replayed in the exact time it took to make the mark. Most importantly, all the code and GML data used on the site is available for everyone to access and improve on Github. We’re excited to see what kinds of projects Mark Up inspires you to create!ThanksI want to thank the countless people who will contribute something to our collaborative art project for the open Web, and for all those who helped make this site and project a reality.  Make your mark, take a stand, and help spread the message about the importance of the open Web. [...]



Firefox 4 - What is browser speed?

2011-03-22T09:30:54.598-07:00

As a Firefox user, you may have seen this graph on the Mozilla website or on blogs:But what do these graphs really mean?  How does "620 ms on Sunspider" effect me?   Like most users, I care more about how quickly I can load my email, play my favorite game and watch a video smoothly without interruption than what a benchmark tells me I should expect.   I care about my overall experience.And so, when it comes to the concept of browser "Speed" it's only really fair to judge the browser on the entire experience--from how quickly it starts up, to page load speed, to how well online games and videos are rendered and played.  In Firefox 4, we've made improvements in all of these areas. Start-Up time - Performance from the moment you click on the Firefox icon on your desktop When you want to get online, you want to get online.  Firefox 4 now starts pretty instantaneously for me --but as they say, your mileage may vary, depending on your system, and especially what add-ons you have installed  (and if you don't find Firefox 4 starts fast for you, you should head over to http://support.mozilla.com/ the Mozilla support community - it may be something on your computer).Watch this video to see how Firefox 4 and 3.6 compare. Page Load Speed - Getting where you need to go... fastFirefox has made some changes to its JavaScript engine so that pages load faster--from Facebook, to recipes, to webmail. The details of this improvement gets a little too in the weeds, but you can think of JägerMonkey as the JS engine that specializes in short-cuts. So, take the analogy of a pastry chef: Firefox 3.6 has a novice pastry chef, who works very deliberately: he looks up each term ("whisk"), searches drawers for needed pots and pans, does the step, then puts everything away. Firefox 4 has JägerMonkey, an expert pastry chef who takes advantage of lots of time-saving shortcuts. She knows what all the terms mean and where the tools are, and keeps them out to be used again until she is done with that tool. The baking steps are the same, but prep and takedown are way faster.  There are obvious positives and negatives to each type of pastry chef--but what really matters here is that having this new JS engine means that Firefox 4 is more than 6 times faster than Firefox 3.6. Responsiveness - More stability with less restartsPeople sometimes don't realize that a lot of their favorite websites that showcase videos, chat, games and streaming music need up-to-date third party plugins in order for them to experience the content properly.  Users would see symptoms of this issue in older version of 3.6 with the browser freezing up or hanging, usually forcing the user to have to restart the browser. Now with Firefox 4, if one of these commonly-used pieces of technology crashes or freezes, it won't affect  the rest of Firefox. Instead, you can simply reload the page which will restart the plugin. This means that your day-to-day browsing is a ton more stable.  And if for some reason you aren't seeing videos or other media performing the way you would expect (black boxes on videos, instant chat feeling laggy) go to our Plugin Check page to make sure you're using the latest and greatest versions of the most popular plugins.   Graphics Performance - Watch the videos and games you love at the speed you expect Most computers have graphics cards that help you experience graphics heavy content like games and streaming video. With hardware acceleration, Firefox can use the built-in graphics card of the latest machines to render the games you play and videos you watch even faster. Click here to learn more about how to update your graphics drivers to make sure you're getting the most out of your hardware. Efficiency - Smarter, faster designThere are a few repetitive tasks that can make Firefox seem slower than it is.  In Firefox 4, some of these task have been streamlined to avoid unnecessary work.&[...]



Mozilla Presents: The Web O' Wonder

2011-03-03T10:48:43.069-08:00

I’m excited to announce that we are launching the first phase of the Web O’ Wonder project today!This is the first time, outside of the demos featured on Hacks, that Mozilla has created a site dedicated to showing off the latest in Web technologies. We will be releasing a few demos each week for the next several weeks, so be on the look out for new demos!  Before you go in to explore (which I strongly encourage you do) you should know that Web O’ Wonder isn’t your typical demos site. The demos are meant to push the boundaries of the Web you think you know.  The demos demonstrate technologies that most people have never seen before--but more importantly, you will see the browser do these amazing things without plugins! Another important difference with this site is that Web O’Wonder is ‘demoing’ the Web, not just a specific browser. From the beginning, we wanted to make sure that all modern browsers would be able to view the demos as they were meant to be seen. For now, that means that Firefox 4 Beta+ and Chrome 9+ can see all the demos fully. Other browsers will be able to see the demos as their capabilities catch up. I also want to call out that our WebGL demos (technology used to render 3D graphics) will only work on the most modern of hardware. If you run into difficulties, I recommend updating your graphics drivers. If that doesn’t help, we have created “screen-casts” of each demo. Click on “Watch the Video” to see the screen-cast.  Some demos even include a “behind the scenes” with the creators of specific demos. For phase 1, we have profiled the “Remixing Reality” demo, so make sure to check it out!You may also notice that the source-code for all the demos is hosted on GitHub when browsing the back of each demo card. We encourage the adventurous to go take a look, fork the code, and improve it. You can also submit your own demos through our “Submit a Demo” link. To read a little bit more about this project, make sure to check out Paul Rouget’s blog post or the Mozilla blog. Lastly, Web O’Wonder has been a labor of love for a lot of people for over several months. I want to thank the Mozilla community (you know who you are) for all the long hours and dedication and for all your help making this project a reality. [...]



Plugins Check: Taking it to the next level

2010-05-11T12:06:36.893-07:00

The Plugins Check started out back in October of last year as a way for us to help our fellow Firefox users protect themselves from vulnerable plugins (you can read more background here, here and here).

We started with 40K page views a day--we now regularly have more than 140K page views a day, making the Plugin Check page one of the most viewed Mozilla.com properties.


Since then, the Plugins Posse, (as we like to call ourselves) has been working hard to make this technology more accessible to other browser users.  We believe that anyone, regardless of what browser they're using, should be able to check and make sure that they're using the latest and safest versions of their plugins.

Thanks to the dedication and hard work of Austin King, Les Orchard, Stephen Donner, Dan Veditz,  and Michael Coates, I'm happy to announce that the Plugin Check is now compatible with the most recent version of "modern browsers".  In other, more understandable words, the Plugin Check will now check your installed plugins, regardless of whether you use the latest versions of IE8+, Chrome 4+, Safari 4+ or Opera 10.5+ to browse the Web.

Cool, huh? 

One caveat is that the page does not check each and every last plugin. We built the Plugin Check to scan and recognize the most popular plugins. For example: Flash, Silverlight, Java and Quicktime, to name a few. (Read more about what browsers and plugins we support here.)

Share this link with your friends, family, (even your non-Firefox using friends--we won't tell ;) and you can help make the Web a safer, better experience for everyone!



Taking the Getting Started page in a new direction

2010-02-11T18:32:13.288-08:00

The "Getting Started" page on Mozilla.com is one of our most viewed Web pages, with an average of 525K page views per day (following the download.html page and what's new page).According to Ken Kovash's Blog of Metrics post from February of last year, more than 90% of traffic to this page comes from the embedded link in the bookmark toolbar that we've pre-loaded onto every version of Firefox.The remaining 10% of visitors seem to come from a link on the First Run Page.From Ken's post, we know that a lot of the people that hit this page come to it by accidentally hitting the link on the toolbar. We also know that even if they are coming to the page on purpose, they aren't finding what they were looking for, with 95% of traffic bouncing right off the page. From this information, I can basically make a few conclusions:1) The Getting Started Page is one of the biggest touch points we have, inside or outside of Mozilla.com.2) A lot of our users are looking for specific content on the Getting Started page. 3) Most of those users aren't finding whatever they are looking for.How do we fix this?I think we have a few options:- Kill the Getting Started page.I just don't think this is a viable option. We have so few touch points with our current users as it is. Outside of Mozilla.com, we have access to the snippets on the Google Start page, the First Run page, the What's New page, the Getting Started page and our social media outlets (Twitter and Facebook). I agree that we can't leave the page the way it is, but getting rid of the page doesn't solve the problem. If anything, it makes the problem much worse by leaving us with one less channel to communicate.-Re-brand the "Getting Started" pageWe could definitely look into renaming this page and calling it something else...like maybe the "Firefox Connect" page. The only problem is that we still don't know what kind of content these 500K users are looking for. Obviously, the "Getting Started" title resounds with some of these users, or else, they wouldn't be clicking on it. My theory is that they hit the page expecting to find information about using Firefox features or setting up Firefox and stumble on a page in which we recommend certain websites or tools. Users must be looking for something to do with "Getting Started" and re-branding the page on a whim without knowing what people are looking for will lead us right back into the situation we're in now.-Test the content on the Getting Started pageI think this is by far the best option. This entails creating new content for a variety of audiences, and testing them on a percentage of the population to see what content these users are looking for. The design that has the lowest bounce rate will give us insight into what kind of content these users are looking for.Now for my idea....One idea I have is testing the content found on the First Run page. As it is now, people get to the First Run page immediately after downloading Firefox for the first time.Going from my own experience, people are not very patient after downloading an application or program from the Internet. It's all about clicking through the introductory tabs and information and getting to the actual usage of the product. And once they realize they don't understand something or they get confused, then they look for more information. And this is where everything gets *interesting*. As things stand now, the First Run page is not a page that you can navigate to unless you know the exact url. We don't promote it anywhere. It's just the page that comes up right after download. So what happens if you're impatient and just want to start playing with the product after downloading? You lose the opportunity to explore the content on this page. And even if one of our users decide to explore some of the content on this page and say, decide to be a Facebook fan, they have no way to return back to the First Run page. Once you leave the page,[...]



A/B Testing: First Run Page

2010-02-08T11:18:43.315-08:00

One of my new responsibilities as I work with John Slater and the Creative Marketing team on Mozilla.com is to test, improve and optimize our web pages. This joint project with Blake Cutler and the Metrics team is one of many in the A/B testing pipeline.One of the first pages we're working on is the First Run page.The First Run page is a huge page for us for two reasons:1) It's our first impression.The First Run page is the first page that loads immediately after Firefox is launched for the first time. Everyone who downloads Firefox sees this page, and it's our first opportunity to visually (and verbally) introduce ourselves to a new user.2) It's one of our only touch points.We have very few ways to get in touch with our users. The First Run page is the first time we can make contact with a Firefox user to share information, answer questions and differentiate ourselves from other browsers outside from the normal product interactions.We are currently testing three different designs inspired by some of the most popular sites on the Web:Design A:This is the "Task" oriented design, with expandable tabs that open to show more content. This page was inspired by Southwest Airlines.Design B:This is the "Tab" oriented design, allowing users to click on tabs to see relevant information. This page was inspired by Mint.com.Design C:This is the "Process" oriented page, where users can go through steps to "get started". This page was inspired by the Skype and Digg sign-up processes.These are just three of the different rough layout concepts that The Royal Order came up with during the brainstorm process to try and improve engagement*. It will take another month or so to finish the initial testing, but there will still be plenty to do! The winning design will need to jump through many more hoops as we test variations of the design to find the best or most "optimized" page before it will be implemented on Mozilla.com.Big Thanks Blake Cutler and the Metrics team, Steven Garrity, Stephen Donner and the WebQA team, The Royal Order for all their help on this project.Thoughts? What do you think should go on the First Run page?[*Improved engagement for this particular page means more clicks on our CTAs (Personas and Add-ons), longer times spent on the page, and lower bounce rates. ][...]



Firefox 3.6 is out the door!

2010-01-21T16:20:03.894-08:00

I love the feeling of shipping a release! After all the hard work and stress, it feels great to finally pull the trigger on something and be proud of what you're sending out to the universe. The best part is pushing the launch button and seeing everything do what it's supposed to do--pages changing content, graphics showing up in their respective places, the download button working like it supposed to--it's pretty cathartic, actually ;)For the last couple of months I've been working with John Slater and Tara Shahian on making Mozilla.com look great for the 3.6 release. That means that we've been working on the site's content--from updating logos, copy writing, and managing creative assets to making sure that every link on the site takes you where you ought to go.Working on Mozilla.com is particularly fun because soo many people see your work on a daily basis. On an average day, a million people hit Mozilla.com or one of its counterparts. On a launch day....well, let's just say a few million people exploring Mozilla.com is a given ;)Some of the projects we worked on for Firefox 3.6 include:The Outdated Plugin CheckerPlugins are a big security hazard because most people don't know what they do, much less that they have one installed on your computer. Plugins are small pieces of code, made by companies like Apple, Adobe and Microsoft, to help you run multimedia--like games or videos. People run into security problems when they don't keep their plugins up to date, leaving themselves exposed to all kinds of security vulnerabilities, browser and system crashes. My job was to make this page happen, coordinating the efforts of The Royal Order (a design agency), Elise Allen (our copy writer) and our awesome Web Developers (Les Orchard, Austin King and Michael Morgan) to make this page easy to use. We also implemented the page into 3.6, so now you can check your Plugins by going to the Add-Ons Manager in your Firefox, clicking on "Plugins", and clicking on "Update". On average, this page has about 40K visitors a day. With the new integration into the product, we hope to see many, many more.You can also check your plugins by going here. To read more about Plugins, you can read earlier posts here and here.Mozilla.com Security PageThis project was really interesting for me because it was my first time focusing on copy writing. The main issue with the previous page was that our philosophy on security and privacy was getting lost in the design. The solution was to re-organize and re-write the copy, allowing our mission and philosophy to shine through while still finding a way to keep the copy engaging. With help from TRO, Melissa Shapiro and Sarah Doherty, we built a page that (we hope) emphasizes that Firefox is the best choice out there to keep you surfing safely on the web while keeping your information and data private.The Firefox 3.6 Reviewers Guide A Reviewer's Guide is a staple for any one who wants to get press to promote their product. Its the place where you put all of your messaging, introduce new features, and explain the overall improvements of whatever project you're working on. Thanks to Alix and Melissa's Guidance, we put together a pretty dandy Rev Guide. Rhonda Spencer, of Fresh Fruit Creative, designed and put together the Guide and Steven Garrity of Silver Orange took the screen shots of Firefox in action.You can get a copy here.What's New in Firefox 3.6 Video The last project I'll talk about here is the "What's New in Firefox 3.6" video. We usually do one of these videos with every major release, highlighting the--you guessed it--new features and improvements of the newest version of Firefox. These videos can be hard to make because not only is it hard to decide what features make the final cut, but it is really hard to make a video that can both hold a person's attention and educate them about a product. With only a few[...]



We're getting close to launch!

2010-01-20T10:11:45.543-08:00

(image)
Woot! Firefox 3.6 is scheduled to drop tomorrow, January 21st!

As we move closer and closer to the launch, we've released a video detailing the new features and improvements in Firefox 3.6.


The video features our very own Mike Beltzner, Director of Firefox Development(filmed on location in Toronto!), talking about Personas, the Outdated Plugin Check, and the latest features for developers.


We'd love your help in pushing this video out and you can help us by doing one or all of the following things:

1) Digg this news item:
http://digg.com/tech_news/World_s_best_web_browser_launches_Thursday

2) Share this on Reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/arqzh/director_of_firefox_development_tells_you_about/

3) Tweet/Facebook/Share this message: Firefox 3.6, the world's best web browser, is available free on Jan 21st. See what's new at http://bit.ly/8a0Kux #firefox

I also want to take this opportunity to thank Rainer Cvillink (our new video producer) for braving the cold in Canada to film Mike, Alix Franquet for all her coordination help, and Jeremy Orem, Steven Garrity and Stephen Donner for helping post, QA and upload the video.


Let's Rock this launch!




Plugins Check page: A new milestone

2009-12-29T16:07:58.820-08:00

I'm excited to announce another milestone in the Plugin Checker project!I posted a few months ago about the release of the Plugin Check page on Mozilla.com and we've been working Since October 13, we've had about 2.4 million page views, averaging to about 40K page views per day (around 3% of all page views on mozilla.com).In an effort to increase traffic to the page, we started an Adwords Campaign on the Google network. Since starting the campaign, we've gotten an average of about 2K more page views per day, which though helpful, wasn't giving us the increase in page views that we were hoping for. Search Marketing is a great way to bring users in to a page if they already know what they want or what they're looking for. But because the PluginCheck page is a new concept (and most people have no idea what Plugins are or why they should care) it's hard to expect a huge influx of page views on Search Campaigns alone.A Better SolutionSo, to try and get as many people as possible to come to the page, I've been working with Sean Martell and the WebDev team to build some dynamic buttons (similar to our Affiliates buttons) to help us spread the word about Plugins and the Plugin Check page. You can see them below:ConceptThe basic idea is that community members and other people who find the Plugin Check page useful could place the button code on their blogs or personal websites to help spread the word about staying safe on the Web. Other people would then click on the image, go to the Plugin Check page, and after seeing how useful it is, then place the same button on their website/blog.Use Cases1. A user on Firefox.A user goes to a website where this button is posted and sees the Default image ( in blue). Script will run in the background to see if the user's plugins are up-to-date. If they are, the user will see the green "You're Up to Date" image. The user will see the Orange "Caution" image if they have one or more out of date plugins.2. A user on another browser.A user goes to a website where this button is posted and will only see the deafult image ( in blue). If the user clicks on the button they are taken to the Plugin Check page where they can learn more about Plugins. The Plugin library cannot yet support Plugins for other browsers, but once it does, then these users will have the same experience as people who use Firefox.Spread the WordTake this opportunity to go to the Plugin Check page and paste the badge on your personal blog or website. Share the page with your friends and family and remind them to check their plugins regularly. The best way to stay safe on the Web is to be proactive about staying up-to-date with the latest version of Firefox and of all the Plugins you use.Coming Soon We currently only have one button size available, but I'm working to get more size options on the page as soon as possible. We are also working on improving our Plugin Library and enabling others to help us keep it up to date--stay tuned for more on that project. Lastly and most importantly, 3.6 will be the in-product debut of the Plugin Checker, finally allowing you to check your Plugins through the Add-Ons manager.Big thanks to Sean Martell, John Slater, Elise Allen, Austin King, Les Orchard, Mike Morgan, Stephen Donner and Raymond Etornam for all their help making this happen![...]



Making the Web a little bit safer--one Plugin at a time

2009-10-13T15:32:41.473-07:00

Today we release the second phase of the three phase project to integrate Plugin updates into Firefox.This is a hugely important project, both for our users and for anyone who uses plugins. Plugins have become an integral part of every-day life on the Web, and as such, having them up to date has become essential to being able to do two things:1) Enjoy the Web and all of its functionality2) Keep yourself secure on the InternetThe problem is, that its very difficult to tell what plugins you have, if they're up to date, or if there is a newer version of the plugin. This is a problem that many Firefox users have been having a hard time solving for a long time, and so, we've been working to see if there was a way to improve things for everyone involved. Our first phase has been a great success, with more than 10 million click throughs on our "What's New" page (as of Sept 16th) and millions of updates to the latest version of Adobe Flash. (Read more here and here).Our second phase is exciting because we are taking a step closer towards direct integration into the browser. By going to www.mozilla.com/en-US/plugincheck/, Firefox users can check to see if their installed plugins are up-to-date.Users will see one of four messages per plugin:1) Up to date (Green)2) Update Now (Red)3) Update (Yellow)4) Research (Grey)Seeing a green button next to your plugin means that you have the latest version of the plugin. A red button means that you should update the respective plugin immediately, either because you have a very old version of the plugin or there is a known security issue with the one you currently have. The yellow button means that you have an older version of a plugin, but not one that necessarily puts you at risk. A grey button means that we currently do not have enough information about the respective plugin, and we invite you to investigate.So far, we only have information for the most used plugins--for example, Adobe'sFlash, Apple's Quicktime, Microsoft's Silverlight and a few others. We're currently working on getting as much information as possible into our database, but we need as much help as we can get. (If you're a plugin vendor, feel free to send me an email so we can start getting your plugins information into our database).This project, even at this stage, is a huge step forward because Firefox is the only browser that has ever attempted to integrate the plugin update process into the browser. Although we aren't at the integration stage yet, having this page live means that we can improve the security and overall user experience of Firefox users while we get to our goal. The next phases of the project2A) Make the page compatible for all browsers--in other words, make the page so that any one can go to Mozilla.com, on any browser, and see what plugins they have and which ones they need to update.3) Integrate the work we've done into Firefox 3.6This project has been long overdue, (and there's still a lot to be done!) but I'd like to thank Chris Hofmann, Aix Franquet, Mike Morgan, Les Orchard, Austin King, John Slater, Melissa Shapiro, Jonathan Nightingale, Chris Blizzard, Stephen Donner the Web QA team, Mike Beltzner, Steven Garrity, The Royal Order and Elise Allen for all of their support and hard work on this phase of the project.And now, on to the next…Cheers!(As always, please feel free to send questions, suggestions or thoughts to lmesa@mozilla.com)[...]



Mozilla.com Optimization: Educating Firefox users about updates

2009-09-04T10:28:20.900-07:00

Starting today, you will see a few small changes to the Mozilla.com website. We've just finished building a Firefox Update FAQ page to respond to some of the issues Ken Kovash, our fabulous Metrics guru, discovered through the installer feedback tool. (You can read more from his blog post here). In this study, Ken determined that of people abandoning the Firefox installation process, about 10% cited reasons related to not fully understanding what a Firefox update is. The feedback feel into three categories: Lack of Understanding about what an up-grade is: "Will this overwrite my existing version or will it simply upgrade? I don't want to lose my settings and bookmarks." "I thought this is an update that would keep all my bookmarks etc and install the new software.. However I'm not sure. Can you clarify ???" "I already have Firefox, why am I installing it again" "does version 3.5 replace my current version of FF or does it run separate?" Confusion about how to update: "i just want to update my current firefox" "not sure if i uninstall old firefox? Do I uninstall it first then install newer version?" "It appears that I have asked to install a whole new version rather than an upgrade which is normally what happens when new versions of Firefox comeout" "I have Firefox3, so shouldn't this reload at the same location? Or do I have to uninstall the older version." Other issues: - Bad experience with other auto-updates (ex: Windows security mechanisms sometimes gives extra things that aren't needed), so user is conditioned not to accept updates. - Worried it will break something (maybe from past experience) - New version is not compatible with their OS (they have a pre Win2k/NT5, Unix distrib w/ older lib) - Favorite extension isn't compatible with update - Didn't notice or get a prompt to update - Update/download takes too long - Don't control the machine they're using/aren't allowed to update (not admin, using public/shared computer) - IT discourages doing your own updates - New version doesn't seem different enough (not worth the trouble) or seems too different (will feel foreign/hard to use) The two fold Solution: The best way to deal with all of these issues is to add accessible content on our major touch-points to help educate our users about Firefox updates, how to get them, and why they are important. 1) Create new Mozilla.com content about updating Firefox Create www.mozilla.com/en-us/firefox/update/ page with FAQsAdd link to Update content on side bar of personal.hmtlAdd link under download button on upgrade page.2) Add content on SUMO support page about updating Firefox on all three platforms. We'll do some more tests once the page has been live for a month to see if the existence of the Update FAQ and the touch points on Mozilla.com and SUMO have made any impact on the 10% of our users confused by the process. Big thanks to Ken Kovash, John Slater, Cheng Wang, Chris Illias, Raymond Etornam, Stephen Donner, and Stephen Des Roches of Silverorange for all their hard-work and for getting this page out three days ahead of schedule! Woohoo! [...]



Announcing Moz Camp Hispano and Jornadas 2009

2009-07-27T15:23:21.218-07:00

I am excited to announce that Mozilla will be in Santiago, Chile for a week of events in October 2009! The first part of the week will be a two day Moz Hispano (October 5-6, 2009) followed by three days at the Jornadas 2009 conference (October 7-9, 2009). The two day Moz Camp is the first of its kind in the region (outside of Brazil) and the first time Spanish-speaking localizers and contributors from all over the world will have the opportunity to meet face to face. We expect a presence at the invite-only Moz Camp Hispano event from contributors from Spain, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Peru and Mexico. We hope to spend the two days focusing on how the Spanish-speaking community can better collaborate to make Firefox the best product it can be. The second part of the week-long meet-up would be Mozilla sponsored open participation in Jornadas Regionales de Software Libre (JRSL ). JRSL is an event organized by OpenCommunity, an association of communities working to promote open-source in Chile and South America. This will be the ninth year of JRSL and we are expecting participation from people from all over Latin America. Mozilla Corporation will be sending 6 employees to facilitate and give key notes at both events: Chris Hofmann (Director of Engineering and Special Projects) Seth Bindernagel (Director of L10n) Pascal Chevrel (L10n) Daniel Mills (Labs--Weave) Rey Bango (AMO/Add-Ons) Laura Mesa (Marketing) Spanish Press Release: Fundación Mozilla es el principal auspiciador de JRSL Chile 2009 Además realizará el primer Moz Camp Hispano donde se analizará cómo la comunidad hispana puede contribuir de mejor forma al funcionamiento del navegador La Fundación Mozilla será el principal auspiciador de las Jornadas Regionales del Software Libre que se realizarán entre el 7,8 y 9 de octubre de este año. Este evento será el primero de su tipo que se realizará en Chile y se espera una gran asistencia de toda Latinoamérica. El auspicio de Mozilla permitirá contar con la exposición de cinco de sus principales miembros, Rey Bango, Pascal Chevrel, Daniel Mills, Seth Bindernagel y Chris Hofmann. Este último es Director de Ingeniería y Proyectos Especiales de la Fundación Mozilla y ha estado encargado de cosas tan distintas como el lanzamiento de Firefox 1.0, mantiene y mejora los contactos con las comunidades de traducción, ha sido coautor de libros sobre Firefox y Thunderbird, y además está impulsando la creación y entrada en funcionamiento de un sitio web de asistencia a usuarios de Firefox mantenido por la propia comunidad. Además los dos días previos a las JRSL, los 5 y 6 de octubre, se realizará el primer Moz Camp Hispano, que será organizado y patrocinado por la Fundación Mozilla; en esta instancia se determinará cómo la comunidad hispana puede contribuir de mejor forma al funcionamiento del navegador y para esto contará con la participación de 30 invitados de toda América Latina. For more information or suggestions, please contact me at lmesa@mozilla.com. Thanks to Rodrigo Garcia and Francisco Collao Garate of Firefox Chile for their support and help. [...]



Affiliates Program--Bring on the Rewards!

2009-07-01T11:44:07.373-07:00

The Affiliates program is moving on up!

(image)
Starting July 1st, 2009, every download you generate from your Firefox 3.5 Affiliate buttons gives you an opportunity for being rewarded as an active member of the Spread Firefox Affiliates Program.

Everyone with more than five downloads a quarter will be entered into a reward pool. We will randomly award ten individual Affiliates each quarter with incentives like a Flip Video Camera, an iPod Touch, an iPod Nano, Amazon Gift Certificates and exclusive Top Fox T-shirts!*

Awardees will be notified in the beginning of October 2009 for activities between July 1st-September 30th, so make sure your email in Spread Firefox is up-to-date!
You can learn more about the program here and make sure to check out the Affiliates Terms of Service.

Last but not least, any Affiliates buttons are eligible for this program, but why not update your buttons to our latest and greatest dynamic Affiliate buttons and help us "Upgrade the Web"?

Thanks to John Slater, Rhonda Spencer, Elise Allen, Alex Buchanan, Stephen Donner and the WebQA team for all their hard work--I'm really excited to see how this program continues to grow!

Happy Firefox 3.5 launch!

Note*: Once you have been chosen to receive a reward (not including t-shirts) you will be ineligible to receive another reward for a full year.



Upgrade to Firefox 3.5: Shaking Up the Affiliates Program

2009-06-30T10:10:56.937-07:00

(image)


One of the projects I have been working on for the Firefox 3.5 is a new dynamic messaging campaign for the launch called "Upgrade the Web". The idea first started as an IE switch campaign but morphed into an upgrade campaign for all browser users.

There are three main touch points for this campaign:
-Affiliate Buttons
-Word Press Plug-In
-Google Gadget Ads

The idea is that each one of these Firefox promoters dynamically displays a different message to the viewer depending on what browser they are using. We made an effort to make the tag lines cute and cheeky (thanks Elise!) and to make the graphics snappily emphasize (Thanks Sean!) the "new and improved-ness" of Firefox 3.5.

Here are the buttons and their respective messages:

(image)

These same messages are also being used in the Word Press plug-in and the Google Gadget Ads.

Put these buttons on your blog or website and help spread the word about Firefox 3.5!

[You can get the Affiliate buttons or the plug-in from the "Upgrade the Web" program homepage.
To download the buttons (and get credit for the downloads you generate) you need to be a Spread Firefox member. ]


Thanks to Elise Allen, Sean Martell, John Slater, Alex Buchanan, Mike Hostetler, Chris Blizzard, Stephen Donner, Krupa Raj for all their hard work--Awesome job!



Creative and Affiliates Workshop Tomorrow! (9am PDT/ 16:00 UTC)

2009-05-06T16:48:30.040-07:00

Join Tara and I for a fun workshop where we talk about how you can use your creative skills to help "Spread Firefox" and promote Firefox 3.5!
Here's what we're covering:
* Why Creative / Visual Design is important
* How to Contribute
* Design Guidelines
* Community Store / T-shirts
* What are Affiliates
* Why are they important
* Existing buttons / Creating Buttons

Thursday, May 7, 2009 9:00 am PDT

  • Dial-in Info: +1.650.903.0800, followed by 92# and then 7391#
  • Or you can use our toll-free number: +1.800.707.2533, followed by 369# and then 7391#. If you’re outside the US, use Skype to call in with our toll-free number.
  • If you can’t join the call — but want to ask questions — you can join us in #marketing on IRC (irc.mozilla.org).

Please sign up on Spread Firefox. We’ll be archiving the Air Mozilla episode and sharing the presentation if you can’t make it. We’re looking forward to tomorrow!




The World is Ending

2009-04-10T15:49:02.247-07:00

Paul Kim is back on Facebook.

Let the mayhem begin.



Results of the All.html Test

2009-04-06T08:34:33.044-07:00

The much awaited results of the all.html redesign test are here! What were we trying to do?: (You can skip to the Results section if you already know about this ;)) In September of last year, I started looking at the current all.html page to see if there were ways to optimize the page. We had a high bounce rate (40%) and I felt that the page was visually confusing and that there was a better way to display the information listed. I then asked The Royal Order (an amazing design firm) to create three designs to address the problem of trying to display 60+ Firefox localizations and their platforms to a worldwide community of people with different needs (ie, language spoken, ability to read English, various levels of tech-savvy, country of download, etc). These were the designs we received: All is the current all.html page. (This picture is of the older page because we had already taken the all.html page out of circulation by publication). All-1 was our most "designed" of the pages that included a map. ((This picture is of the psd because we had already taken the all-1.html page out of circulation by publication). All-2 was in the middle, with some geographical images and expandable lists.(This picture is of psd because we had already taken the all-2.html page out of circulation by publication). All-3 was the most like the current all.html with some changes to some details like # of columns. After looking at them, we were unable to decide on face value which one should be the new replacement. We all had plenty of opinions, but nothing based on verifiable data. Consequently, we decided that we would test all three designs (and the current design) to see which one performed the best. The Test: We set up a week long test that ran from March 21-29, 2009. We rotated the pages evenly so each page showed for 15 minutes of every hour for the entire period. We defined success or "best performance" as: 1) Best User experience on the page comparing to all.html 2) Best download rate on the page comparing to all.html (You can read more details about the test/process here and here.) The Results: The results are organized by version of all#.html and broken up into page views and downloads. The conversion rate was found by dividing download clicks by page views. The baseline we used for all comparison was the all.html page. The baseline, therefore, is that 52.7% of people who hit that page downloaded a version of Firefox. Better Performance would then be defined as anything above the average of 52.7%. All-1.html performed much worse than expected, with 32.4% of people downloading Firefox after hitting that page. All-2.html, performed at 56.5% which was on par with my expectations. Lastly, All-3.html was comparatively stellar, getting about 60.9% of the people who hit that page to download. This basically translates to an 8% improvement over our current all.html page. Now, before we get TOO excited about these results, resident Metrics Guru, Ken Kovash, asked me to do some further digging. Basically, he was concerned because "download clicks" represent a snap shot of a site visitor’s experience at a single moment in time and it doesn’t factor in what actions a person takes after that moment (e.g., a download occurring when that person subsequently navigates away to other pages within Mozilla.com). A Firefox user could hit the all.html page, then move on to the mozilla.com homepage, and then click download. In this example, the action of a download is not counted in our numbers and results above. To figure this out, I loo[...]



Looking at the Q1 2009 Survey Results--Time for a Step Back

2009-04-28T14:57:06.691-07:00

After looking at last quarter's survey results, I started to get concerned about the validity of our high "customer satisfaction score". Although our responses have been rather consistent, the drop in satisfaction rate between Q3 2008 and Q1 2009 got me a little worried--mainly because it was a 4% drop. I started to re-examine the data and it appears as though there are many factors that should be considered when looking at the “drop” in “satisfaction”. The first flag was what appears to be a drop in survey participation over the past few quarters. During the first installment of the survey we had 30,272 respondents. That number has dropped by nearly 50%, with 15,823 respondents in Q4 of 2008 and 15,682 respondents in Q1 2009. Here are a few possible explanations for this “apparent” drop in participation over time: 1) The novelty of the first survey encouraged more participation. -Even though we have 100 million people seeing the “What’s New” page with every update and we only allowed the survey to appear to 10% of that population, there is a self-selecting bias in any opt-in survey. -The further we move away from Firefox 3 launch, the lower the enthusiasm for the product. I'm not saying that people have stopped loving Firefox 3, I'm just saying that the further we get away from the launch, the less likely people are to be willing to take a survey to tell us they love the product. (Its’ awesomeness, in essence, has become the status quo). 2) The first survey was released with 3.02 and 3.03 (released a day later), which may have inadvertently increased the number of people who saw the survey link, and consequently, may have artificially doubled our participation with the survey’s first release. I think option #2 is really the only one that makes sense in this context. It’s easy to see how (self-selecting) individuals would have taken the survey twice and thus inflated our initial “customer satisfaction score”. And since the past two surveys have been consistent in participation and responses, I think that it may be worth completely throwing out the data from the first survey. Other concerns about the survey came from looking at the responses to certain questions. For example: "How long have you been using Firefox?" About 50% of respondents to this question say they have used Firefox for more than two years. That response rate doesn't quite make sense to me if we are trying to get responses from a cross-section of all of our users. Those numbers would make more sense coming from our user-base or long term, loyal, customers. Other survey questions that were similarly concerning: "Have you installed an Add-On?" (50% said yes), "On average, how much time do you spend on the web?" (2-5 hrs a day). The responses to both of these questions again seem to indicate that a large number of the respondents to our survey were part of our core fan-base as opposed to part of a more general cross-section of users. (You can take a look at the Comscore data Dave Bottoms gathered last year if you want to know about the average Internet user.) Another red flag was the number of people who started but did not complete the third installment of the survey. The survey released in December ’08 had a total of 37 “abandoned” surveys. The most recent installment of the survey was “abandoned” 5419 times. Why the huge jump in abandonment rate? I think it comes down to two changes we made to the survey: 1) We incr[...]



Q1 2009 Survey Results

2009-03-31T11:20:49.372-07:00

The third installment of the Quarterly Satisfaction survey was released on March 6, 2009 with the 3.07 update. The survey was displayed on the “What’s New” page to 10% of the incoming population and was completed by 15,682 people in eleven locales (Hebrew is the newest locale to join the survey distribution).(For the results of the last two quarterly surveys, click (Q308 or Q408)Overall, I’m happy to say that the responses to our survey have remained consistent from last quarter, with our current customer satisfaction coming in at 82.6%. Although this is a drop from last quarter (84.3%) the difference between the two is 1.7 percentage points, which in essence, almost identical from last quarter. A comparison to and discussion of some differing results from last year will be explored in a follow-up post.Looking at the rest of the results, we've pretty much stayed consistent with our results from Q4 of 2008.Recommendation/Word of Mouth is the main way people find out about Firefox, with PR outreach (online and offline news & blogs) coming in second.This next question was added in Q4--results have remained about the same, with most responders (75%) using Firefox for more than a year.Performance is still the primary reason for download with security coming in as the second most popular reason.Question 5 is interesting to me because it indicates that most people are aware of the ability to customize Firefox, but Performance is still the stronger reason to use Firefox.I included a good portion of the results for question 6 so everyone could see what other browsers our users are using. I was also surprised by the low number of responses that named websites as opposed to browsers--I was expecting a little more terminology confusion.This is a new question attempting to better answer why people use other browsers beyond Firefox. The main reason people use other browsers, seems to be a lack of compatibility--some websites users want to use are not behaving properly. The next major reason is because people aren't able to use Firefox at their place or work or their school. Both of these reasons were very much expected and we are continuing to work hard to be as compatible as possible.This question was also pretty consistent, with most responses coming from the mid-usage range.Here is where we usually calculate the "Customer Satisfaction Score". We do this by adding up the % of people who answered 4 and 5 and subtract the number of people who responded 1 or 2. For this quarter, we have a score of 82, which is about 1.5 percentage points less than last quarter. (Read this blog post to learn more.)[...]



All.html design test live!

2009-03-11T15:42:26.925-07:00

After a lot of work, the one week test of the all.html designs has just gone live! There are a total of four designs--each design is shown 25% of the time. For this test, the design will change every fifteen minutes.

The design that performs the best (incites the most downloads) will be chosen as the winner and will be relaunched for the end of the quarter with final tweaks.

Thanks to Ken, Seth, Steven Garrity, Stephen D, Krupa, Wil, and Jeremy for all your hard work!



Feedback for all.html redesign

2009-03-05T16:20:33.611-08:00

As some of you may remember, I sent out a blog post a few months ago soliciting feedback for the all.html redesigns.

These pages have now been implemented, but we are looking for more feedback on all three designs. You can find them here:

https://www-trunk.stage.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/all-1.html
https://www-trunk.stage.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/all-2.html
https://www-trunk.stage.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/all-3.html

You can leave feedback on this blog or on one of the bugs:
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=475760
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=477278
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=478428

I need ALL feedback by March 9th at 5pm Pacific.

Thanks!



Landing Page Progress and Analysis: January 2009

2009-02-09T12:57:04.622-08:00

As promised, here are the latest statistics on the landing page projectI've been working on with Pascal Chevrel:

Quickly scanning the chart, you can see that we're making progress with our landing page views every month. Some locales have seen huge increases in page views (ar, be, ku, lv,mk, sr) and others have stabilized (es-ar, he, sl, sv-SE), (image) while others have lost (gl, af).

Overall, however, I am very happy to see that the total number of page views (of all the landing pages) is continuing to grow and I'm looking forward to getting the last eight landing pages implemented.

For quick reference, we have four locales with more than 20K page views (yellow). We also have four locales with more than 50K page views (green) and three locales with more than 100K page views (blue).

As always, feel free to write me a note if you have any questions, comments or suggestions. I'll post another update next month to see how we're doing.



Quarterly Survey Results, December 2008--84% Satisfaction Rating

2009-01-06T08:45:22.437-08:00

The second installment of the Quarterly survey was released on December 14th with a total of 15,823 responses in ten locales. The survey was hosted for a week and a half by surveygizmo.com and displayed to 10% of users on the Firefox 3.05 "What's New Page".Overall, this survey received half as many responses as the survey released in September (30,272). We also had some trouble getting responses from both Chinese locales, even when increasing the display percentage from 10%-50% of all Chinese-language users. Regardless, we have a confidence interval of 3.3 for zh-cn and 2.45 for zh-tw with a 99% confidence level.All the other locales have between .5-.9 confidence interval and 99% confidence level. (I removed Question 6 from this overview because of a data recording error). Responses have remained pretty consistent in the two surveys. About 52% of people found out about Firefox through a recommendation in this installment compared to 55% in the last survey. The consistency in responses to this question shows that the user's experiences with Firefox and their positive interpretations of these experiences drive further awareness of Firefox.The next question "How long have you been using Firefox" was added to this installment of the survey in order for us to understand the backgrounds of the people answering the survey.70% of the people who responded to this survey have used Firefox for more than a year, with the majority of that 70% (44%) having used it for more than two years. This may be because our longer term users (because of their high level of satisfaction) are more likely to take a survey about Firefox. It may also have something to do with the timing of the survey, with our hardcore/long-term users (who also tend to be online most of the day) more likely to be active on the Internet in mid-December than one of our newer/less intense users. Regardless, there may be a slight skew towards answers we would associate with the longer-term Firefox user.The primary reason for download of Firefox was performance followed by security and a recommendation--consistent with last quarter's results. I still don't really understand why customization is so low on the list, especially considering the responses to my add-ons question (#5 which shows 56% of respondents saying they have installed an add-on).We may have gotten such a high awareness(I'm calling awareness a positive response) because most of our long-term users know about add-ons--and with more than 70% of our respondents using Firefox for more than a year, this could be a very plausible explanation.Looking at the cross-tab analysis of questions 3 and 5, it appears as though those people who have used Firefox for more than 2 years are most likely to have installed an add-on (53%). Users who have used Firefox for 1-2 years (green highlight) are almost equally likely to have an add-on as to not have one or to not know what an add-on is. What's even more interesting (at least to me, anyway) is that the the users who have had Firefox for 6 months or less are more likely to not have an add-on or to not know what an add-on is. As the length of time of use continues to go down, users are even less likely to have an add-on. This data suggests and confirms what many of us at Mozilla already know--that we have to do a better job of introducing new users to add-ons and their benefits during each new users first session(s) with Firefox.In last quarter's results I bro[...]



Landing Page Progress and Analysis

2009-01-05T08:56:48.356-08:00

As Pascal and Seth have blogged in the past month, we have been working on a landing page project to bring better visibility to the newer locales and to improve the user experience for non-English speaking Firefox users. We currently have 27 landing pages complete (you can read Pascal's blog entry here) and still have 10 remaining.Since some of the pages have been running since early November, I wanted to share the page view numbers we're seeing (the locales in yellow do not yet have landing pages).The first columns shows the number of page views from the relevant country of the en-us version of mozilla.com. I'm hoping this will give a better idea of how many people these landing pages may be able to help. The second column shows the number of page views of the relevant landing page for November, while the third column shows the page views for December. (If the second column has an "x" in it, the landing page was not ready in November).These pages are generally accessed by users typing in "download Firefox" and their locale--for example, "Firefox Arabic" in either English or the native language. The landing page should display first organically on whichever search engine the user uses.From looking at the spreadsheet, you can see that every locale that had a landing page available in November had improved page views in December. Although some locales have very low page views, like occitan (oc) only had 44 page views in December, we need to take into account the size of the population and when the page was available. I suggest that the page views for December are lower than an average month because of the holidays--we'll only really know that after another two months of tracking, but until then I do think the number of page views of the landing pages will continue to increase as more people find out about these landing pages. Although we cannot be sure of exactly where this traffic is coming from and how much of it is coming from newer versus older users, we can guess that the people hitting these pages are hitting them for a reason--because the language and the content of these pages are relevant to the users.Regardless of how these pages continue to perform, I do think that creating these pages has been both helpful in improving the UE of mozilla.com and the existing Firefox and Thunderbird community sites that are linked to these landing pages. Even if Occitan continues to average 44 page views a month, I feel like the improved UE for those 44 users was worth the effort and work of the marketing and localization team.I will report back about page views in January and periodically there after, but for the time being, I'd like to tentatively call this project a success. We will continue working on the remaining ten languages and start working on more locales this coming quarter.Happy New Year![...]