Friday, March 23, 2012

Release Channel Redesign

We're Getting Bigger and Better
Over the past 6 months our humble product website has grown significantly due to the launch of four new core products: our Beta and Aurora release channels which come in both desktop and mobile flavors. 

That's 4 more products!

These channels are vitally important; we rely on the bugs reported by users on these front lines to make Firefox better. In return these users get a special build of Firefox where they can enjoy the coolest new features first.

To make sure we created a nice new home for them within - our main consumer facing website - we've done a ton of work: phase one consisted launching a main channels landing below (picture below) - really - just getting the basics live:

Phase two - just completed - launched the second phase of the channel project meant to provide more of a brand identity. 

We want to make sure we're clearly communicating the difference between the Beta and Aurora builds (screenshot below) while enabling the same download ease we see with our GA browser ("general availability").

The Results
  • Better Discoverability: After conducting using testing via to measure the before and after we learned that users are better able to find these new products, especially from natural search. 
  • We saw through user testing that people now have a clear sense of the differences between the different builds. This was severely lacking before and clarity around this was one of our main goals.
  • More robust experience: We went from having one main channel landing page to adding an entirely new section on our site consisting of four distinct landing pages and a redesigned landing page
Next Steps
  • We still have a long ways to go adjusting the usability on the /channels page - see Bug 725808 for the gory details!
  • User testing made it painfully clear that the post download experience is less than ideal: we don't do a good job communicating to these VIP users how they can provide feedback, or what features are ready to be tested. That will be tackled during Q2. 
What do you think? Are there any more improvements you'd like to see on our site? If so, leave comment away!



  1. Small things:
    When I arrive to the page and switch to another channel (eg. Aurora), it wasn't clear to me how can I continue to download. There are two action button, the switch between mobile and desktop version and the Learn more, which is below the fold, so actually I didn't see it. I discovered later that I can click on the big logo too.
    Another issue is, that if I on the page the main action button is the "Get Firefox for Android". I came here from the /firefox/channel/ page to download the desktop version so I didn't understood why I see that button.

    I think these things could be improved, because it wasn't that easy to find the download button how it should be.

    1. @Ajnasz

      Agree! We still have a long ways to go adjusting the usability on the /channels page - see Bug 725808 for the gory details!

  2. I can't seem to find pages matching the screenshots you show. I get a nice carousel at and don't see a "Welcome to the Future of Firefox" before going to . The pages look nice, but the [ DESKTOP | MOBILE ] switch is horrible! Is it indented or disabled?! Is the bright active thing the one I'm currently switched to, or is it an invitation to change to the other? I literally have no idea. I have to mouse over the links and look at the URLs to figure out what's going on.

    1. Yep - After conducting some ghetto hallway tests we were able to confirm the same thing. Bugs have been filed.

  3. Smaller languages would like to see a second green downloadbutton with another language based on browserID, Geolocation or whatever is being used to determine the language.
    Like for Frisian in The Netherlands, users are only presented with the Dutch version and need to click on the small grey text "Other systems and Languages", and they might not know the existance of Frisian. We used to have this on, hope to see this here too.

  4. i agree with #2 in your "next steps" section. i recently submitted a bunch of feedback, both through bugzilla and input. i don't normally do either, but i've been more excited about firefox lately. i kept the more "superficial" feedback to input since i didn't want to distract firefox programmers with it. i understand how input can be an excellent feedback channel, but the feedback loop ends there. i'm not a programmer, but i certainly appreciate cool tech tools and want to help in small ways.

    more focus on what to test and a sense that my feedback is being valued would create that "VIP" user experience and generate more community.

    1. @jzhu: Thanks for filing bugs; that's great to hear since the more feedback we get, the better Firefox will be. Bugzilla can be a crazy place: for website bugs, file here: Component =