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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Redesigned Mozilla Add-ons Site (AMO) Is Now Available

The refreshed, redesigned and ready for interaction Mozilla Add-ons web site is now live!


"The AMO team has been hard at work for the last many months on a major site redesign and is pleased to announce the availability of the new AMO site. This is a significant release and chock-full of goodies for end users and add-on authors alike. The focus has been predominantly to provide a visual refresh, simplify navigation and rework the add-on developer tools area. But that doesn’t quite capture just how much effort has gone into this release. So, here is a full rundown of all the changes." said Basil Hashem, Director of Products at Mozilla.

What’s New in AMO 3.2?

Below is what Basin said in his weblog.

Visual Identity & Navigation

  • An easy-on-the-eye visual identity (called “Eco” for its soothing color) with new menus, buttons, drop-down lists, and site header
  • Add-on categories available from all pages for easier navigation
  • Quick links to dictionaries, themes & search engines
  • More add-ons can be viewed per page (configurable for up to 100/page)
  • Indicator status such as “experimental” (aka sandbox) or “recommended” is displayed
  • An “Application” drop down menu for easy access to Thunderbird, SeaMonkey & Sunbird add-ons
  • Experimental/Sandbox addons are shown even when a user is not logged in but installation requires login. Removed option for “include sandbox items” from user preference.

Smart Install Buttons

  • As we are in a transition time between Firefox 2 and preparing for the release of Firefox 3, we’ve added OS platform and Firefox version detection to the “Add to Firefox” buttons that appear. So, depending upon the version of Firefox that you are using and the compatibility of the add-on, you’ll see one of the following:
  • When an add-on is compatible with your version of Firefox, you’ll see

  • When an add-on is only compatible with an older version of Firefox, you’ll see

  • When an add-on is only compatible with a newer version of Firefox, you’ll see

  • If the add-on is in the sandbox, it’ll be marked “experimental”, and you’ll need to login to install it

  • For Thunderbird, add-on buttons indicate “Download Now” instead of “Add” to more accurately reflect what happens

Add-on Search

  • About 50% of users come to AMO to search for a particular add-on. It used to be exceedingly difficult to do that. So, we’ve given the search box in this new design significant prominence.
  • Ability to limit searches within categories
  • The search result page now has install buttons (no need to go to the details page any more)
  • Experimental (sandbox’ed) add-ons are now shown in search results and clearly marked (no need to switch between public and sandbox search any more)

Site Content

  • Add-on download counts are now visible publicly to help users discover popular add-ons
  • A revised ratings form with a new 5-point rating scale. (All previous add-on ratings have been adjusted accordingly.)
  • A revamped add-on version history page (without Smart install buttons so that you can download add-ons for any Firefox version or OS platform)
  • A new viewer for add-on images
  • Massively revised dictionaries & language pack page with support for more than 60 languages.

Featured & Recommended Add-ons

  • We’ve revamped how recommended add-ons work. In the past there was a single list of recommended add-ons that was available. From that list, one was randomly selected and featured on the AMO front page. As this list grew, there was less “exposure time” for each add-on and no filtering whatsoever.
  • This revision of AMO introduces two new capabilities: featured add-ons and locale-specific targeting.
  • Now, when an add-on is marked as recommended it is done so for a single category. The revised category pages include 2 “slots” where recommended add-ons will appear. See the Social & Communications category for an example. We will be increasing the number of recommended add-ons to accommodate these extra slots.
  • Featured add-ons are a selection of recommended add-ons that are shown in one of 3 slots on the front page of AMO. Category recommended add-ons will be rotated on a regular basis onto the front page.
  • We’ve also added per locale featured and recommended lists - this allows AMO editors and the Mozilla community to tailor AMO for particular locales
  • Themes can also be recommended

Search Engines

  • Revised search engines page (and added OpenSearch support)
  • Support for search engine categorization
  • Firefox search field integration on the search engine details pages. You can easily add search engines using the Firefox Search Engines menu


  • Feedback from many add-ons authors indicated that they were dissatisfied with the discussion system on AMO, mostly because most authors already maintained a separate support forum elsewhere. mozillaZine Forums, MozDev forums or other. So, we’ve frozen all existing add-on discussions. Users can no longer add new topics but existing topics can be read. We’ll maintain the content for a few months and then eventually remove them.
  • As a replacement for discussions, we’ve added new support forum URL & support email links for each add-on. Add-on authors should edit their add-ons and point to either a support email or a support forum location and AMO will link to there.
  • Required Actions for add-ons authors: Determine a location for your support discussions and update your add-on please.

Developer Tools

  • The ever clever Justin Scott was the brains behind the reworking of this area of AMO. He’s blogged about this earlier during the beta cycle.
  • A new add-on dashboard with summary information (along with an RSS feed that you can subscribe to)
  • Authors will also find beautiful, functional charts that graph both add-on active daily users (ADU) as well as total downloads
  • The entire data history of the add-on from July 2007
  • Graph zoom in/out and expand graph capabilities
  • For active users, you can filter and chart by the versions of the add-on, by versions of Firefox, by addon status or by users’ operating system
  • Add-on authors may choose to make their detailed statistics public - you can visit this link to see which add-ons have opted to do this
  • Finally, you can export the data as a CSV in order to perform your own analysis

An amazing 24 languages!

  • That’s right. From Albanian to Ukrainian, we’ve got your locale. Special thanks go out to the Mozilla web localizer community who did an incredible job to help us simultaneously launch this site with 24 languages!
  • The list includes: Albanian, Basque, Catalan, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish (Spain) and Ukrainian

This has been an incredible effort and lots of long hours by many groups. Please help me congratulate the entire dev, QA, UX, product, IT/Operations, AMO Editors and localization teams for helping make this a great release.

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