Tuesday, October 24th 2006

Mozilla Websites Get Facelifts

Just like last time Mozilla did a big release, addons.mozilla.org is getting a facelift.

Screenshot of addons.mozilla.org

The fact that plug-ins and search engines also are listed as add-ons indicates that they will be merged in future versions of Firefox. That’s to say, extensions, themes, search engine plug-ins and regular plug-ins will all be managed using the add-ons manager (which now in version 2 contains only themes and extensions).

The You’re firefox has been updated page has been given a similar design, so I presume they will be redesigning the main Firefox page too. A good addition they’ve made to the you-have-updated page is a link for installing spelling dictionaries. Great thinking there – a great way to promote one of the main advantages of Firefox 2 over IE7.

Update: Yeah, Firefox 2 has now been released and the main mozilla site has also had the redesign.

No Responses to this post:

  1. ogirtd says:

    First impression: I don’t like it.It’s too blue, I think. And the odds pictures?

  2. David Naylor says:

    I can see what you mean about the blue, but I still like the new design.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I don’t like the new graphics at all. They give me a spooky, eerie feel. Toolbar buttons on Firefox itself I find ugly and lacking real colour or saturation, too. The fact that we don’t have an option to revert to closing tabs like the old Firefox is bad, too. I preferred it. Overall, I find the new Firefox artwork not vibrant enough and too bland. The website and addons.mozilla.org site has downgraded from what it was, in my opinion. This gives me more incentive to get off my butt and make my own Theme for the thing…

  4. David Naylor says:

    @anonymousSounds like you missed this:http://davidnaylor.org/blog/2006/10/new-firefox-theme-saturated.htmlAre you kidding me, mr?

  5. Anonymous says:

    No, I wasn’t joking. I saw your theme before and it’s much better than what they decided on, but I really don’t like the icons they use in Firefox 2.0 to start with. I will slowly but surely be making my own, but since I’ve never done this, it might take me some time.You’d think with Firefox’s popularity they’d choose something a bit better than this and have many vote on it. I can’t imagine this coming out on top at all. In many ways, 1.5.x had better icons, and even then I wasn’t exactly thrilled with those either. I’m serious about their website changes, too. The graphics I’m just not a fan of. For instance, https://addons.mozilla.org/. Using a motorbike for the add-ons site? Talk about vague associations with hot-rodding or performance. I assume that’s what they were going for?The graphics are so ‘wispy’ and fadey… they really aren’t clear or sharp at all. I just don’t like the style, I guess. They actually do look ‘spooky’ to me. The silhouettes and all that vagueness.Regarding usability, if you click on their Recommended addons link, you get a huge list you have to scroll through. None of it is sorted according to type of add-on. The web development stuff is mixed with the more general stuff. Really low usability and maximum scrollability. They should be sorted by topic/need. I can’t remember if the old site was like this.When you click build your own it takes you to the Extension-building part of Mozilla Dev, but the Theme-building is completely ignored (!). You have to find that yourself manually.The difference between Extensions, Themes and Plug-Ins is not clear until you actually click on their respective links on addons.mozilla.org, too. A title tag would do wonders here when mousing over things for the average user to get to where they want to be without the confusion. Or simply explaining it on the homepage of addons.mozilla.org; 1 sentence explaining what a plug-in does. A Theme. An Extension. Simple. Now teh user can go where they need to.When you click on Extensions, you can see a list of Popular Extensions and also New And Updated(I can complain that the headings should be a different colour, size or given emphasis to be given more prominence, but I won’t :). If you click on that, the next page that comes up shows your popular extensions, but it makes you forget where you are because that page has no heading “Popular Extensions”. It’s really vague where you have been and where you are. When you search through any category of extensions, the “Next results” text is too small for usable or noticeable navigation. The navigation should be bigger and more noticeable. And I’d simply rename it “Next”. Next results implies a new search, IMO.I can go on 🙂 Just not a fan of it at all. The older addons.mozilla.org had its faults, but I still feel it was far better than what they have now. It allowed you to jump from one category to the next far more easily and was a lot more friendlier on usability and had a less claustrophobic, more open feel to the navigation. It just felt a lot better to me. The sociability (comments, etc) and easier navigability were at the forefront, not the ‘closed’ navigation, spooky graphics and feel of this one, in my opinion.I hope this gives you some insight into my insanity 😉

  6. David Naylor says:

    Anonymous, you have some very good points. Have you forwarded them to someone at mozilla? Not really sure who owns those problems, but I’d really encourage you to find him/her and bring up those points.