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mozilla & firefox:
open design @ scale


             John Lilly &
           Mike Beltzner
                Mozilla
1. some personal history

2. some mozilla background

3. how we design at mozilla today

4. what we’re thinking about next...
15 years ago in CS547...
Robert Cailliau
visited from Geneva...




                         photo: wikipedia.org
...and brought one of these...




                                 photo: wikipedia.org
...and he
         photo: wikipedia.org




demoed this...
And I remember thinking to myself:

“Neat! Text & images...click, click, click.”
Then, I fell asleep.
In my defense, I was really tired.
But then things got a lot better
                                    Dr. Dobb’s Journal, Jan 1991
     & started to click ...
“The great and rapid success of the personal computer industry over
the past decade is not without its unexpected ironies....
My path after Stanford HCI

                             Software Company
My path after Stanford HCI

                             Software Company


                              ATG (Apple Labs)
My path after Stanford HCI

                             Software Company


                              ATG (Apple Labs)...
My path after Stanford HCI

                             Software Company


                               ATG (Apple Labs...
My questions changed



 “How do I design great things?”



 Became: “How do organizations design
 great things?”
Which naturally led me to Mozilla

                              Software Company


                                ATG (A...
Mozilla’s mission is to
 promote choice,
  innovation, and
participation on the
       Internet.
Mozilla is...
Mozilla is...


   A global open source software project
   with thousands of contributors
Mozilla is...


   A global open source software project
   with thousands of contributors


   Around a quarter billion u...
Mozilla is...


   A global open source software project
   with thousands of contributors


   Around a quarter billion u...
Firefox is...
Firefox is...


                ~40% of code by
                community
Firefox is...


                ~40% of code by
                community



                More than 8,000 add-ons
Firefox is...


                ~40% of code by
                community



                More than 8,000 add-ons



  ...
Worldwide Firefox Market Share (last year!)
Some models for design (caricatures!!)



                          Genius-driven design



                           Dat...
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/
   en/d/d2/Internet_map_1024.jpg
photo by julep67@flickr (cc) by-nd-nc




Queen’s University
       (Great White North)
photo by davestfu@flickr (cc) by-nc-sa   photo by alles-schlumpf@flickr (cc) by-nc-sa



Studied cognitive science & educati...
But I liked the inverse
Started doing software interface design at IBM Canada
Started with Mozilla around the
time of Firefox 1.5
1.5 - interface designer
2.0 - mozilla design lead
3.0 - product designer
3.5 - product director
What do you think about
when you hear the words:
    “open source design”
Design by committee
       Lipstick on a pig
Not ready for prime time
Embracing the chaos...
                                                                       “Fitts’ says bigger
        ...
...and organizing a chorus.
listen

lead

play
listen

lead

play
Chaos
Anyone can comment on a proposal for a change
Chaos
Anyone can submit a change to the code
Chaos
easier to comment on design than code
Chaos
camps are formed quickly
Chaos
noisy, unfocused, lacks perspective
Order
Not everyone can approve a change
Order
Strong leadership structure
Order
Strong leadership structure
Order
 educate
Order
identify and elevate smart contributors
Order
co-ordinated, parallel, leveraged
listen

lead

play
Provide organization and
structure to direct contributions
Create small teams, led by strong
contributors, and give them responsibility
Elevate discussions with data
and research whenever possible
Treat disagreements as negotiations
      and don’t forget your BATNA*
                (* best alternative to a negotiated...
listen

lead

play
Give contributors complete
freedom to play and explore
Add-ons:
a shared playground for
users and contributors
Labs is an incubator for ideas and experimentation
listen

lead

play
Open, participatory models of design can be surprising
match title & url
             the original idea




tweaked the
“frecency”
          based on feedback




adaptive learn...
Some things we’re thinking a lot about now
Some things we’re thinking a lot about #1:
Browser evolution & competition
The Situation 5 Years Ago



                            IE6: 95%+
The Situation Today (300% more circular icons!)



             68%                      22%


              8%           ...
Where browsers are going...

• Performance like native applications


• More applications


• More persistence


• More co...
Things we’re thinking a lot about #2:
Global Design: language implications
Things we’re thinking a lot about #3:
Global Design: cultural implications
Firefox China Edition
Things we’re thinking a lot about #4:
Scale, scale, scale
1% of our audience used to be 10,000 users

         it’s now 2,500,000 users

         20% is 50 million people
Questions?
Thank you.




beltzner@mozilla.com
     lilly@mozilla.com
 unattributed pictures from stock.xchng
Stanford CS547 April2009
Stanford CS547 April2009
Stanford CS547 April2009
Stanford CS547 April2009
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Stanford CS547 April2009

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Stanford CS547 April2009

  1. mozilla & firefox: open design @ scale John Lilly & Mike Beltzner Mozilla
  2. 1. some personal history 2. some mozilla background 3. how we design at mozilla today 4. what we’re thinking about next 5. questions & discussion
  3. 15 years ago in CS547...
  4. Robert Cailliau visited from Geneva... photo: wikipedia.org
  5. ...and brought one of these... photo: wikipedia.org
  6. ...and he photo: wikipedia.org demoed this...
  7. And I remember thinking to myself: “Neat! Text & images...click, click, click.”
  8. Then, I fell asleep.
  9. In my defense, I was really tired.
  10. But then things got a lot better Dr. Dobb’s Journal, Jan 1991 & started to click for me...
  11. “The great and rapid success of the personal computer industry over the past decade is not without its unexpected ironies. What began as a revolution of individual empowerment has ended with the personal computer industry not only joining the computing mainstream, but in fact defining it. Despite the enormous outward success of personal computers, the daily experience of using computers far too often is still fraught with difficulty, pain, and barriers for most people, which means that the revolution, measured by it’s original goals, has not as yet succeeded.” - Mitch Kapor, A Software Design Manifesto (Dr. Dobb’s Journal, 1991)
  12. My path after Stanford HCI Software Company
  13. My path after Stanford HCI Software Company ATG (Apple Labs)
  14. My path after Stanford HCI Software Company ATG (Apple Labs) Incubator
  15. My path after Stanford HCI Software Company ATG (Apple Labs) Incubator increasing levels of innovation at the edges
  16. My questions changed “How do I design great things?” Became: “How do organizations design great things?”
  17. Which naturally led me to Mozilla Software Company ATG (Apple Labs) Incubator Ecosystem
  18. Mozilla’s mission is to promote choice, innovation, and participation on the Internet.
  19. Mozilla is...
  20. Mozilla is... A global open source software project with thousands of contributors
  21. Mozilla is... A global open source software project with thousands of contributors Around a quarter billion users
  22. Mozilla is... A global open source software project with thousands of contributors Around a quarter billion users The maker of the Firefox Web browser
  23. Firefox is...
  24. Firefox is... ~40% of code by community
  25. Firefox is... ~40% of code by community More than 8,000 add-ons
  26. Firefox is... ~40% of code by community More than 8,000 add-ons Ships in more than 60 languages
  27. Worldwide Firefox Market Share (last year!)
  28. Some models for design (caricatures!!) Genius-driven design Data-driven design Chaordic design
  29. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ en/d/d2/Internet_map_1024.jpg
  30. photo by julep67@flickr (cc) by-nd-nc Queen’s University (Great White North)
  31. photo by davestfu@flickr (cc) by-nc-sa photo by alles-schlumpf@flickr (cc) by-nc-sa Studied cognitive science & education with a focus on A.I.
  32. But I liked the inverse
  33. Started doing software interface design at IBM Canada
  34. Started with Mozilla around the time of Firefox 1.5
  35. 1.5 - interface designer 2.0 - mozilla design lead 3.0 - product designer 3.5 - product director
  36. What do you think about when you hear the words: “open source design”
  37. Design by committee Lipstick on a pig Not ready for prime time
  38. Embracing the chaos... “Fitts’ says bigger “The URL bar should buttons are better.” “What’s with the be removed.” dirty house?” “There should be “My mom doesn’t “Nobody uses the “Add support for a preference setting.” understand tabs.” ‘Go’ button.” BitTorrent.” “OpenID is the future!” “That’s great!” “Everyone uses tags, not bookmarks.” “I love tabs!” “The profile manager should be redesigned.” “Add support for Ogg Vorbis.” “That’s awful” “Closebuttons are better at the end of the tabstrip.”
  39. ...and organizing a chorus.
  40. listen lead play
  41. listen lead play
  42. Chaos Anyone can comment on a proposal for a change
  43. Chaos Anyone can submit a change to the code
  44. Chaos easier to comment on design than code
  45. Chaos camps are formed quickly
  46. Chaos noisy, unfocused, lacks perspective
  47. Order Not everyone can approve a change
  48. Order Strong leadership structure
  49. Order Strong leadership structure
  50. Order educate
  51. Order identify and elevate smart contributors
  52. Order co-ordinated, parallel, leveraged
  53. listen lead play
  54. Provide organization and structure to direct contributions
  55. Create small teams, led by strong contributors, and give them responsibility
  56. Elevate discussions with data and research whenever possible
  57. Treat disagreements as negotiations and don’t forget your BATNA* (* best alternative to a negotiated agreement)
  58. listen lead play
  59. Give contributors complete freedom to play and explore
  60. Add-ons: a shared playground for users and contributors
  61. Labs is an incubator for ideas and experimentation
  62. listen lead play
  63. Open, participatory models of design can be surprising
  64. match title & url the original idea tweaked the “frecency” based on feedback adaptive learning, new layout to improve visual scanning came out of the woodwork
  65. Some things we’re thinking a lot about now
  66. Some things we’re thinking a lot about #1: Browser evolution & competition
  67. The Situation 5 Years Ago IE6: 95%+
  68. The Situation Today (300% more circular icons!) 68% 22% 8% 1% choice & innovation FTW!
  69. Where browsers are going... • Performance like native applications • More applications • More persistence • More context • More mobile
  70. Things we’re thinking a lot about #2: Global Design: language implications
  71. Things we’re thinking a lot about #3: Global Design: cultural implications
  72. Firefox China Edition
  73. Things we’re thinking a lot about #4: Scale, scale, scale
  74. 1% of our audience used to be 10,000 users it’s now 2,500,000 users 20% is 50 million people
  75. Questions? Thank you. beltzner@mozilla.com lilly@mozilla.com unattributed pictures from stock.xchng

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