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Making Add-ons People Will Love
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Making Add-ons People Will Love

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13 tips and guidelines for making Firefox add-ons that users will love.

13 tips and guidelines for making Firefox add-ons that users will love.

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  • 1. _ Making Add-ons People Will LOVE Justin Scott Mozilla Add-ons Workshop London 2010
  • 2. You can’t please everyone, but... • Great add-ons help the entire ecosystem • Here are some tips & guidelines for: • minimizing frustration • maximizing delight • acquiring and retaining happy users
  • 3. Part I: building Part II: marketing Part III: Listening
  • 4. 1 Clean First-Run or·deal n. any extremely severe or trying test, experience, or trial. an·noy·ance n. a cause of irritation or vexation; a nuisance.
  • 5. 1 Clean First-Run • Annoying first-run practices: • require registration to do anything at all • Modal dialogs and wizards • Asking to change the user’s settings • Annoying post-update practices: • Showing the add-on’s homepage • Showing a changelog (unless a major change has been made)
  • 6. 1 Clean First-Run • Don’t let first-run be the last-run by following these guidelines: • Modal dialogs/wizards should be part of the first-run page or triggered by user action on the first-run page • Limit of one first-run element. If you have a first-run page, you shouldn’t need a wizard, dialog, or sidebar open too. • Don’t change user preferences
  • 7. 2 Don’t Clutter UI “Extensions [should] integrate with the existing UI as if it were a feature shipped with Firefox itself.” Survey respondent on what practices all add-ons should adopt “This is constantly reminding me that it’s an extension, and not really part of my browser.” Survey respondent describing a disappointing add-on
  • 8. 2 Don’t Clutter UI • Only add UI that is truly needed • Let the user choose what UI she wants
  • 9. How many Delicious logos can you spot? Seven.
  • 10. Eight. Nine.
  • 11. 3 Earn & Keep Trust “I give add-on developers a huge amount of trust when I install their extension. It is painful when they abuse it.” “I read reviews and avoid any that sound annoying (change homepage, collect private info, nav, etc.)” “Add-ons [should] do what they claim to and not much else”
  • 12. 3 Earn & Keep Trust • There are add-ons that want to: • change the user’s default search provider without asking • replace ads on websites with their own ads • send all of the user’s search queries to a third party when the add-on isn’t related to searching • bundle other add-ons or software the user didn’t ask for
  • 13. 3 Earn & Keep Trust • No Surprises means that changing default settings or otherwise surprising the user requires: • a clear, upfront description • opt-in • revert on uninstall • inclusion from the start (not in a subsequent update)
  • 14. 3 Earn & Keep Trust • Choose core functionality and stick with it Original photo by Flickr user AJC1 (CC licensed)
  • 15. 3 Earn & Keep Trust • Have a clear Privacy Policy • Install the proper way • No .exes or 3rd party bundling
  • 16. 4 Stay Current • Update compatibility before a Firefox release • Avoid conflicts with other add-ons • Be on the lookout for new platform features to take advantage of • Restartless add-ons • Larger icons • Mobile
  • 17. 5 Smooth Performance • Add-ons should have zero performance impact on Firefox start-up time • We’re working on tools & ways to surface performance data to help developers and users understand the impact of each add-on
  • 18. 6 Be Delightful “Finding things that I don't necessarily use but push the platform is awesome too - the Strata theme and accompanying extension, for example. It makes Firefox actually interesting again.” Survey respondent describing delightful add-ons “I really learn to appreciate the little things you forgot you installed whenever I am browsing on a clean install or when using another browser. Like Adblock (obviously) or even very little things like double clicking a tab like crazy only to realize you need Double Click To Reload Tabs installed for something to happen.” Survey respondent describing delightful add-ons
  • 19. 6 Be Delightful • Find little ways to delight your users • There’s no recipe for this. It’s specific to your add-on.
  • 20. Part I: building Part II: marketing Part III: Listening
  • 21. 1 Descriptive Name • An add-on’s functionality should be obvious from its name • Adblock Plus • WOT - Safe Browsing Tool • Password Exporter • FEBE • FireFTP • Yoono - Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr, AIM, MSN, GTalk... • Video DownloadHelper • Cooliris • Download Statusbar • Infoaxe : Full Text Web History Search synchronized between Firefox, IE on multiple computers. • Flashblock • Glubble • User Agent Switcher • Glue - Recommendations for Books/Movies/Music
  • 22. 2 Pretty Icon • Icons are always shown, yet half of extensions use default • Icon is part of your add-on’s brand • ... and they’re becoming more important Large icons are coming to Firefox 4 & AMO
  • 23. 2 Pretty Icon • We want add-ons to have great, relevant icons • So we’re expanding our defaults, • creating a Design Help forum, • ...and having a contest.
  • 24. Add-on Icon Makeover Contest Coming Soon! Watch blog.mozilla.com/addons for details
  • 25. 3 Helpful Screenshots • Summaries are only 250 characters, but a picture’s worth 1000 words • Make sure to add screenshots of your add-on and keep them updated
  • 26. 4 Avoid EULAs • We recently changed install buttons for add-ons that have EULAs Old New
  • 27. 4 Avoid EULAs • EULAs prior to download kill conversions View Details View Details 5% 44% EULA 61% Download Download
  • 28. Part I: building Part II: marketing Part III: Listening
  • 29. 1 Provide Support • Users get frustrated when they encounter problems and can’t find any support avenues • Add-ons should provide at least one, possibly including: • Support E-mail • Support Website • Get Satisfaction
  • 30. 2 Monitor User Reviews • Users reviews are good, bad, and ugly • They hint at problems users are facing • Developers can reply to reviews to provide support or address a misconception • (though we discourage bug reports and support requests in user reviews)
  • 31. 3 Utilize Tools • AMO provides numerous tools to help developers understand their add-on’s usage and standing • Statistics Dashboard • Recent Activity Feed • Compatibility Reports
  • 32. 3 Utilize Tools • Statistics Dashboard can help you monitor key metrics, make product decisions, and answer questions like: • Should I continue supporting this platform, application, version, or locale? • Should I add support for this platform, application, version, or locale? • How quickly do users update to the latest version of my add-on?
  • 33. Stats Dashboard revamp is coming soon!
  • 34. 3 Utilize Tools • Recent Activity feed tells you what’s new with your add-on
  • 35. 3 Utilize Tools • Compatibility Reporter users help you test before the next big release
  • 36. Summary building marketing 1. Clean First-Run 1. Descriptive Name 2. Don’t Clutter UI 2. Pretty Icon 3. Earn & Keep Trust 3. Helpful Screenshots 4. Stay Current 4. Avoid EULAs 5. Smooth Performance 6. Be Delightful Listening 1. Provide Support 2. Monitor User Reviews 3. Utilize Tools
  • 37. “Overall, I love the community of developers who continue to create stellar add-ons for the benefit of the Firefox community.” Survey respondent Original illustration by Mozilla Creative Collective member foxyboy (CC licensed)
  • 38. Thanks! fligtar@mozilla.com twitter.com/fligtar

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