MozillaZine

Andkon Proposes New Design for Mozilla Foundation Front Page

Tuesday July 27th, 2004

Sometime Mozilla antagonist Andras "andkon" Konya has written an essay on how the Mozilla Foundation can attract new users by improving its website. Andkon takes a critical look at the current mozilla.org front page and the main Mozilla Firefox page before presenting an alternative front page design that he believes will cater better to the needs of end users.


#1 Looks good

by WillyWonka

Tuesday July 27th, 2004 8:06 PM

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Actually his new design is pretty good. The button to download is right there for the main 2 products. Afterall thats what people want to do when they go to the root mozilla page. It took me a few seconds but I eventually found the developers section. I dunno why, but I expected it to be linked to on the bottom, not the right of the page [shrug].

#2 Hmm

by garfieldbond

Tuesday July 27th, 2004 8:34 PM

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It's not bad, definitely got some good suggestions. Although perhaps not quite appropriate for mozilla.org just yet (other products *do* exist :), it's a great start for a good jumpoff point for the aviary products.

I disagree with specifically mentioning Internet Explorer though. There's a lot of credence to the idea that you don't directly mention your competitor (although that's usually used in the context of the larger company competing with a smaller one). Plus, the market is not simply about Internet Explorer and Windows; we're targeting Mac and Linux too.

#23 Firefox slogans RE Internet Explorer

by martrootamm

Wednesday July 28th, 2004 3:34 AM

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Well, if not specifically mentioning Internet Explorer, then I have a few other 'slogan' suggestions:

Original: "Firefox is a completely free replacement of Internet Explorer."

Comment: First of all, Internet Explorer cannot be _replaced_ in Windows. Not "just like that" and not with anything else, so there should be a different word or phrase.

Suggestion: "Firefox is a completely free browser to surf the Internet more securely than with other similar product."

And that "It has the best compliance to Internet standards."

#24 Correcion

by martrootamm

Wednesday July 28th, 2004 3:35 AM

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* ... than with other similar *products*

#29 Re: Correcion

by mlefevre

Wednesday July 28th, 2004 4:08 AM

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Correction: that's *correction*

Best compliance with standards measured how? Better than IE isn't hard, but it's arguable if you're comparing to Safari or Opera. Better to be safe and avoid comparisons - just say "excellent" standards compliance. However, that's actually something that the existing pages get right. Users don't care about standards compliance, they just want pages to work. There are already frequent complaints that Mozilla stuff sticks to standards too much.

#61 Re: Re: Correcion

by martrootamm

Sunday August 1st, 2004 3:22 AM

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[Correction: that's *correction*]

Well, thanks for that. It usually happens when touchtyping. I guess I'd have to proofread more of what I submit. Such a pity there is no preview option in Forums, like in the Watch Farscape forums — <http://www.watchfarscape.com/forums> .

#62 Standards

by martrootamm

Sunday August 1st, 2004 3:41 AM

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But wasn't that the purpose of Mozilla to be fully standards-compliant? I think that the hidden document.all feature is already overkill, in which case I'm hoping that it will be gradually phased out once more pages move over to standards-compliant scripting, for example.

Apparently, it's not very easy to tell how Mozilla Firefox is better than Internet Explorer without explicitly saying that "Mozilla Firefox is better than Internet Explorer." And the latter slogan is moot, because if stupid users download Mozilla Firefox and a site doesn't work with it, then they could become disillusioned of the fact that it was touted as "better than Internet Explorer" and go back to Internet Explorer.

It looks like many 'simpel' (sp. intentional) users want to use only one browser, as they are usually aware of Internet Explorer only. And I remember one senior-aged acquaintance saying that "I want my Hotmail!"

Also, claiming that Mozilla Firefox is better just doesn't work on him and people like him if they see that some site (which is usually geared towards Internet Explorer's functionality) that they use doesn't function in it because of incompetent site developers.

Web sites such as Disney's <http://www.disney.com> redirect the K-Meleon 0.8.2 (Mozilla/Gecko 1.5) browser to its "Experience the magic with the latest browser and flash plug-in!" page only because there is no Flash plug-in in use (old computer, so I removed the flash plug-in), but the browser in fact is "latest" enough to view pages without having to use the Flash plugin anyway, while the "upgrade" page implies that there is still something wrong with the browser itself and not with the lack of the latest Flash plug-in — even if the "Software Detect" section here <http://disney.go.com/home/html/index.html> in its main body content finally reveals that a plugin is missing.

#50 the term "Browser" and the end user

by spliffster

Thursday July 29th, 2004 4:37 AM

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I am a web developer and working for a small isp. luckily not too often, but sometimes, i have contact with customers (usual support stuff). I have to emphaze, that the big majortity donesn't know what a browser is! if i mention internet explorer theysuddenly know what i am talking about. microsoft has done a supreme job in that area --- indeed.

#63 Re: the term "Browser" and the end user

by martrootamm

Sunday August 1st, 2004 3:55 AM

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That's because everyone basically knows what the Internet embodies for them (usually web pages) and "Internet Explorer" is exactly what they need. If there's anything that could be suggested as 'better than Internet Explorer' and that could still be associated with the Internet and networking, then it's Netscape.

Because 'Mozilla Firefox' only rings bells to those who have any prior knowledge what Mozilla is/was about. And five to seven years ago (and even before that) the big majority actually knew what browsers are.

So to me, this indicates no user education. Computer companies should actually do more to educate their users, especially those who buy their first computer. I've read some radical thoughts around the net that beginning users should get themselves a computer user license before they even touch the machine.

#71 Re: the term "Browser" and the end user

by hfx_ben

Saturday October 30th, 2004 9:50 PM

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"I have to emphaze, that the big majortity donesn't know what a browser is!" Hear, hear!

The idea that most users will just install a different browser on a whim is foolish ... folk are understanbly gun-shy, thanks to years of M$.

#3 Smart Thinking Max

by zachariah

Tuesday July 27th, 2004 9:04 PM

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I never gave the site much thought 'cause I download and install it on people's computer for them. But after reading the rant it does seem like a good idea to be more function focused.

#5 Nobody's perfect

by zachariah

Tuesday July 27th, 2004 9:25 PM

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There is a small error when rendering the "1,2,3" in the suggested design when displayed on large monitors: <http://img54.exs.cx/img54/8277/onlysmallerror.png>

#25 Re: Nobody's perfect

by martrootamm

Wednesday July 28th, 2004 3:37 AM

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That could be fixed with max-height in CSS...

#30 Re: Re: Nobody's perfect

by mlefevre

Wednesday July 28th, 2004 4:09 AM

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Except that max-height doesn't work in IE, and if you're trying to sell Firefox to IE users, your page needs to look good in IE.

#64 CSS/IE

by martrootamm

Sunday August 1st, 2004 3:57 AM

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Now that I know that, then I'd tinker around until I'd find a solution. Only that that page design is not mine, but Andkon's and that's really his undoing.

#4 What next?

by paulmcgarry <paul.mcgarry@gmail.com>

Tuesday July 27th, 2004 9:18 PM

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Mozillaquest publishing a reasonable, non-hysterical article?

The current Mozilla front page is very nice looking and is far from anything to be ashamed of but a degree of simplicity and focus as seen in his example front page might be nice..

#7 Under no circumstances

by paulmcgarry <paul.mcgarry@gmail.com>

Tuesday July 27th, 2004 9:38 PM

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pick up the "lair of firefox and nest of thunderbird" bit though. It's so forced it's cringeworthy.

#47 Re: What next?

by durbacher

Thursday July 29th, 2004 3:52 AM

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> What next? Mozillaquest publishing a reasonable, non-hysterical article?

Actually this already happened in April: "How to Create a Simple Web Page with Mozilla Composer 1.7 and Netscape 7 Composer"

#6 Great methodology

by trooper

Tuesday July 27th, 2004 9:29 PM

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Defining requirements as you did in the criteria matrix is a great approach. Far too often in all walks of life people decide to do something, then retrospectively define the requirements it achieved. Hopefully this will serve as a friendly kick up the ass to some of the guilty :)

#8 Not a bad design

by jesusX <jesus_x@mozillanews.org>

Tuesday July 27th, 2004 10:03 PM

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It's not a bad design, but as usual, it surrounded by andkon's endless self-important drivel. The kid is such a pompous windbag, he has a long career in politics ahead of him. He dedicates page after page to how he and only he has access to an unending font of wisdom. It really makes one want to puke by the time they get to the design, which isn't half bad, surprisingly. Give this kid an editor for Christmas.

#14 agree, do not pay attention to him

by dipa

Tuesday July 27th, 2004 11:56 PM

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Otherwise, he will *demand* his proposals to be applied. JesuX, do you remember those horrible "jtk" flamewars at mozilla newsgroups ? Same attitude from a conspiracy-obsessed paranoid. I remember mozilla-performance newsgroup becoming a mess because of him. I also remember someone trying to make him contribute. After rejecting his proposals, a hell of flames again. Heck, there's no point in trying to cooperate with immatured web-addicts and maniacs.

#15 Re: agree, do not pay attention to him

by jesusX <jesus_x@mozillanews.org>

Wednesday July 28th, 2004 12:11 AM

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Do I remember? I was part of the squad that finally helped put him in his place. :)

Like I said, tho, finally andkon has put forth something of value. I think the moz.og crew sees that the front page needs better designed though. There's some moving around of items, and things are getting marginaly clearer. With the getfirefox.com address, that helps too. I thin what would be good is the mozilla.org address be fore the products, and the mozillafoundation.org be used for the current catch-all page. or maybe mozilla.com should be the product page, as .com is more newbie friendly anyway.

#26 .com vs .org

by martrootamm

Wednesday July 28th, 2004 3:41 AM

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The .com domain only seems friendly, because everyone knows it. Alas, it negates the fact that Mozilla is a non-profit organisation. And .com once became .bomb ;)

For example, <http://slashdot.org> is still a .org , even if its .com URL sends the surfer to .org.

#54 Re: Re: agree, do not pay attention to him

by andkon <andraskonya@hotmail.com>

Saturday July 31st, 2004 12:47 PM

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There was no putting in place. The NG's got boring and I decided to improve my site, much to enjoyment of a few hundred people.

#53 Re: agree, do not pay attention to him

by andkon <andraskonya@hotmail.com>

Saturday July 31st, 2004 12:46 PM

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I dont care if my ideas are taken or not. I got myself a new design for MY frontpage, regardless.

BTW, as I said it's a conceptual design... If you don't like it, improve upon it by downloading the ZIP file.

#42 Re: Not a bad design

by superyooser

Wednesday July 28th, 2004 10:19 AM

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It's a shame when people let their pride get in the way of accepting suggested improvements that would truly make their works better.

What does his personality have to do with anything? Judge the criticism on it merits. You can only benefit.

#9 good idea

by kguru

Tuesday July 27th, 2004 10:58 PM

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This is a good idea, however I think Internet Explorer should not be mentioned prominently anywhere in the website. Instead highlight the Mozilla features as "a turbocharged web browser" or "enhanced web browsing" or something along those lines. Mozilla.org is there to get you to download its products, not to discuss whats wrong with IE (plenty of other sites do that). When someone gets to Mozilla.org they probably are already 'browser shopping', so giving easy to understand information about the features, and that the product is secure and easy to download is important. Right now the picture of the car stands out more anything else on the Firefox page and it is distracting from the message of the page.

#35 Re: good idea

by zachariah

Wednesday July 28th, 2004 6:26 AM

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"There's only one thing powerful in this world enough to topple Microsoft, if toppling Microsoft is your goal, and that is Microsoft." - Scott Collins (of Mozilla.org) <http://www.mozillazine.or…alkback.html?article=4855>

#10 Design Quality?

by Simplex

Tuesday July 27th, 2004 11:03 PM

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I *never* knee-jerk react to suggestions like this. (I didn't do it to the new default theme in Fx, either.) But I read that article a while ago linked from someone's blog here on mozillazine. I can see his points. Mozilla isn't selling itself to users enough. It' isn't making it dumbfoundingly simple (though it is simple) to download their products, which products they are marketing, and what is right for whom, but I think they do an OK job. Improvement? Sure. Do I think the Dave Shea's choice in Tan was a little odd? Yes. But under any circumstance do I think that the atrocity that this article produces is worthy of mozilla's blessing? A resounding NO. A stab-my-eye-out NO.

The *ONLY* thing I like about it, are the the red and blue radial-gradient boxes behind the two product listings. There are so many many things asthetically wrong with that website. And he loves some of them. He loves the grey background because it gets out of the way, but most print designers would die before putting red and blue on gradient grey. Shiver.

Not to mention the content problems he has. The search feature is at the *bottom* of the page. His Firefox primer has "Please click the feature's link to see a short demo of the feature." which brings us right back to 1995 where we have to tell users where to click and what will happen when they do. The Firefox and Thunderbird headers aren't themselves links. Although he claims illustrious salesmanship and the ability to sell his products to viewers in 800x600 above the fold, there are 0 links to download software there. There is so much more, but I'm supposed to be doing homework -- I'm too busy banging my head on my desk. And I'm normally a sane person.

I just never thought this would be a mozillazine article, and never in my wildest mind would I believe that there would be people on here who thing that his design isn't horrible.

"Please stick a small logo or banner on your site proclaiming your like of Mozilla." -- AHHHHHHHH I'm going INSANE!!!

#52 Re: tan

by Handle

Friday July 30th, 2004 6:54 AM

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I liked the tan.

#55 Re: Design Quality?

by andkon <andraskonya@hotmail.com>

Saturday July 31st, 2004 12:50 PM

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CONCEPTUAL please... That means it highlights the *features*... I'm not saying copy and paste the design.... Simply incorporate the ideas... Namely, products upfront, easy to understand messages, etc...

#11 Grrrr

by glazou <daniel@glazman.org>

Tuesday July 27th, 2004 11:10 PM

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Andkon is the stupid young asshole who compared Mozilla artwork to Nazi artwork some time ago, and released several insultant articles for our work. I wonder why MozillaZine gives him such a tribune and I recommend whoever accepted/posted this news reports also reads all articles in the Stuff section of his web site.

#16 Re: Grrrr

by jesusX <jesus_x@mozillanews.org>

Wednesday July 28th, 2004 12:13 AM

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You know Dan, your problem is you always couch your real feelings in such vague and politically correct terms. Damn it man, say what you REALLY feel!

#27 Re: Grrrr

by martrootamm

Wednesday July 28th, 2004 3:46 AM

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Now that I thought of it — black, red and white — it actually reminded me of the Peacekeeper artwork from Farscape. And the PK bird's head alignment was similar to that of the Mozilla the Red Dragon :).

#44 Re: Grrrr

by superyooser

Wednesday July 28th, 2004 11:11 AM

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You mean this? <http://www.mozilla.org/party/2000/mozilla2.gif>

It does have a *Communist/Socialist* flavor having such prominence of the Red Star. It looks like a flyer for a Workers World Party convention.

I wouldn't be caught dead wearing some of those Mozilla shirts. Compare:

<http://www.cafeshops.com/…ist.3864536?zoom=yes#zoom> <http://www.mozillastore.c…ucts/clothing/mozillastar>

#67 Re: Re: Grrrr

by andkon <andraskonya@hotmail.com>

Friday August 6th, 2004 12:41 PM

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It's nice to see that people other than "trolls" agree that Mozilla had, thankfully, too much of a commie artwork influence.

#56 Re: Grrrr

by andkon <andraskonya@hotmail.com>

Saturday July 31st, 2004 12:54 PM

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Yes, because posters that look like the Vietnamese or Chinese flags are NOT good...

Im in Hungary right now, Dan, for vacation. A country that was under the Soviet regime for 40 years after the nazis ran the place for a decade.

Communism or even looking remotely like it only attracts a few punk kids, not 50 year olds who had relatives taken away in the middle of the night in black cars or had to live in a crummy country all his lives.

#65 Re: Re: Grrrr

by martrootamm

Sunday August 1st, 2004 4:09 AM

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I'm from Estonia and we still remember the horrid deportations to Siberia /in our common memory. And on this weekend the former inhabitants of the New Estonia (Uus-Eesti) village in Transcaucasia (Taga-Kaukaasia) are remembering their parents and grandparents who were labelled as 'enemies of the people' and eventually killed in 1938 — <http://www.etv.ee/index.php?0513241> .

#66 Farscape PK

by martrootamm

Sunday August 1st, 2004 4:40 AM

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As opposed to the red star style, I am proposing the Farscape Peacekeepers' style: black shirt, Mozilla dragon's red head surrounded by a white stripe. Or — red shirt, Mozilla dragon's head or red shirt, Mozilla's head against a white filled circle.

Colour options could still be found here to imagine *on a shirt* —

<http://www.mozillastore.c…ucts/clothing/mozillastar>

This <http://www.watchfarscape.com> forum avatar shoud give some pointers regarding colours — <http://www.watchfarscape.…mavatars/avatar2498_0.gif>

This Watch Farscape discussion goes around the Peacekeeper logo: — <http://www.watchfarscape.…ms/showthread.php?t=25745>

Ben Browder, probably in a Command Carrier — <http://www.ultimate-farsc…a/media/25/crichton03.jpg>

Farscape gallery /in French — <http://www.ultimate-farscape.com/galerie/index.php>

Though I contend that "Beat the whites..." slogan and related PK (Farscape PeaceKeeper) style to might still not be appropriate, because the reds (with what their Red Army) during the 1917 revolution were not good at all, neither is the Peacekeeper force exactly any 'good guys', even if their nemesis force are the Scarrans, who are even worse.

#12 1996!

by huphtur

Tuesday July 27th, 2004 11:16 PM

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wow, amazing, this andakon person designed a web page that looks like its 1996 all over again! and his own homepage looks like jakob nielsen designed it (the other GREAT designer). please delete this news report, since this only makes mozilla look bad.

#68 Re: 1996!

by andkon <andraskonya@hotmail.com>

Friday August 6th, 2004 12:43 PM

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Conceptual meaning it points out features, NOT a ready-for-public design... though I think even in its current form, it's much better than the current design.

Look at the HTML and CSS, its very 2004 as a matter of fact.

#13 Please, do not push to far

by eGandalf

Tuesday July 27th, 2004 11:44 PM

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Great document. I see same problems with current designs, but i don't like his conception of design. It looks very... hmmm unpolished. Apple wins not only because of great campaign but also because its products are so well polished and looks just... modern, light and so on. Try <http://www.firefox.pl> - i don't say we made it perfect, but we passed most of tests and we looks better in my opinion.

Second thing is that pushing everybody to use a translated copy of mozilla.org's site is something i don't want to see ever. If You want to have translated versions - ask us to translate bu use it on official server, and meaby ask us to use it as start page of localized versions. But local sites about products are fully localized for our market and our main goal is to fix the user needs. Local users - not those from USA or China, so sorry - give us some space. It's not so needed for branding since not many users who uses local sites like firefox.pl or thunderbird.pl will use official. (1) what for? 2) they don't have to know english and love to read in it)

#28 Horizontal scrollbar

by martrootamm

Wednesday July 28th, 2004 3:49 AM

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So I use a Gecko-based browser K-Meleon /Gecko 1.5, have Windows 98 with 800x600 and your site had a horizontal scrollbar. Mind some tweaking to remove it?

#37 Re: Horizontal scrollbar

by eGandalf

Wednesday July 28th, 2004 6:46 AM

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Wow. Sure. We're using bugs.firefox.pl for bug reporting, but it's in Polish now. I'll report it immediately. Thanks for info :)

#57 Re: Please, do not push to far

by andkon <andraskonya@hotmail.com>

Saturday July 31st, 2004 12:56 PM

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Unpolished because it is.... It merely SHOWS the key features a real Mozilla.org site needs. Conceptual site, btw.

#17 Intolerance!

by big_surfer

Wednesday July 28th, 2004 12:22 AM

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Why are you so intolerant? You don´t have to like Andkon or his new Mozilla Webpage. Stay cool!

In discussing his proposal, you should split it into two aspects: Content and Design!

I think, Mozilla´s website design isn´t that bad, just the organization of the content is a little bit confusing to new visitors. It really remembers me of other (even own) historically grown websites!

This means, one should think about regrouping the content of the site. And, a tribute to Andkon, think about the influence of the content of the main page on new visitors, who are not familiar with the Mozilla products and the Mozilla history. This would reflect in a more marketing approach for this page. And Andkon´s attempt is a good example, how it could be done.

And don´t forget about the Mozilla Suite. It should also be mentioned on the entry page.

#18 Mentioning IE

by TonyG <tony.gorman@blueyonder.co.Yuk>

Wednesday July 28th, 2004 1:13 AM

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Actually I wonder if mentioning IE on a site for potential converts, is such a bad idea.

The amount of times I have described Firefox as a "web browser" only to be met by blank stares, is astonishing. To get the blank look to go away I usually say a different "Internet Explorer" and they all go aaaaaah.

Now, while that makes me want to get medieval on them, the fact remains that for a vast percentage of the potential user base out there, the Internet is "Internet Explorer", NOT "Microsoft Internet Explorer".

my 2 euros worth.

#58 Re: Mentioning IE

by andkon <andraskonya@hotmail.com>

Saturday July 31st, 2004 12:56 PM

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Exactly, web browser means nothing. Internet Explorer means Internet.

#19 Still some bad things..

by praseodymium

Wednesday July 28th, 2004 1:51 AM

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» DEVELOPERS Help the Mozilla Foundation improve without knowledge of any computer languages.

Uhh...that shouldn't be called a developer then! Maybe some more simplified error reporting should be included (only geeks will signup at bugzilla); so that users can give a simple discription, the browser attaches version strings etc, and actual developers convert it into bugzilla bugs.

And, there should be translations for v1.0; official translations. Users don't feel like googling for e.g. a dutch version...really there are enough users that prefer a browser in their own language! Maybe even a firefox installer which automatically detects and downloads the language (detect for example the windows OS language and then present the user with a language selection with that language preselected).

#48 Re: Still some bad things..

by durbacher

Thursday July 29th, 2004 3:58 AM

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> so that users can give a simple discription, the browser attaches version strings etc, and actual developers convert it into bugzilla bugs

Well, that's sort of what actually happens now. :-(

#51 Re: Re: Still some bad things..

by praseodymium

Thursday July 29th, 2004 8:09 AM

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That's why there needs to be a seperate system for that. Most users won't submit a bug (like a site not working correctly) if they have to sign up, search, etc.

#20 Flash Promo Splash

by tomasm

Wednesday July 28th, 2004 2:21 AM

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As suggested, there's one good, worth of following example: <a href=<http://media.linspire.com/howto/kiosk.swf>><http://media.linspire.com/howto/kiosk.swf></a> Click on Web browsing on left hand side to see what I mean. Linspire inspires.

#21 I agree with Andkon

by bamm <bamm@gabriana.com>

Wednesday July 28th, 2004 3:15 AM

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For the first time I actually agree with Andkon. Furthermore, I actually like his design.

#22 too many words

by mlefevre

Wednesday July 28th, 2004 3:22 AM

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Aside from the author's habit of never using 5 words where 50 will do the job, much of this stuff is unnecessary to make the point. Andkon's design focuses on just a couple of things, while the mozilla.org page does quite a few more. If you decide to focus on giving away Firefox and Thunderbird and to drop everything else, that makes the design a lot easier. What about people that are looking for news about Mozilla (e.g. the recent security update), or people interested in Camino, or the Suite? Will taking donations and the store off the page mean a significant hit to the income from those?

The problem is that home page is currently trying to achieve many goals at the same time. Coming in with an assumption about the most important goals and dropping everything else isn't going to work - you need to get agreement on the priorities, move the other stuff somewhere else and reorganise the site more widely.

#31 Why the current design is better

by thelem

Wednesday July 28th, 2004 4:54 AM

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1) It has more than 2 products on the homepage. 2) There is a prominant navigation bar at the top of every page, the first word of which is "download" 3) It has prominant links to donate to the foundation and buy t-shirts and CDs. These are they way the mozilla foundation manages to employ people, so they need to be promoted (even if we don't want to promote them) 4) It just doesn't look as nice I'm sure I had other reasons, but I've forgotton now.

The one thing I think does need improving on the mozilla.org homepage is the download links - there should be one big link with a download icon which will let you download mozilla for your platform and from your local download server, and a smaller link reading something link "download for other platforms".

#32 Mozilla.org should at least be revised

by pchown

Wednesday July 28th, 2004 5:50 AM

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I'm not convinced by this specific proposal, but I think the mozilla site would benefit from revision. Imagine you've never heard of any Mozilla product, and someone sends you to the homepage today. At the top is "The latest from Mozilla ... Firefox ... Technology preview." You would immediately think that Mozilla is still in beta. There is the same problem on the "other systems and languages" page: the releases that end users shouldn't really be downloading are at the top. Some people will get confused and go away, while others will end up with an alpha release, which is even worse.

I am working on a product which uses XUL and runs on top of Mozilla. I never like to send people to mozilla.org in search of Mozilla, because I know they will get confused and discouraged, or just come away with the wrong product. Newbies are easily frightened off; they don't want to install anything that they feel they don't understand, in case it breaks their machines. Remember, we can fix our machines if that happens, someone like that is probably going to have things misbehaving for quite a while, and be asking friends for help -- yet again.

I think it's a good idea to do a kind of newbie walkthrough, where you visit the site and try to think what path a new user would take. On this path, is there anything that would cause confusion or scare them away?

#33 Re: Mozilla.org should at least be revised

by mlefevre

Wednesday July 28th, 2004 6:05 AM

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You talk about things that are wrong, but they are actually the intent. The idea is that people should get Firefox rather than the suite. However, it's also true that Firefox is still a "preview" (they're not using the word beta because they don't want to scare people off). The Firefox people think that the current Firefox releases are better for newbies than even the latest suites (of course, not everyone agrees).

If you're sending people to get a particular product, then you'd be better off sending them to the product page for the right product anyway...

#39 Re: Re: Mozilla.org should at least be revised

by pchown

Wednesday July 28th, 2004 7:12 AM

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That's interesting; for one thing it shows that the website confused me about which browser the Mozilla organisation recommends for newbies. The original point was that the website was confusing, and this demonstrates the problem in action. :-) I've been developing with Mozilla, what hope is there for someone who just wants a more secure browser? IMO, if Firefox is considered to be better than the suite, it shouldn't be described as a preview. "Preview" suggests that it's something you look at if you want to know where Mozilla is going.

Presumably my point about alpha releases still stands, end users would not normally be recommended to download and use these?

#34 Ideas yes design absolutely not

by troff

Wednesday July 28th, 2004 6:16 AM

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While I don't necessarily agree with a particularly large proportion of his statements I think that some of them do make sense. The ideas need to be considered. However, the current web site design is so superior it's ridiculous. The current design is, unlike a great deal of other web sites, *clean*. This is something that clearly sets the mozilla.org site apart from the usual crud.

So, while I think that nobody disagrees that the purpose should be to maximize the number of downloads (and installs...) the specific design suggested must be resoundedly rejected. It's simply horrendously ugly.

#36 Just a thought

by zachariah

Wednesday July 28th, 2004 6:31 AM

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Who wins between Mozilla.org vs Andkon vs Microsoft's IE page?

<http://www.mozilla.org/> vs <http://www.andkon.com/stu…ozillanewstrategy/design/> vs <http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/>

I'd like Andkon's take on MS's page.

#38 Re: Just a thought

by mlefevre

Wednesday July 28th, 2004 6:49 AM

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That's not really a useful comparison - we're not talking about the product pages of Mozilla.org, we're talking about the home page. I guess <http://www.microsoft.com/> would be the one to compare, but it's very different because they do a lot more stuff, and their browser is bundled.

<http://www.opera.com/> might be a better comparison.

#40 Localizations

by MTO

Wednesday July 28th, 2004 8:26 AM

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One big thing to improve at mozilla.org, whatever the design is, is localizations. Currently the site is English only, and that really sucks. If not language detection, then flag links to change language... but forcing everyone into English makes people who speak other languages think they need to be computer geeks and know some English in order to use the Mozilla products. If the webpage does not have support for your language, why would you think the producty does?

I speak Spanish, if I want to invite someone to use a mozilla product I cannot simply send them to mozilla.org as it's in English only. Mozilla Europe has improved this much, I could send them it: <http://www.mozilla-europe.org> but is that the way it should be?

The mozilla.org site is sufficiently static, has so few updates and little context that I simply cannot understand why we dont have localized versions of it.

#41 a bit... stupid?

by Eric_Coleman

Wednesday July 28th, 2004 8:36 AM

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I think the audience that this person wants to reach is unreachable. Back in the day, mid 90's or so when the internet started getting massive converts from other systems, such as BBSs, the averate internet user had some technical knowledge. This is no longer the case. From a numbers perspective, I think the average user is dumber than this guy gives them credit for. I'll use my family as an example. My mother has no idea what a web browser is. She know's my sister clicks on a blue E or something but that's it. Even though my mother doesn't know what a web browser is, or could even care, she still uses the computer for email, pictures, and instant messaging. To drive a car one does not need to know what a hemi is. And that is the reality of the internet today. I honestly believe that a vast majority of users, except for the technically inclined of course, are simply out of reach, regardless of how a web page is designed.

The article did have one good idea, even though it didn't know it. It suggested that most of the download increase from the CERT warning was from government users. This I don't believe. Government workers are not granted permission to simply install anything they want on their computers. Government agencies get their computers with predetermined software. It might actually make some sense to warm up different agencies to the idea of using Mozilla products instead of IE and Outlook, simply from a security standpoint. If people use something different at work, it may make them more inclined to switch at home.

#43 another design contender

by kss

Wednesday July 28th, 2004 10:50 AM

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I would say Andkon's comments can help improve the Mozilla.org's web pages. But the other day I was browsing Mozilla-Europe website. I would say they have done a real good job at designing the frontpage. Check it out at : <http://www.mozilla-europe.org/en/>

#45 Re: another design contender

by CoolCatBad

Wednesday July 28th, 2004 3:08 PM

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Yes, the Mozilla Europe site is preferable to Ankon's Marketing Basics for Beginners template. Also, how hard would it be to get the Lizard moving around, destroying things....etc, Flash or animated gif? That's what people wanna see.

#59 Re: another design contender

by andkon <andraskonya@hotmail.com>

Saturday July 31st, 2004 12:58 PM

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People are getting to hung up about petty details like colors and such...

The point of my design is to show WHERE and HOW the functions of a site need to fit together. Forget the colors for now...

#60 Re: another design contender

by andkon <andraskonya@hotmail.com>

Saturday July 31st, 2004 12:59 PM

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People are getting to hung up about petty details like colors and such...

The point of my design is to show WHERE and HOW the functions of a site need to fit together. Forget the colors for now...

#46 hmmmm

by alcatraz52 <red.baron@rogers.com>

Wednesday July 28th, 2004 9:21 PM

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you know what I htink Andkon's right about about the theme & extensions pages. 3/4 of all the themes on update.mozilla.org have no screenshots even!! I though Texturizer was really innovative, with all the themes haing a screenshot at the top, you didn't have to go through page through page of searching...

You guys might kill me, but also I kind of liked old-old-old mozilla.org's design (the one that looked like a newspaper print). The new one is sooo confusing..maybe the old one was too though, I can barely remember.

#49 Re: hmmmm

by Smigit

Thursday July 29th, 2004 4:29 AM

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i think a bigger problem is a lack of a search box. Today i went looking to see if i could find an extension with a particular function without knowing its name or what category it would be under, ended up having to go through the "view all" method. That site does need alot of cleaning up and I think more information should be posted on the extensions. Whether this is up to the original author or someone on mozillas side (ie volunteer reviewers working on behalf of mozilla to provide a semi official description and highlight features and also they can comment on the compatibility with the browser....), however having 1 line descriptions is very often inadequate. I wont take that away from the team but, i know the sites about 1 month old and FF isnt yet released, so theres still time for things to happen.

#69 My two cents

by zenaphex

Friday October 29th, 2004 7:53 AM

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Nice effort on the article andkon. This could be used for website improvement in some way or another. I do think it is a bit far fetched though. I personally like the Mozilla.org design because it is easy on the eyes and plus it has a touch of professionalism in it that is just enough. I did not like the whole CSS approach you mocked up. UCK! There needs to be some fashion to a site using raster graphics and I think Mozilla.org does a pretty good job of this.

I do agree some different wording could be used to appeal to computer savvy newbies (I've been down this road myself) and I am not talking about the "less informed", typical Job Bob who only knows how to point and click and expects stuff to work. I doubt some Job Bob would even be brave enough to touch something like this UNLESS they "find a feature" that will HELP them be more productive and create a less frustrating experience. Yes, some wording on promoting the product as well is a good idea. I also love the idea about presenting the features with Flash. It doesn't have to be Flash. Though, Flash is a great tool for presenting functionality and purpose of a feature to bring true-color to some technical term.

All suggestions should be considered and researched further. I would personally setup a feedback page that asks for the user feedback as well as their level of computer/internet experience. It would be neat seeing what kind of feedback you get with certain groups of users and allows you to really improvise on this feedback from different perspectives rather than guessing how feedback perceived.

#70 Some ideas for a new site

by Carcarlo

Friday October 29th, 2004 9:56 AM

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In my last days' few spare time I've started making a site to give support for Mozilla products to italian audience. I made just a rough draft of the front page, I hope to finish it for the 1.0 final release. See it at <http://moz.ztl.it> Many users think that when I ask them to install Firefox I'm asking them to replace Windows, they haven't the concept of Explorer=Firefox=Opera=program to browse the web. Some think they've to change "internet connection". So to reach generic audience we have to be very clean, simple and provide explanation for all tecnical terms.