MozillaZine

Proposed changes to mozilla.org homepage

Discussion of general topics about Mozilla Firefox
bartd
 
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Post Posted September 21st, 2004, 12:32 am

Hi everyone,

It's been a couple of weeks now since the new web site went live. Enough time to collect feedback from different groups of people and step back a bit. While we have received a lot of positive feedback, legitimate concerns have been raised about the lack of a real feedback cycle for the new homepage and about the way in which developer content was relegated off the homepage.

I wanted to articulate my personal opinion about what the mission of the mozilla.org homepage should be and make a proposal for a few changes. I'd like to receive feedback on both of these issues.

I believe that the primary purposes of the mozilla.org homepage should be (1) to generate Firefox downloads and (2) to direct people to the information they are looking for on our site. Secondary purposes should be (1) to promote additional key products (primarily Thunderbird), (2) to provide the latest Mozilla news, (3) to encourage people to get involved with Mozilla, (4) to highlight what's going on in our developer community and (5) to highlight blog posts by key Mozilla contributors. In addition, as part of a sponsorship agreement with the Mozilla Store, we want to promote Mozilla merchandise from our homepage. Let me elaborate on each of these items:

* Promoting Firefox downloads: Firefox is our most important weapon in our drive to spread Gecko user agent strings, which is our mission as an organization. We are about preserving standards, choice and innovation on the web. In order to achieve this mission, we must have a critical mass of users, so that web developers will build web sites to standards, not to a specific browser. Firefox has captured the attention of opinion leaders, the mainstream press, and millions of users. Firefox is allowing us to reverse 5 years+ of ever-increasing monopolization of the browser space. So we are promoting downloads because right now Firefox is our best weapon for achieving our mission. Millions of users are visiting our web site each month, and we have to offer them a simple, easy-to-understand homepage that allows them to easily understand why they should get Firefox, and how they can get it.
* Directing people to the information they are looking for. That's what the navbar, the search box, and the links in each of the feature boxes are about.
* Promoting additional key products: Thunderbird is very important to our future and we should promote it.
* Providing the latest Mozilla news: to share important information with the people who visit our site.
* Encouraging people to get involved with Mozilla: Mozilla is a community endeavor and encouraging people to get involved is hugely important. Anyone can contribute: hackers, testers, bugzilla volunteers, marketing volunteers.
* Highlight what's going on in our developer community: Mozilla wouldn't be anywhere without our community of developers so we need to spotlight what's going on in this community.
* Blog posts: blog posts show how dynamic our community is and provide a behind the scenes look into the open source process. Constantly updated blog posts give readers a reason to keep coming back to our site.
* Mozilla 1.7: I believe that featuring Mozilla 1.7 on our homepage as we near the 1.0 milestone for Firefox and Thunderbird is counter-productive, for the simple reason that it is almost impossible to explain to people that Mozilla 1.7 is not the same as Firefox + Thunderbird. Believe me, I've tried explaining this. Just a few days ago, Chris and I spent 20 minutes explaining this to one of the country's most influential reporters, who was quite familiar with Mozilla. He got confused. Even if we were able to succinctly communicate the difference between the suite and Firefox/Thunderbird, it would still be counter-productive to expose users to two competing choices on our homepage. In sum, I believe that we need to continue to maintain and update Seamonkey, but the homepage of mozilla.org is not the best place to promote it.

Proposal for changes:
* Announcements > Mozilla News: the current announcements box is too static. It should become a Mozilla News box that lists both official Mozilla announcements and other important Mozilla news, which could come from MozillaZine, MozillaNews, high profile press stories etc. We already have an aggregator on Spread Firefox that can be used to program this box.
* Improved Mozilla Weblogs: We should make sure that only Mozilla-related posts are featured here, and allow posters to flag a post as "donotfeature". We have this infrastructure in place and ready to go from Spread Firefox.
* Mozilla 1.7.3 box > Get Involved box, around 1.0 RC launch. The new Get Involved box would include links to (1) getting involved as a developer, (2) filing bugs, (3) testing, (4) helping to spread Firefox. We may not have 4 links in that little box, but whatever links we do have should offer information about each of these ways in which people can get involved. In support of this box, a few developer-oriented pages may need updating (how to contribute, how to file bugs, how to join the QA team, how to join Evangelism...).
* MozillaZine box > Developer Spotlight. Links to important developer-related news and new resources. For example, a link to the Roadmap, new developer documentation, policy changes, an important blog post by a key contributor.

Please provide your ideas on all of the above!

Regards,

Bart

steve
 
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Joined: November 7th, 2002, 6:58 am

Post Posted September 21st, 2004, 1:48 am

The mozilla.org website should reflect the mozilla.orgs products - all of them - not just firefox.
I think firefox may be the browser of choice for some people but for many others it is the suite.

Up North

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Post Posted September 21st, 2004, 2:00 am

I agree with steve. If you know so sure why FF should be downloaded and used, a statment about the other products should be in place. You still have mozilla. Why? tell us, and make the differences plain to see. Tell us the strenght of Firefox and thunderbird combination and the mozilla in the own page.

Make a starting portal for all users.

A black page with tree icons will do it! Easy

Keep up the good work
- room for rent -

adamhauner
 
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Post Posted September 21st, 2004, 2:41 am

bartd wrote:Firefox has captured the attention of opinion leaders, the mainstream press, and millions of users.


Maybe partial reason is, that Firefox is first Mozilla product marketed and promoted strongly.

bartd wrote:Promoting additional key products: Thunderbird is very important to our future and we should promote it.

Maybe Thunderbird is our future, but Mozilla Suite is our localizable and usable mail application in present. Thundebird is still in base developement with all related and not-trivial problems (localization, huge changes in user profiles between versions, etc.).

bartd wrote:In sum, I believe that we need to continue to maintain and update Seamonkey, but the homepage of mozilla.org is not the best place to promote it.

Mozilla Suite lived in Netscape 6/7 shadow as tool for developers only, since new roadmap around 1.4b Mozilla Suite is repeatedly trashed by nearly everyone in Mountain View in the name of Aviary.

This is just next attempt to tomb it alive (but the worst), although is the 1st or 2nd best browser (after Firefox) on the market. It's GUI is more polished then GUI of Opera or MSIE, it has best rendering engine ever, contains superior mail & news client, but Mozilla.org is not able to promote this mature, stable and popular product as its "advanced" choice. Firefox is good weapon, but any army doesn't use just one type.


bartd wrote:Improved Mozilla Weblogs: We should make sure that only Mozilla-related posts are featured here, and allow posters to flag a post as "donotfeature".

I don't see this as huge benefit for common user. Maybe this should be last in row.

Futhermore, I'm still missing links to Camino, Bugzilla product site. IMHO they're more important than blogs.

BTW posting this comment into Firefox General is pretty indication of other Mozilla.org importance. =(

CoolCatBad

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Post Posted September 21st, 2004, 2:41 am

I think a link to an "Install Guide" or "Upgrade Guide" ( 0.8 or 0.9x to 0.10PR) with step-by-step illustrations is needed.
Similar to ISP help pages.
Most of us here could do this with ease, but to the novice it appears to be the greatest stumbling block.
The FirefoxIE site is a good example of a comprehensive install guide, but even that could do with some dumbing-down.

prandal
 
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Location: Worcester, England

Post Posted September 21st, 2004, 3:40 am

There needs to be a prominent link to www.mozilla.org/security on the homepage (you can't even see it in the site map at present). Security issues are important, and we need to be "up front" (literally) about them.
Last edited by prandal on September 21st, 2004, 3:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

naylor83

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Post Posted September 21st, 2004, 3:43 am

I think Bart is right in saying that the Mozilla Suite could/should be moved off the front page. I also agree with adamhauner that the suite could be promoted as Mozillas advanced alternative to Firefox & Thunderbird, unless you have plans on making a 'Power User' package of the two, together with a nice selection of extensions.

But it needn't be promoted on the front page. I think most people who are advanced enough web users or web developers already know of the suite, and won't need the it to be on the front page to find it if/when they want it.
<a href="http://davidnaylor.org/blog/">David Naylor: Blog</a> | <a href="http://davidnaylor.org/photography/">David Naylor: Photography</a>

Nomax

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Post Posted September 21st, 2004, 3:55 am

Hi!
I think the Mozilla page is good as it is now. It's clear, looks good, easy to use and to find what you're looking for.

Regarding the removal of the Mozilla 1.7.3 icon, I don't agree. Firefox already takes more than half of the page space, it's well highlited enough! If you want more of Firefox, there's an entire page dedicated to it.

Whatever you might think, not everybody is interested in Firefox. The Mozilla suite is the base of the foundation and many enterprises and end-users who where using Netscape Communicator switched to Mozilla. Removing Mozilla from the main page is pure sabotage. The organization would loose a lot in credibility.

To sum up, I think the homepage is good as it is now.

BillC
 
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Post Posted September 21st, 2004, 4:36 am

... In sum, I believe that we need to continue to maintain and update Seamonkey, but the homepage of mozilla.org is not the best place to promote it....

I think the reason there is confusion is because it it called <strong>Mozilla</strong> 1.7.3 - Why wouldn't they think that is what mozilla.org is about?

If Mozilla.org is to be the "parent" how about giving the Seamonkey project it's own moniker? Then people can decide if the need a whole suite, or an individual component - browser,mail client,calendar or a html composer? Open Source is about choices, right?

Pike2
 
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Post Posted September 21st, 2004, 5:31 am

How about Mozilla Dodo 1.8? ;-) The Monkey is dead, long live the bird. Oh, wait, I'm a Seamonkey, I shouldn't suggest extinct species. And we won't be able to trademark Dodo, either.

But I do like the idea of having a distinct product name for the suite. That would in fact make things easier quite a bit.

adamhauner
 
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Post Posted September 21st, 2004, 6:20 am

Pike2 wrote:How about Mozilla Dodo 1.8? ;-) The Monkey is dead, long live the bird. Oh, wait, I'm a Seamonkey, I shouldn't suggest extinct species. And we won't be able to trademark Dodo, either. But I do like the idea of having a distinct product name for the suite. That would in fact make things easier quite a bit.

CZilla, czech Mozilla localization and advocacy project, is using Mozilla Suite for SeaMonkey.

biesi
 
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Post Posted September 21st, 2004, 7:42 am

bartd wrote:In sum, I believe that we need to continue to maintain and update Seamonkey, but the homepage of mozilla.org is not the best place to promote it.


I strongly disagree with this. There are still people who prefer Seamonkey, believe it or not, and they are interested in new versions of it. That you are posting this in a Firefox forum is a strong indication of the amount of feedback you are wanting to get on this point.

I suppose it's time to reconsider whether this is a project I want to spend time on...

bartd
 
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Post Posted September 21st, 2004, 7:42 am

adamhauner wrote:BTW posting this comment into Firefox General is pretty indication of other Mozilla.org importance. =(

I was going to post this in the Mozilla Development forum, but that forum has 3000 posts, versus 126,000 posts in this forum, so I wanted to put this in the most active forum. Similarly, the Mozilla General forums has less than 30,000 posts total.

Ross.Shannon
 
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Post Posted September 21st, 2004, 8:38 am

I agree with moving the suite off the homepage. This isn't about which browser mozilla.org is pushing more than the other -- the issue is the potential for confusion for people who land on the homepage with no preamble, no idea about the differences betweent the suite and firefox.

Yesterday my mum called me into the computer room, saying she didn't "like this Mozilla thing." A little distressed, I asked why. I had recently deleted IE from all my family member's desktops and placed shortcuts to Firefox and Thunderbird, and the Mozilla suite was there too. It turned out she was unhappy because she didn't know which one she was meant to use.

The Camino developers were able to cope when their work was moved off the homepage, as it was the right decision. http://www.mozilla.org/products/ is the place for the suite.

Quark

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Post Posted September 21st, 2004, 8:50 am

I don't see why it's a bad thing that SeaMonkey be pushed off the main page. We don't want typical endusers downloading being confused and downloading SeaMonkey. Anyone else at this point should already be aware of SeaMonkey.

Besides, this is only the homepage we're talking about. Do you see Windows 64-bit on microsoft.com? Diablo 2 on blizzard.com?

We shouldn't fill up the homepage with everything.

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