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FirefoxOS/Haida

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Overview

Haida is a program that aims to deliver a distinct user experience for Firefox OS based on the DNA of Mozilla and the Web. The program encompasses concepts and features that span multiple aspects of the OS and will span a number of software releases.

The features Haida will introduce are:

  • Edge gesture based navigation
  • Browser integration into system
  • Universal search & navigation
  • Replaceable homescreen
  • Visual design refresh
  • Updated systems tray and notifications
  • Updated homescreen
  • New content model (bookmarks, etc)

Haida Phase 1

Phase 1 will deliver the foundation for most of the Haida capabilities including the following:

Visual Design Refresh

What is it? The darkness and visual complexity of the original Firefox OS is being replaced by a spacious experience. Visual clutter is reduced by removing or softening spacial divisions. There is more breathing room, more consistent alignment. Calls to action are more obvious. The focus is drawn to content and to words.

Current State (updated April 10, 2014)

  • Implementation of visual refresh underway and on track for common UI elements, email, calendar, clock, dialer, messaging, contacts, camera and lockscreen
  • Some elements were included as part of 1.4

Product Risks (updated April 10, 2014)

  • Coordination of delivery for visual refresh across entire product within one release may pose a challenge

Expected Release Target: 2.0 (updated April 10, 2014)

References (updated April 10, 2014)

Updated Homescreen

What is it? A refreshed homescreen concept centered around vertical scrolling to act as a counterbalance for edge gesture app switching as well as big, beautiful iconography.

Current State (updated April 10, 2014)

  • UX and engineering working to complete the first prototype in time user testing at the end of April in San Francisco
  • Evaluation of scrolling options and transition options to move between three and four column layouts ongoing
  • Platform scrolling improvements to improve vertical scrolling usability being explored

Product Risks (updated April 10, 2014)

  • Performance on lower end hardware hinders ability to use rich animations in transitions
  • Tradeoff between continuous scrolling and ability to find icons in the grid could be significant
  • Larger icon size likely requires modification to UX guidelines for third party apps and evangelizing existing partners to provide higher resolution icons

Expected Release Target: 2.0 (updated April 10, 2014)

References (updated April 10, 2014)

Replaceable Homescreen

What is it? We are an open platform. We win when people build cool stuff. Our goal is to build the best core experience and performance that we can, and then make it easy for partners and users to take Firefox OS and adapt it to their needs.

Current State (updated April 10, 2014)

  • Prototype complete
  • Updated homescreen (see above) will make use of replaceable homescreen functionality
  • Some underlying API work needs to be done to enable homescreen apps to be privileged instead of being certified (for future third party homescreen support)
  • Shipping both updated homescreen and classic homescreen using framework in discussion (allowing users to choose homescreen)

Product Risks (updated April 10, 2014)

  • Shipping two Mozilla homescreens may needlessly devote QA/engineering resources to maintain both homescreens, putting other features at risk
  • Offering two homescreens with differing grid layouts may require operators to define each separately - extra administrative overhead

Expected Release Target: 2.0 (updated April 10, 2014)

References (updated April 10, 2014)

  • Replaceable Homescreen Prototype bug: bug 898330 COMPLETE
  • Replaceable Homescreen meta Bug: bug 994858

Edge Gestures Between Open Content

What is it? It is a new method of interaction that uses edge gestures to move through open apps and sites seamlessly. Swiping from the left or right edges of the screen, I can open an email, respond to a new notification, go back to a previous page while browsing, or multi task between two open apps.

Current State (updated April 10, 2014)

  • Working well currently but are disabled behind a developer option
  • A number of updates will be made visuals/animations, particularly for changing orientation
  • User testing is expected at the end of April in San Francisco

Product Risks (updated April 10, 2014)

  • Since the system will automatically close apps when memory is low, swiping back to closed apps needs thorough testing on a variety of hardware
  • Interference with navigation on third party apps (particularly games) may be uncovered during testing, requiring tweaks to swiping sensitivity

Expected Release Target: 2.0 (updated April 10, 2014)

References (updated April 10, 2014)

Browser Integration into System

What is it? Under the covers, the Browser app becomes part of the System. This means that browsing can be done by clicking the Browser icon or just through accessing the universal search and navigation capability. Apps and browsing tabs are unified to a common experience and exist in the task manager and sheets view (for edge gestures).

Current State (updated April 10, 2014)

  • Partial implementation in place with old navigation chrome
  • Focused on integration with universal search and navigation
  • User testing on basic functionality is expected at the end of April in San Francisco

Product Risks (updated April 10, 2014)

  • Strong interdependencies with universal search and navigation means release needs to coupled
  • Existing Browser capabilities such as NFC URL sharing and Download Manager integration requires some reimplementation
  • Requires bookmark migration from existing Browser to homescreen and use of higher quality bookmark icons

Expected Release Target: 2.1 (updated April 10, 2014)

References (updated April 10, 2014)

Universal Search & Navigation

What is it? With the new search and navigation bar, I can get to my favorites, type in a URL, or discover a new app, from everywhere. The search bar lives at the top of the screen, and I just tap or swipe to open it. Think of it as the unification of the Awesome Bar from the browser and the adaptive app search from the homescreen. And because Firefox OS uses web apps, when I find what I want, even if it’s a new app, it opens right away. I don't need to install anything. Everything is instant and web-like.

Current State (updated April 10, 2014)

  • Majority of functionality completed
  • Focused on application of visual design and animations
  • User testing is expected at the end of April in San Francisco

Product Risks (updated April 10, 2014)

  • Strong interdependencies with System Browser means release needs to coupled
  • Confusion between search and discovery use cases surfaced in first round of user testing – may require modifications of the presentation of search/discovery results based on most common use cases
  • Interference between status bar and state icons (Bluetooth, GPS, etc.) could impact operator acceptance

Expected Release Target: 2.1 (updated April 10, 2014)

References (updated April 10, 2014)

Updated Settings Tray and Notifications

What is it? With the introduction of universal search and navigation, accessible using a download swipe from the top of the screen, notifications will shift to the bottom of the screen. Also, a new Settings Tray centralizes power user features in one place, helping keep the rest of the UI clean.

Current State (updated April 10, 2014)

  • Implementation work in early stages
  • User testing not expected until summer, 2014

Product Risks (updated April 10, 2014)

  • System Browser and Universal Search & Navigation cannot ship without these changes
  • With vertical homescreen, notifications could get in way of interaction
  • Settings tray may not be discoverable enough

Expected Release Target: 2.1 (updated April 10, 2014)

References (updated April 10, 2014)

Haida Phase 2

Phase 2 will expand on the foundation laid in Phase 1, focusing on the following:

Updated Systems Tray and Notifications Part 2

Social notifications, like email and SMS, will be separated from system notifications, such as OS/app updates, with the latter being placed into the Systems Tray.

Extension of Customization Framework

We are an open platform. We win when people build cool stuff. The replaceable homescreen capabilities are planned to be productized such that users can swap out their device experience. We also plan to extend this to the Lockscreen.

Haida Phase 3

Edge Gestures within Apps

The paradigm of edge gestures to switch between open apps will be extended to navigation within apps. For example, if I open the Email app, click on a particular email and then on a link, I will now be viewing a webpage. Swiping from the left takes me back to the particular email I was on. Swiping back again takes me back to the email list view.

New Content Model

With the classic web approach I find something, I load it, and I enjoy it. It's low friction and easy. There’s no need to “install”. By comparison, other operating systems are quite complex, because they treat web apps differently from their native apps. With Firefox OS, I shouldn't need to install apps. If I find an app in the Marketplace that sounds cool, I should be able to tap on it, and it loads. No icon on the home app to worry about. It's instant gratification, without the maintenance. This is the direction we are heading in with Haida phase 3.

Theme Marketplace

Much as the Firefox browser has always upheld user choice over experience, we plan to enable designers and developers to create alternate home/lock screen experiences for Firefox OS and make them available for user download.

Misc. Related Improvements

  • Building Blocks
  • Performance