Mozilla Modernizes Its Add-On Repository
If you have visited one of the add-on repositories on the Mozilla.org website lately you must have noticed that the design and layout has changed significantly.
There you find add-ons and themes for all Mozilla products including the Firefox web browser and the Thunderbird email client.
I thought for a moment on my first visit that I was in the Chrome web store, before I realized that this was the new layout of the add-on repository for the Firefox web browser.
When you open the add-ons section over at Mozilla, you are now greeted with a modern design that focuses on staff picks, featured extensions, up and coming extensions and featured Personas on the start page.
The Explore menu at the top left leads to featured, most popular and top rated add-ons. I personally dislike that Mozilla has removed the created and updated links from the repository start screen. Below that are the usual categories, on the other side the ten most popular extensions.
When you click on one of the Explore links you are redirected to the old layout and design, which includes options to sort the add-ons by creation or update date. It is likely that this layout will be changed over time as well. (Please Mozilla, do not remove the option to sort by creation date, as Google has done on the Chrome Web Store)
Individual add-on pages have been redesigned as well. Add-ons now separate information more clearly.
You now get the name, icon, developers and a short description on top. Images are displayed below, then again information about the add-on followed by reviews of it. I personally think that the images have the focus on that page. They furthermore divide the information and disturb the reading flow. Lastly, you got a lot of white space on the page.
Users who scroll all the way down get related information, for instance which other add-ons users of that particular add-on use, which collections it is included in and if the developers have created other add-ons. These links are interesting, they can for instance be used to discover new add-ons.
Have you noticed the new design over at Mozilla yet? What is your impression of it?Advertisement
Well, for what it matters, I dislike the new layout. Seems to me it was far more clear before. In French we call this “couper les cheveux en quatre”, that is “cut hair in four”. This is messy. Looks like the aim was to change rather than to improve. What many I think would really like is a faster display of their pages.
Version information (e.g. Works with: SeaMonkey 2.0 – 2.5a1 & Firefox 3.0 – 8.0a1) is hidden away as the last expandable item on the page. This needs to be at the top in plain view
The current layout is a wide column & a narrow sidebar to the right: 3w + 1w
A better column layout might be: 2w + 1w + 1w
I fully agree with Michael’s first comment.
Knowing compatibility plus the date of last update should be at the top
I wonder how much this has to do with Mozilla trying to discourage people from treating version numbers as important? I guess for most people who are using the release version of Firefox it doesn’t really matter that the add-on is compatible with version 6.* or 7.* or 8.0a1, just that the “Add to Firefox” button is green. For pre-release users, they’ll most likely be disabling compatibility checking anyway but still, for me at least, it’s nice to know.
I use repository only from time to time. Because changes didn’t affect any functionality I want to click, I didn’t notice them.
I hate that they do not display the version compatibility information prominently.
I for one greatly dislike the new website. I would go there specifically to find new addons, or even experimental ones. It is not obvious how one can do this, if at all now.