New download experience post mortem
The new download experience was released along with Firefox 20, just one month ago.

While the rapid release trains provide a very good userbase for testing a feature, it’s only at the release time that the “real world” feedback allows to prioritize improvements. Unfortunately, at that time, there’s the concrete risk of a disconnection:

Thanks to the open and transparent nature of the Mozilla project, the feedback is never lost, very often it naturally converts to bugs and discussions. On the other side this disconnection may cause a delay before actionable items are created.

Thus I decided, after the release, to collect the most common feedback about the new download experience and setup a meeting with people involved in its development, to work toghether towards a plan. I went through bugs,, comments to IT articles, Mozilla newsgroups, and forum discussions, extracted the most common topics and put them on the discussion table.

I’d like to point out this is not an exotic behavior at all, persons involved in development do read feedback and are active part of the community, there is also a User Research dedicated team. Though, it is worth writing this tale to clarify that what is sometimes confused with “indifference”, is instead the unavoidable challenge of satisfying a large, heterogenous and passionate community.

What came out of that is a very concrete list of things we can do. Please forgive me if I don’t go too much into details for each item, I’m still in the process of adding required information to bugs. Also notice many more suggestions were evaluated, this is a filtered list.

Priority improvements:

Backend improvements:

Minor changes:

Now, to the bad news: we are low on resources. Clearly everyone has many projects to follow, we’ll try to dedicate available time to these changes, but we’d like having some help from the community. So, if you are able in javascript, xul and css, your help will be very welcome. I’ve added a status near each item, indicating the current needs, those having [code] are already well defined and can be worked on, the others will be defined in the next days.

Written by Marco Bonardo on 30 April 2013