Engagement/Product Marketing/3.6 Upgrade/StartPage

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Project Overview

As part of the 3.6 end-of-life project and our contractual agreement with Google, Mozilla will take over hosting the 3.6 about:home start page (www.google.com/firefox) which Google still hosts. With this switch in hosting, one third of our current Firefox user base (all 3.6 users) should be switched to a new start page that urgently encourages them to upgrade to the most recent version of Firefox.

Project Objectives:

  • Redirect these users to a current version of about:home that Mozilla hosts
  • Create a custom version of this page that urges this user group to upgrade to the most recent version of Firefox - do this by building a new web based page complete with search functionality. (See design specs below for more details)


  • Engagement: lforrest, lmesa
  • PM: Asa
  • Visual Design: John Slater, designer TBD
  • WebDev: TBD
  • l10n: PascalC
  • Security: Corey Sheilds
  • IT: MRZ
  • QA: TBD
  • Partner: Kev

Next steps & Open Questions

  • Have kickoff meeting with all team members (Laura F)
  • Create visual design for custom about:home page Bug 734197
  • Verify that this page can be hosted as a web page, vs. a in-product page (like current updated start page) (WebDev)

Timeline / Milestones

Phase 1 : Create visual design

  • See design requirements below

Phase 2 : l10n, Build and Test

  • Get l10n for all supported languages
  • Load this content and test this version of about:home

Phase 3 : Launch

  • Timing: launch a redirect that will move old 3.6 users to this version of about:home with Fx12 on 4/24

Bugs of interest:

Bug & Summary Owner Status
bug 734203 - project tracking bug Laura Forrest In progress
bug 734197 - design bug John Slater In progress
bug XXXXX - enter l10n bug here Pascal C haven't started
bug XXXXX - enter IT redirect bug here MRZ haven't started
bug XXXXX - enter QA bug here TBD haven't started
bug XXXXXX - Enter Security bug here Corey Sheilds haven't started


  • performance: benchmark to show performance difference over web-hosted Firefox Start
  • upon upgrade these users should no longer see the old version of the about:home page (www.google.com/firefox)
  • use the current snippet service within this version of the about:home page


  • product: talk with Google to arrange a technical contact and to ensure a smooth handoff (Kev)
  • make sure 3.6 users who upgrade after seeing this page receive the normal about:home page (QA)

Visual Design Requirements


  • keep main search functionality and general design of the current about:home page
  • make this version visually different than what these users are used to seeing
  • clearly state that these users are running an out of date browser - level and tone of urgency should be very high
  • make it easy for these users to upgrade to the latest browser within a single click
  • make world-ready since this will be l10n-ed into all supported locales
  • a note on urgency from Product Management: once 3.6 is EOL-ed, it will only take about 6 weeks before these 3.6 users are vulnerable to online attacks; it's extremely important that these users upgrade to a secure browser
  • ideas: create a layover dialog box with a upgrade link users have to actively dismiss to see original start page, put a huge upgrade CTA where the Firefox logo normally goes, have the page background fade to a red color and show a "Caution" message.

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