New AMO Category Pages

Justin Scott

9

Earlier today, AMO’s new extension category landing and browse pages were pushed live, bringing more of the site into our new style. As with our other new pages, we aimed for a clean, simple design without extra clutter.

Screenshot of add-on listing

One area we focused on improving with these pages is add-on compatibility with your browser: making it easier for pre-release users to install incompatible add-ons, and making it more apparent to mainstream users when an add-on isn’t going to work with their system.

Hiding Incompatible Add-ons

Soon, we hope to be able to hide incompatible add-ons from users when they’re browsing, with the option to show them anyway. But until that happens, we want to make sure users aren’t confused about what they can and can’t use. Our new designs make it quite apparent when an add-on isn’t going to work with your system by fading the listing out and requiring you to go its details page to install it.

Screenshot of add-on listing

Support for Pre-release Users

Fading out incompatible add-ons works fine for regular users, but when browsing AMO in an Aurora or Nightly build, it became very difficult to install incompatible add-ons with the Add-on Compatibility Reporter. So, AMO and the Add-on Compatibility Reporter now work together to make it easy to install incompatible add-ons.

If you have ACR installed, add-ons that haven’t yet declared compatibility with your version of Firefox will be installable, with a warning that they may be incompatible.

Screenshot of add-on listing

Additionally, if you’re using a Nightly or Aurora build of Firefox and don’t already have the Add-on Compatibility Reporter installed, you’ll now be encouraged to install it when you encounter a page that has an incompatible add-on on it.

Screenshot of ACR promo

Try out the new category pages and let us know what you think!

9 responses

  1. Anonymous wrote on :

    What about a new category for Thunderbird “Message Writing”?

    At the moment there is only a category “Message Reading”, but there are quite a lot of add-ons, which support the user in writing messages, like “Enigmail”, “Mail Merge”, “Signature Switch” – just to name a few.

  2. tom jones wrote on :

    how about changing the color of “+ add to firefox” button to be stripped yellow and green when user is running nightly/aurora with ACR installed and an addon “may be incompatible..”

  3. Ken Saunders wrote on ::

    I’m not sure if these are new additions or that I’ve just missed them, but I appreciate the fact that the version info, release date, etc are being shown in the side bar now as well as the extra sorting options for category listings.

    If they are new, then kudos. It shows how well AMO listens and cares because those were some concerns of users and developers. Also, the changes mentioned in the post shows that AMO is finding a way to strike a balance between making the site uber end user friendly (a.k.a. dumbing things down), and keeping it useful for more advanced users.

    Thanks

  4. Jenn Scott wrote on :

    BTW, the new way possibly incompatible add-ons show for pre-release users with ACR installed also applies to Beta users. I just checked in my Beta install, since I wondered why this only applied to Aurora and Nightly users. Two big thumbs up for this change!

    1. Justin Scott (fligtar) wrote on ::

      Yeah, this will work for anyone with the Add-on Compatibility Reporter installed, even on Beta and Release channels.

  5. FF Extension Guru wrote on ::

    Nice. I do like the new idea and completely removing the ‘Add to Firefox Button’ for incompatible extensions. I always thought it was goofy to still have the clickable button (even though the user is told it won’t work) on incompatible extensions. Especially goofy letting users ‘try’ to install it anyway (I suppose that was because users could have had add-on checking disabled).

  6. CAFxX wrote on ::

    I know that it’s only partly related but I’m going to ask it anyway: are there any plans to rework the graphs in the addon stats page? The fact that, due to the new rapid release process, we now have lots of different browser versions is lowering their already limited usefulness (e.g. in the browser version tab I have almost 50% of unaccounted-for versions).

  7. Roland Hemesath wrote on ::

    Good blog! Only problem is i’m running Firefox on Debian, and the website is looking a bit.. weird! Possibly you might want to test it to see for yourself.

    1. Amy Tsay wrote on ::

      Hi Roland, would you mind providing more details about what you mean by “weird?” Thanks!