Making Add-ons People Will Love


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

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Making Add-ons People Will Love

  1. 1. _ Making Add-ons People Will LOVE Justin Scott Mozilla Add-ons Workshop London 2010
  2. 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. 3. Part I: building Part II: marketing Part III: Listening
  4. 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. 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. 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. 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. 8. 2 Don’t Clutter UI • Only add UI that is truly needed • Let the user choose what UI she wants
  9. 9. How many Delicious logos can you spot? Seven.
  10. 10. Eight. Nine.
  11. 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. 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. 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. 14. 3 Earn & Keep Trust • Choose core functionality and stick with it Original photo by Flickr user AJC1 (CC licensed)
  15. 15. 3 Earn & Keep Trust • Have a clear Privacy Policy • Install the proper way • No .exes or 3rd party bundling
  16. 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. 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. 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. 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. 20. Part I: building Part II: marketing Part III: Listening
  21. 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. 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. 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. 24. Add-on Icon Makeover Contest Coming Soon! Watch for details
  25. 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. 26. 4 Avoid EULAs • We recently changed install buttons for add-ons that have EULAs Old New
  27. 27. 4 Avoid EULAs • EULAs prior to download kill conversions View Details View Details 5% 44% EULA 61% Download Download
  28. 28. Part I: building Part II: marketing Part III: Listening
  29. 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. 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. 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. 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. 33. Stats Dashboard revamp is coming soon!
  34. 34. 3 Utilize Tools • Recent Activity feed tells you what’s new with your add-on
  35. 35. 3 Utilize Tools • Compatibility Reporter users help you test before the next big release
  36. 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. 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. 38. Thanks!