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Better first-run / Browser discoverability
Stage Shipped
Status `
Release target Firefox 6
Health OK
Status note `


Product manager Thomas Arend
Directly Responsible Individual Thomas Arend
Lead engineer `
Security lead `
Privacy lead `
Localization lead `
Accessibility lead `
QA lead Aaron Train
UX lead Brian Dils, Madhava Enros
Product marketing lead `
Operations lead `
Additional members `

Open issues/risks


Stage 1: Definition

1. Feature overview

Guide users on first run. Help them discover and understand features like side panels, awesome screen, sync, bookmarks, gestures, etc.

2. Users & use cases


3. Dependencies


4. Requirements




Stage 2: Design

5. Functional specification


6. User experience design

There are several different concepts we can explore for first-run discoverability, as well as a few other ideas that might aid discoverability while the users are in product.

First-run Concepts

Idea #1:


The idea here would be to show the user a walk-through video with a dummy hand. This would be the most failsafe idea because we would show users exactly how to operate the UI. The negative here, is that it is very heavy-handed and assumes that our users don't know how to operate a touchscreen.

Idea #2:


Essentially the same as idea #1, except we wouldn't show the dummy hand.

Idea #3:


The idea here would be to take out any extraneous elements of the tutorial, such as the hands and/or notes. This idea is necessary because the notes are going to be hard to localize.

Idea #4:


This idea is basically the same as #3, except we show the sidebar coming out of the same time. The advantage here is that it is much quicker, however it illustrates a state of the why they can never actually happened.

UX Recommendation: Idea #3

Additional Concepts

Translucent Sidebars:


One of the reasons the sidebars are so hard to find is because they are pinned all the way to the side of the webpage. In addition to discoverability, this is also a problem because the user has to move away from the spot in the page they're currently looking at just to get to the sidebars. The idea here is that an "accelerator gesture", such as a double finger swipe, will bring a sidebar out in a translucent state. This would not conflict with the way the sidebars usually act. As you can see from the video, as the user swipes to the side, the translucency goes away.

New tab animation:


Another discoverability problem that we have is that users don't know where their tabs are. We could add "new tab" to the android menu. When the users opens a new tab from the android menu, we would show this interstitial animation that would message to the user where their new tab resides.

Stage 3: Planning

7. Implementation plan


8. Reviews

Security review


Privacy review


Localization review




Quality Assurance review

Operations review


Stage 4: Development

9. Implementation

  • bug 625229 (FIXED) - Make side panes easier to discover on first-run

Stage 5: Release

10. Landing criteria


Feature details

Priority P1
Rank 999
Theme / Goal `
Roadmap Firefox Mobile
Secondary roadmap `
Feature list Mobile
Project `
Engineering team Mobile front-end

Team status notes

  status notes
Products ` `
Engineering ` `
Security sec-review-unnecessary `
Privacy ` `
Localization ` `
Accessibility ` `
Quality assurance ` `
User experience ` `
Product marketing ` `
Operations ` `