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Firefox/Projects/Extension Manager Redesign

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Contents

Pitch

This redesign will substantially improve the basic functionality of the a add-ons manager, such as installation and configuration of add-ons, as well as incorporate additional features and functionality, such as use of Personas and Jetpacks. The design will also remove parts of the manager that interrupt and distract user tasks.

Goals

Main article: Prioritized Goals
Main article: Redesign Themes
  • Allow users to quickly locate the add-on they want to inspect
  • Provide simple, usable controls for basic add-on operations such as disabling and uninstalling
  • Allow new forms of add-ons, such as jetpacks and personas, to be maintained and configured easily alongside traditional add-ons
  • (at best) Provide users with a consistent place to go for a particular add-on's preferences, or (at worst) provide users with a consistent place to go to launch a particular add-on's preferences
  • Indicate to the user that updates are available without blocking the startup of Firefox
  • Allow the user to choose silent updates if they prefer, and for those updates to happen without interfering with browsing
  • Streamlining the install process to as few steps as possible
  • Providing the user with a clear indication of the process and what actions are needed, especially in the face of possibly differing install experiences per add-on (restart required vs not)
  • Providing a compelling first run experience to new add-ons users, including showing what add-ons can do in a way that makes sense to non-technical users
  • Allowing users to search for add-ons from within the Add-ons manager, only requiring a visit to AMO when greater community involvement or information is sought
  • Provide a way to rank add-ons by size, RAM, etc to see if disabling one would give a significant performance boost

Non-Goals

  • Provide a way to edit and create add-ons, including jetpacks
  • Redesign the preferences manager, or integrate the add-ons manager with preferences (later goal)

Status

  • IN FLIGHT
    • Started Implementation
  • Tracking Bugs:
  • Project Members: Unfocused, Boriss, Mossop
  • QA contacts: hskupin (lead), tchung (test plan)
  • Status Summary: Fixing bugs, getting final graphics together

Design

Main article: Design

Delivery Requirements

  • Requires an add-on compatibility changing application version increment
  • Requires full alpha and beta testing with over 50,000 users on all platforms

Constraints

  • Design must not require add-ons developers to rewrite their preferences

Dependencies

  • Requires Jetpack integration with Firefox
  • Requires Personas integration with Firefox
  • Design depends on whether New Theme lands

Testing

  • The state of testing can be tracked on the Testplan page

Related Projects

Current Add-ons Manager

Main article: Current Add-ons Manager

Goals

Main article: Prioritized Goals
Main article: Redesign Themes

There are five main areas of the add-ons manager that this redesign will involve:

1. Maintaining and Configuring
2. Updating
3. Installing
4. Discovering
5. Troubleshooting

Tier One:
Basic Functionality
Minimum features needed for usable add-ons manager, would substantially change in any redesign, incorporation of newer forms of add-ons (jetpacks, personas) cannot happen without. The functionality here is not provided anywhere outside of the add-ons manager

Tier Two:
Current Problems
Areas that are currently interrupting user tasks

Tier Three:
Enhancements
Features that are currently barely present in add-ons manager but could provide substantial value to users. The functionality provided by these is available outside of the add-ons manager, but could be provided within it

1. Maintaining and Configuring 2. Updating 4. Discovering

3. Installing 5. Troubleshooting



Sprint lead 
Boriss
Development 
Unfocused, Mossop
AMO liaison 
Nick and Fligtar
QA

Henrik Skupin (Lead), Raymond Etornam (Discovery Pane), Tony Chung

Other contacts

  • Jetpack: 
    • Atul, Aza
  • Personas: 
    • Amy Zehren(?)
  • Firebug:
    • Firebug team is currently designing a new install/update solution for Firebug extensions. Let me know if anyone is interested in discussing it. jjb

Resources

Past work

Feedback Received

Main article: Feedback from Blog Posts

Bugs

  • 256509 install without restart

Not Current Images & Wireframes

Main article: Not Current Images & Wireframes

Past work

Main article: Past Work

Madhava worked on redesigning the add-ons manager in 2007, and posted his work here. He also designed much of the current add-ons manager for Firefox 3, which is largely unchanged today.

am1.png