Category Archives: General

What’s up with SUMO – August 29th

Hey, everyone! Michał here. I’m not as good with cameras and videos as Michael Verdi (yet!), so for now you’ll have to read me. I’m pretty sure you don’t mind. Just read it in Morgan Freeman’s voice and imagine penguins running around, that should make it more fun ;-).

New SUMO members

We’re growing! Not quite at a million yet, but getting closer every day. Take a while to visit the introductions thread and say hello to:

The goings-on

Firefox OS launch in India

  • As you all know, Firefox OS officially launched this Monday in India. Our Indian friends have shown immense support from the very start, first by translating KB articles into the three Indian languages we display in SUMO, and then by helping out directly in the support forums. Huge thanks to you all! We could not have gotten this far without you.
  • If you’re wondering how to become a contributor with Mozilla India, take a look at the group’s Facebook page or visit the forums and say hi!
  • We’re still pushing to get to 100% with all help content for Hindi, Bengali (for India), and Tamil – if you’re interested in helping out, click the language link in this sentence and send the Locale Leaders a private message to get started.

The Buddy Program is back!

Firefox OS launch in Bangladesh

  • With India already using FF OS phones, it’s time for Bangladesh! We hope to get more users of Bengali in Bangladesh to join our localization drive for the Firefox OS help articles. Interested? Just click the link in this paragraph and contact the Locale Leaders through a Private Message for more information. You can also connect with Mozilla Bangladesh through their Facebook group.

SUMO at MozFest 2014!

  • centurion has put together a session proposal combining his interest for Webmaker and localization. We’ll keep you updated about SUMO’s presence during MozFest 2014. Big thanks to centurion for coming up with a great idea!

Last but not least, John99 found a couple of new friends for all of us ;-) Thanks, John99!

Would you like to read about something in particular here? Let us know in the forums.

Your feedback for the new SUMO support forum needed


We need your help in designing the presentation of the support forum statuses. If you have been following the contributor or the platform meeting, this is probably old news for you, but for everyone else: Big improvements to the support forums are coming.

A few month ago we set out to evaluate the support forum. The insights were partially surprising and partially confirmed our suspicions. The good news is: We are helping a huge number of people with their Firefox questions. However, the report also showed that we have two big issues:

  1. In too many cases people don’t come back, so we don’t know whether we are really helping them
  2. In too many cases we leave people hanging when they come back, either because we forget to get back to them, we’re out of our depth, or the question is not completely about using Firefox.

This quarter we set out to address these issues one by one:

  • We are looking into ways to let people easily reply in the forums when they receive a message from us, ideally they won’t need to even log in. This should increase the number of forum threads where we do get feedback on the solution we provided.
  • We have enlisted the help of the SUMO helpdesk to take care of issues we can’t solve alone. We can now escalate questions and have them spend time with us and the users to find the solution.
  • The heldpesk will also cover questions that are not completely about using Firefox.
  • We have introduced a new model for questions, specifically “states”. A question either “needs attention”, is “responded” to or is “done”. This way we can very easily tell which threads we haven’t responded yet, needing our attention the most.

Now, the challenge is to find a way to present all of this information in a way that is useful for as many contributors as possible. That includes current and future contributors. We have created a first mock-up, that you can see here: The discussion around that has already started and you can follow along here:

We urgently need feedback on this, because it will be a large scale change, that will affect every contributor using the support forums today. In particular we are interested in answering the following questions:

  • What in particular are you looking for when using the support forums? Open questions, questions with lot’s of replies? Questions where you have replied?
  • Are their certain combinations of filters that make sense to you and that should be the default?

Please leave your replies in the forum. We will use this thread to develop this mock-up further.


Building a new Firefox update experience

Planet Mozilla viewers – you can watch this video on YouTube.

Last week I introduced the new Firefox update experience that we’re working on. Since then, we’ve had a few days together in San Francisco to work out a new version (the first version was done last summer). So check out the video above for a walk-though of our progress and the video below for a few scenes of us working together this last week.

Planet Mozilla viewers – you can watch this video on YouTube.

Escalating Forum Posts

Hello I’m Patrick with SUMO’s Helpdesk. I’ve gotten to meet a few of you at the Summit in Toronto, but for those who I haven’t met yet I wanted to explain the role that Helpdesk can play within SUMO and how we can help contributors fill in the gaps on the forums. Things like getting us to 100% question replied to in 24 hours and increasing our solution rate.

For Q4 we’re working on using the existing forum tagging system to start leveraging the skills of our long time contributors, as well as getting the Helpdesk involved when you don’t know know the answer.

The tag that I’m most excited about is Escalated, which you can use when you just can’t figure out the solution to customer’s problem. There will be new filters which you can use to only look at the Escalated case if you want to work on the hard stuff. In addition escalating a post will send a ping to the Helpdesk with the forum URL, so we can get involved if needed. Posts can be also be automatically tagged as Escalated after it has gone 12 hours with No Replies.

A few people have asked what kind of posts should be escalated? If you’re unsure of how to reply mark it escalated. Since everyone is able to see escalated tagged post, anyone can answer them.

This tag along with new Filtering options, will allow all of us all to see what posts need our attention and get the customer a more timely response.

We’re hoping to have all of this rolled out before the end of December. There is a bug tracking the work for this feature here Bug 932348 – Escalated threads should create zendesk ticket, so please let us know what you think and if you’re interested in focusing on these escalated cases I’d love to hear from you.

Gravatar for Avatar

For a long time we have had small avatars on SUMO, but with the shiny new profile pages they look out of place. So we are going to support bigger avatars soon. But there is a twist: We won’t just increase the size of the avatars, we are switching to Gravatar instead. Gravatar is used by large number of online services including This means that you don’t have to manage your avatar on SUMO separately unless you really want to. You can just upload an image once on Gravatar and have it show up on all kinds of webservices you are using.

Now, what does this change mean for you?

  1. If you are a new user and have a Gravatar account already, we’ll automatically use that when you create a new account on SUMO
  2. If you are a new user and don’t have a Gravatar account yet, you’ll get the default avatar as always and you can change your Avatar by going to the Gravatar page (linked from your profile on SUMO)
  3. If you are an existing user with a Gravatar account, we’ll replace the avatar you have here with the one in your Gravatar account.
  4. If you are an existing user without a Gravatar account nothing is changing for you. But if you want to change your Avatar later on, you’ll be linked to Gravatar.

If you don’t want your standard Gravatar image to be shown on SUMO, you can change your email address on SUMO. You don’t have to actually use a different email account. Just append “+SUMO” to it. So if my mail address is it would become This way you still get your email to, but Gravatar won’t show the image here that you have set for

This is now live on our staging server: Please give it a try and let me know what you think. You can also comment directly in the bug for this:

Firefox Sentiment Reports

Hello all from the User Advocacy team! We have a special new tool to discuss today that will help us gauge the impact of each Firefox release on our amazing user base. We call this the User Sentiment Report (USR). While we’ve been working on this internally for the past couple of releases, fine tuning and tweaking the report, we are finally ready to make this report publicly available for both Desktop and Android Firefox 21!

What is a Sentiment Report?

The User Advocacy team spends a great deal of our time reading and tracking the feedback from our hundreds of millions of users via several channels (SUMO, Input, etc.). We use this feedback to find pain points, problems, and pleasures that users have with our products and then report on them to make sure our products get better and better with each release. One challenge that we have is getting the big picture of all feedback for a release, and gauging the general feeling of our users, if a release had a lot of problems for users, or if it was a very smooth one. So, the Sentiment Report was created. This report allows us to see specific releases, the general feeling of users for that release (based on the number of SUMO reports, negative pieces of input, etc.) and easily compare it to previous releases (allowing us to determine what a “Normal” release is). This report is generated at the end of every release cycle using feedback gathered since release day. The insights from this report have not been possible ever before, so we are excited to have expanded this report to Firefox for Android.

Firefox for Android Sentiment Report

While the Firefox for Desktop Sentiment Report has been ongoing for a couple of releases as we fine tuned it, we haven’t had a Firefox for Android report until this cycle. Using what we have learned from Desktop, here is the first ever Mozilla User Sentiment Report for Android!

There are a few things I’d like to highlight about the report. First is the trending topics. On we receive thousands of pieces of feedback for each release of Firefox. It is impossible to go through and read all this feedback manually. So with the help of the metrics team, we created an auto-tagger which, using a training set made by hand, will automatically tag all feedback that comes through input into roughly 20 different buckets (Crashes, websites issues, Flash issues, etc.). This allows us to watch for spikes and drops in various types of feedback and chase down anomalies when they happen. In the sentiment report, you can see the current top ten categories compared with the last 5 releases (Blue points are downward trends, Red are upwards). The numbers you see are negative input per 10 million ADI (Active Daily Installs).

Cost of Support (COS). This is an important metric. In it, we track clicks to the Help button in Firefox for Android per thousand ADI’s. The reason we watch this number is if we see a spike in Help button clicks along with a corresponding decrease in ADI’s, it is likely that there is a significant problem in that version of Firefox that is causing us to lose users. You can compare the week by week cost of Support and the overall COS for each version. Lower is obviously better (Low clicks to the help button with high ADI’s).

Most Painful Issues for Top Devices. Another awesome thing the auto-tagger lets us do is track what devices are having more issues in what categories, and lets us track these per release. So for example, we can see that the Nexus 7 was having major issues with Crashing in previous releases, but that this has consistently been trending downwards, meaning the crash work we have been doing has been paying off. Conversely we can see that the Asus TF300T had a small spike in complaints around slowness in Firefox 21, so we should begin to look into that for future releases. We can track these numbers for any device we have data on, but obviously we don’t have room to show them all in the report.

Firefox for Desktop Sentiment Report

Of course we have this report for Desktop too. Released at the same time as the Android Sentiment report, you can view the Desktop User Sentiment Report! This report tracks many of the same things that the Android report does, but with some notable exceptions.

Trending Topics. We don’t have an auto-tagger for Desktop (yet), so this category consists for topics that were automatically generated from feedback we received on this release, and then were manually curated to give the most relevant information possible.

Survey Data. We have a tool on Firefox for Desktop called Startup Snippets. Users that use the default about:home page in Firefox can see these little snippets of text under the search bar. At certain times during a release cycle we will deploy a link to a survey via these snippets to a certain sample of our users, asking for their feedback around the latest version of Firefox. We can then use this survey data to generate a star rating for Firefox (1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest).

The rest of the report is fairly self explanatory, Cost of support being the number of users who click the help button in Firefox per thousand ADI, negative input (and positive input), and the number of new support threads each week. Using all these graphs we can watch how a release fares over every week of the cycle and compare it with previous releases.

The Future

By no means are these reports in their final form. Every cycle of Firefox brings in new improvements to the User Sentiment Reports. We hope to add many new features in the future, such as tracking of Google Play data for Android, an auto-tagger for Desktop, etc. If you have feedback or ideas for these reports please feel free to contact Tyler Downer or Matt Grimes.

Of Course…

None of this would have been possible without a ton of hard work from many different people. Special thanks go to Hamilton Ulmer, Ali Almossawi, Annie Elliott, Ibai Garcia, and countless other people for their feedback and ideas.

Firefox OS English User Guide

Today we begin a week-long celebration of our awesome Firefox OS Knowledge Base contributor community. So, I baked some brownies for all of you who contributed to any of the 16 help article sprints I’ve been hosting since last October in preparation for shipping the first Firefox OS devices. The result is a splendid Firefox OS User Guide.

brownies that say Congratulations! SUMO Firfox OS KB

As a salute to finalizing these articles for L10n, I went ahead and left in the typo! :) If only all of my typos were made of cream cheese frosting…

We started this project from nothing in October, just an outline (ok, a very large outline) of the scope of articles we should write. Today we have 50 clear, beautiful, helpful English knowledge base articles that were a collaboration between 24 KB editors and reviewers:

  • satdav
  • feer56
  • rtanglao
  • zombie
  • espressive
  • tjovanovic
  • iNerd
  • ariestiyansyah
  • yalam96
  • pychen
  • hermina_condei
  • willyaranda
  • adampeebleswrites
  • Tonnes
  • Swarnava
  • Scoobidiver
  • rnewman
  • mandel
  • bram
  • Tylerdowner
  • verdi
  • Ibai
  • KadirTopal

Congratulations and thank you to everyone who has made the Firefox OS KB project a success!! This hard work is the content of the Mozilla’s Firefox OS support pages, it is the in-product Help for Firefox OS in the Settings, it is already regarded as an excellent resource by our OEM partners and our carrier partners. Please please take a moment to just absorb that and the impact your contribution will have on Firefox OS users and the Mozilla mission. It is big. You are The Best. Thank you.

One awesomely designed support center and what makes it rock

Cross-posted from

Inspired by’s article titled 12 Awesomely Designed Support Centers and What Makes Them Rock, I decided to take the opportunity to demonstrate why our very own help center, (SUMO) is way better than all of their twelve help centers combined. ;)

Although their article reads more as a showcase of some of the companies that happened to choose them as their support service provider (which we would never do, since our site is powered by our very own, superior and open-sourced CMS Kitsune), it’s still interesting to look at what they view as great design decisions in a help center to see how we compare.

Here are the main themes of their feedback that I distilled:

1. “The site looks great on all devices from mobile to desktop … The layout of the site is clean and makes it easy to navigate on any device”

We’re mighty proud of the mobile-optimized view of SUMO. It’s one of the most beautifully designed web properties ever made and it works across all mobile platforms. Bram did a fantastic job with the design, and it will fit our future Firefox OS support site like a glove:

You can try this out right away by navigating to with your Android or iPhone device. And if you’re one of the lucky few with a Firefox OS testing device, our site obviously works just as well there. :)

2. “The uncluttered design and iconography makes it easy to find information … The iconography makes topics easy to identify and stand out”

Our design uses beautiful icons to organize the content into help topics based on what users most commonly look for on our website. We tested this with paper prototyping before implementing it to make sure that the taxonomy and overall design was ideal for our unique product portfolio.

Our help topics area has beautiful icons

3. “The ability to view support center by topics or by articles is a great way to organize content … The organization of content makes it simple to find the exact answers you need”

We really went the extra mile on this one. In our user studies, we noticed that users have different behaviors when it comes to navigating to the answer to their question. Some people want to start by picking a general topic, while others prefer to pick the product they want support for first. As a result, we made sure that both of these orders work just as well on SUMO.

products and services

You can pick a topic and a product, and then we’ll show you a list of articles that matches that query. From that point, you can even filter that list down even further with the Refine and Focus feature, which allows you to pick from a more granular list of topics:

Our Refine and Focus lets you pick exactly the topic you need help with.

4. “The design is simple, clean and easy to navigate … The colors and typography are solid, strong and consistent with branding … The design is simple and clean and doesn’t distract from the important content”

The look and feel of SUMO is consistent with the overall design language of This was a specific design requirement since support is an extension of the product experience. Also notice the language selector on the right — our site is available in multiple languages, and the localization is done by our amazing community of SUMO volunteers: people like our new Spanish locale leader Avelper, or my great friends and veteran Italian localizers Michele Rodaro and Underpass.

The typography and navigation elements are consistent throughout our web properties.

5. “The support center articles are well written and easy to understand”

We took great care to make sure that our articles are engaging, easy to understand and that they have a friendly tone. We also really considered the target audience and even the mood that they might be in when visiting our site (e.g. frustrated because they’re trying to figure out a solution to a problem). Great support is an important extension of the Firefox brand and the values that Mozilla stands for, so it’s important that we get this right. Our awesome content manager Michael played a huge role in making this a reality. Here are some of the support articles that capture these aspects well:

6. “There’s a ton of helpful information from community questions to how-to videos”

Videos are very powerful because they can convey lots of information very quickly and demonstrate features in ways that no texts or screenshots can ever come close to. It’s a bit like the difference between reading an article about how to play barre chords and just watching someone do it.

A video showing how to restore your previous Firefox session.

So there you have it! I love reading articles like the one on because they make me realize just how far we’ve come at Mozilla with SUMO. Our support site is the result of lots of hard work by several teams, including of course the SUMO team, the SUMO dev team, and the UX team. And this year we’ll get even better — I’ll blog more about our plans for 2013 soon.

SUMO now helping an additional 7.3 million visitors

About 3 weeks ago we made the switch to a new information architecture and new design. The goal was to improve the browsability of the site and help people find the articles that they were looking for. 3 Weeks later we can now take a look at our key performance indicators to determine whether the whole project was worth the effort


Since this project was primarily concerned with the Knowledge Base, we can focus on the helpfulness rating in this channel. Also, we know from our exit surveys that about 80% of our visitors use the KB.  The KB helpfulness rating is based on the survey that accompanies each article in each language. We ask the question “Was this article helpful?”, which can be answered with yes or no. Of course this metric is not perfect, articles that describe features have higher ratings than articles explaining how to fix a problem, English articles are generally higher rated than localized articles, despite having the same content, and the rating is also influenced by the path people took to get to the page. However, in this case we are not interested in the absolute ratings, we are particularly interested in the change since we moved to the new iA and design.

So, what happened?

We knew from previous tests that making the site browsable would be beneficial for that segment of our users who would rather browse than search for their article. People rate an article down, when it’s not the one that they were looking for. We know so much from our article surveys, and assuming we did our homework we should help more people find the right article. That being the case we expected the helpfulness of articles to rise, but it was hard to tell by how much it would rise. Considering that we have over 500,000 visitors per day and 80% use the KB, even a change by one percentage point would help an additional 1.46 million visitors per year. Without further ado, here are the results:

The results are phenomenal, we raised the helpfulness by 10 percent on average. That’s an increase by 5 percentage points and means an additional 7.3 million visitors per year stating that they found a SUMO article helpful. This is across all languages and across all incoming channels. It means that in 7.3 million cases where people might have decided to drop Firefox or be miserable because they couldn’t get Firefox to do what they wanted, they will now leave SUMO satisfied with their browser.

It’s hard to overstate the significance of this, and we are extremely happy with the results. The improvements to the site were the result of month of hard work by many people on the SUMO team, from SUMOdev, our creative team, and UX designers. We knew we were able to offer our users a better service, and the work has finally paid off. Continually thinking about how to serve our users better is what’s driving this team, and we will take these results as motivation to work even harder on improving our services.

Today, I’m very proud of what this team made possible, and I’d like to extend my thanks to each and everyone involved in the process: You made these results possible!

The all new SUMO

Today we are going to make one of the biggest changes yet to SUMO, the Mozilla Support site, and this blog post is about what changes we are making. The changes will effect you the most as a user, but there are a number of changes for contributors as well.

First, a little history, what’s the SUMO team been up to this year?

For the last 9 month the SUMO team has been working on a new way to let users access our site content. Until recently the only way to reach most of our articles was by search, or by following links in articles. This is how wikis traditionally work. Of course that way of accessing content only works for a part of our visitors, some people want to search and some people want to browse to the solution, drilling down with ever finer topics to reduce the number of article that are related to the issue.

To come up with a new information architecture that would let people drill down like that, we first researched the mental model of our site users, how they think about issues and in what categories they would look for them. Based on that we created a small number of base categories and assigned our articles to those categories.

The next step was figuring out how to make this information architecture visible. We started to lay out a number of alternatives on paper and tested with real people in a lab. This paper prototyping gave us a way to test a number of ways to lay out the information very quickly. After a number of iterations we settled on the final designs and workflows.

Now we had everything to start adapting our site, but since this would be a big redesign, and we’d soon switch to the new unified One Mozilla design anyway, the decision was made to use this opportunity to rebuild the site based on the new theme, and that’s why the changes today not only affect the KB, but every part of our site.

So, what is changing? What does it look like?

The main change is, that we now support several products from one start page and all articles can be accessed by browsing. Let’s start with the start page:

We have the main topics on top, they allow you to start browsing by selecting your issue first, and then the product you have issue with.

One step below you can see the hot topics. Those are actually articles, things that came up recently and affect a large number of people. By providing them upfront we save a large number of people the hassle of searching or browsing for their solution.

Below that we have the product picker, this is a way to navigate our content by choosing the product first and then narrowing down the topics.

No matter what way you select, topic first or product first, you’ll end up narrowing down the number of articles to a scanable few and proceed to read one of the articles.

The important thing for localizers to note is: all of this is automated, there is no need anymore to create navigation pages and all the confusion that brought with it.

So, how did the article view change? On the surface not much has changed, but because we keep track of topics, we can now offer you a way to move to related topics, which is particularly interesting for people landing on articles from external searches:

Much, much more has changed, but this is the gist for the KB part of the site.

So, what has changed for forum contributors?

While the new iA did not touch the support forum per se, we took the redesign as an opportunity to improve a number of factors in the listing of questions for our contributors.

The new design is more friendly and clean, but at the same time gives more information about the thread content at the same time. This is especially helpful when contributors scan the thread listing page deciding which thread to pick next.

We already started rolling the design out to our contributor base over the last week and will start rolling it out to 1% of the general audience today. If everything goes to plan we’ll make it available to the general audience on Monday. If you want to try it out now, just register an account, and if you have any feedback, please use the comment section below.

The new information architecture will open up our content to a whole new group of users and make it much more accessible, while our new design is more coherent, taking into account all of the features we added since our first release while also being consistent with the Mozilla sites in general. All of this makes us very excited and hopeful that we’ll get that much closer to our number one goal: Happy users!