Announcing the Firefox 4 Design Challenge – The Home Tab

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Design Challenge Logo

Just in time for the winter holidays, Mozilla Labs is back with a new Design Challenge. Participate in the Winter ’09 Design Challenge and help the wider Firefox UX team determine the future design direction of Firefox’s new Home Tab feature.

The Brief

For this Design Challenge we are focusing on finding creative solutions to the question: “The Home Tab — What are some interesting uses of a Firefox-hosted start page?”

In the upcoming releases of Firefox, we’ll move the Home button to be a “Home tab” instead. We will keep the existing functionality where you can display a web page of your choice — or disable it altogether — but since we’re moving this page to live in Firefox instead of on the web, there are some interesting opportunities.

This page will have access to a lot more of the user’s information since it never leaves the browser — history, add-ons, bookmarks, and pretty much anything you can see in Firefox at the moment. This opens up a lot of possibilities, and we’d like to see what you can do with this new-found superpower.

Wireframe:
Firefox Wireframe

Mockup:
Firefox Mockup

An explicit non-goal of this challenge is to design something like My Yahoo, iGoogle or similar start pages that let you put widgets/gadgets. This is not because we don’t think this use case is valuable, but we’re much more interested in what a browser start page can do with full access to the browser. An interesting example is something like the about:me extension, which shows you trends in your browsing habits. Unlike mainstream portals like Yahoo and MSN, the locally hosted Firefox home tab can potentially offer users an experience that is innately personal, and tailored to each user’s incredibly unique personalities and interests.

How it Works

To participate in this Design Challenge you need to create a short video explaining your idea(s), presenting the mockup and showing how your idea works. Your video can contain anything from a napkin drawing, a wireframe, to a polished graphic/prototype. Upload your video to the web and submit your entry using our submission form.

To get you started we prepared a set of templates – head over to the Winter ’09 Design Challenge site and download them!

Important Dates

  • December 2009 – Launch of The Home Tab – Winter ’09 Design Challenge
  • February 14th, 2010 – Submission Deadline
  • February 15th, 2010 – People’s Choice Voting starts
  • March 1st, 2010 – People’s Choice Voting ends
  • March 15th, 2010 – Best in Class honors are announced

Head over to the Design Challenge site and get creative!