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« Redesign Central Site Redesign: Project Overview

Project Goal

Redesign with a new look and feel that brings in some common elements with other Mozilla community sites (see below for links). The site should feel like an entry point or gateway to these other community sites.

Project Background

The site was launched in 1998 and at the time was the center of all activity in the Mozilla community. Since then the community has expanded and there are dozens of different sites that focus on different parts of the community.

The site has been updated a couple of times since it was launched and the three main versions of the site can be found at:

There hasn't been a redesign in almost 4 years and the current design does not reflect the site's current role -- to serve as a community portal and to be a place to host official content (such as Foundation policy documents). Because the role of is no longer focused on serving end-users who are looking to download Mozilla software (such as Firefox or Thunderbird) we can play with a design that is more community focused than the current site.

Project Scope

The redesign will be limited in large part to changing the site template and won't involve changing the current layout or structure of the site. There are thousands of pages currently on the site and we don't want to update each of them to fit in a new design. We are considering creating one global template for the site, although we want to explore having separate templates for policy pages and non-policy pages to call out the different nature of that content.

We do have much more flexibility with the home page and would like to start from scratch for this page. We would also like to consider having a showpiece on the home page that features the capabilities of the latest version of the Firefox browser (SVG, advanced JavaScript and CSS features...). We would also like to look at making some design changes to the main page for each of the top-level sections.

To summarize, the scope for the project includes:

  • Designing one global template for existing pages (with the possibility of making a second variation of the template for policy pages)
  • Designing a home page that includes a technology showpiece
  • Designing 6 main pages (one for each top-level section)

Target Audience

Our two main audiences will be people who are interested in learning more about Mozilla and also experienced community members who are looking for specific information or policies. Although we aren't specifically including end-users in this group, we still want people to easily find out how to download Firefox and Thunderbird when they first come to the site.

Brand Direction

We want to create a sense of community and a sense of working together. The original constructivist style used on the site did this, but in a way that was sensitive for many community members from former-communist countries. It would be good to bring back parts of that design or to get inspiration from the design for this project.

Design Direction

The site is all about the Mozilla community -- a worldwide collection of individuals and organizations that are working together to create software, such as Firefox, and to promote the creation of an open Internet. This design should embody the sense of collective action working to make the Internet a better place. Although the word 'revolution' has some negative connotations (just like the red star in some early designs) Mozilla is a pioneering effort and the idea of working on something revolutionary needs to be present.

The design should also include the red dinosaur head Mozilla logo. The current site uses a small, cropped version of the logo, but we would like to feature this logo more prominently in a new design. Some variations of the dinosaur head image can be found at:

The site also needs to be clean and the design can't get in the way of people finding the information they need. It shouldn't be boring however. We feel that the current site doesn't have nearly enough of a personality for the community it is serving.

Other Considerations

Technology: the current site is highly static and this will not change for the new version. That having been said, we are interested in incorporating some of the latest and greatest web technologies somehow into the home page. The technologies used need to all be accessible and based on open standards, so proprietary plug-ins such as Flash are off limits. We would also need to make sure that people who aren't using the latest version of Firefox or another browser that supports the latest standards can still use the site and get all the information they need.


Localization is not a current concern for the site since there are currently too many pages on the site to make localization feasible. However, we don't want to make design decisions that will limit our options for any future localization efforts.

Community Site Links


David Boswell (david at mozillafoundation dot org)
Samuel Sidler (ss at mozilla dot com)