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Snippet Service Feature Enhancements (Q2 2011)

Goals and Measurements

The current snippet service launched Q4 in 2010 with basic functionality and user-friendliness. The goal of this project is to add just enough functionality and features to it to make it easily work for non-technical owners who use it.

Success looks like this:

  • End-users do not need to touch code to push new snippets live
  • Batch editing used when possible instead of manual data entry
  • Snippet content is easily previewable (by locales/channels/versions, etc.)
  • Automatic notification when snippet service is "down"



In order of priority.

1. Enable bulk editing

Currently: Changes to things like start and stop times can only be done in bulk through WebDev. If WebDev resource is not available changes must be made manually to over ~70 pieces of content.

a) Enable bulk edits of "Start Time" and "Stop Time" from this page:

2. Enable Engagement team to easily load new snippet content without having to touch source code

a) Add in direct photo upload tool

Currently: A tool like this has to be used, and the code copy and pasted into the snippet service

b) Use some sort of template "fill-in-the-blank form" to enter a new snippet. Make it so the bare basics of a snippet: Copy, Graphic, Link can be added through some sort of HTML editor and previewed within the snippet service

Currently: Non-technical owners have to modify source code

3. Enable non-technical users a way to push designated snippets from staging to production

Currently: Webdev must do this, or changes have to be made directly in production

4. Minimize manual updates of Make Client Match Rules when new product versions are released

Currently: A new rule is needed whenever a new version of Firefox is shipped (Firefox 5, 6, 7, not including dot releases). With each release the snippet content defaults to default content, and takes up to 3 days for new content to appear. Additionally, we manually need to update the Client Match Rules upon each release, timing it with the product team, which is tricky and often untimely.

a) Figure out best way to use Client Match Rules that can scale appropriatly  (654355)


1. Create a smooth process to launch snippet content. Use a "No Suprises" and transparent approach.

Currently: This process is used. We're dependent on Webdev to help bulk load translations, make any changes in bulk, and to create Client Match Rule regex's. Workflow is not streamlined.

2. Enable PMM team to directly manage Channel & Beta snippet content

Currently: Training of Grace is in progress (654221)


1. Make Snippet Add-on preview tool more usable (need bug)

Currently: The add-on only seems to work 50% of the time (technical problems? user error?)

a) Add dropdown fields instead of open form fields into snippet Add-on to make testing more straightforward

b) Clicking certain fields makes Firefox crash ("Open About:home"). What does "Change Update URL" do?

c) Add a "refresh" button


1. Get a better sense of impressions and CTR (653268)

Currently: Since our user base is growing and snippet content is changed in and out, we know clicks, but not CTR, so it's not clear what snippet content performs the best. 

2. Automatically monitor and be alerted when snippet service is down

Currently: Reports of default snippet content showing are reported about once a month

3. Add tracking tags to all default content to help monitor how often it shows (657038)

Currenlty: They have no tracking tags. Adding tags should give us a sense of how often default content is being served


  • Localize default content. Right now other locales get en-US content.
  • A way to serve out blank snippet content
  • Weight - show 60% of the time, etc.

Open Bugs

657038: Add Webtrends tracking to default snippets

630872 Initial record of UI improvements with requirements from above, and Les' responses to each. Will close, but responses good to keep for reference.

653268 Track snippet load/impression numbers

654355 Create client match rule that scales through release