Testing, testing…. Is this thing on?

Matt Grimes

30

Well hello there savvy web user. Welcome to the new home of the User Advocacy blog. Glad you could stop in. I’m sure you are probably thinking to yourself, “What the heck is User Advocacy?” Great question!

At the most basic, as a part of the greater User Success organization, the User Advocacy team talks to Firefox Users from around the world to figure out what we can do to make our products and services better. In fact, we’ve probably spoken already. Have you ever been to Input, posted on the SUMO forums, or answered one of our about:home surveys? Yep, that’s us. A more eloquent way of describing what we do is:

At Mozilla, our brand promise is a single statement that captures the essence of our experience. It is the internal compass we use to guide the development of our brand. This is not an ad. This is not a tagline. This is our promise to our users. It’s that simple. Firefox answers to no one but you.

The User Advocacy Team ensures that we never forget this promise to our users. UA is the conduit for the true voice of the user, ensuring that they are heard at all levels of the organization. We distill information gained through user feedback from our various communication channels, then we turn these insights into actions. As a team, we always deliver on our brand promise.

 

 

So what does that mean in practical terms? Let me give you some examples:


UA works Reactively
Shortly after the release of Firefox 17, our feedback channels exploded with complaints of font issues. We were able to put our engineers in touch with users experiencing this issue. They quickly identified the change in gfx.content.azure. A patch was created and we were able to chemspill before we ever unthrottled. We spot lots of fires with the help of our users, because User Advocacy is always listening. We’ll be sure to post information here so you always know the latest and greatest!

 

UA takes Requests
When PDF.js landed in nightly, the PDF.js team asked us to provide ongoing feedback as the feature made its way to release. We provided incremental feedback reports to the PDF.js team from our Nightly, Aurora, and Beta users. In fact, we provide feedback for all major product changes. Not just for Desktop. We run feedback for Firefox for Android and Firefox OS.

 

UA is Proactive
At one point last year, malicious addons drove 30% of all traffic to the support site. This translated to hundreds of forum posts a week and thousands of Knowledge Base page views a day. Through a joint effort with the AMO team, Project Squeaky was born. The project aims to make our add-ons environment “squeaky clean” once again. Through these efforts we have already seen a 60% decrease in negative feedback around our worst offenders. New forum posts have now dropped into single digits. This is just one of many ways we are proactively protecting our awesome users. You’ll hear more about these larger projects right here as things progress!

 


Now that you know a little more about User Advocacy, let me introduce you to the team:


Tyler Downer
– 
Tyler is our resident Project Manager. He keeps us on track, ensuring that  we hit our deadlines, stay on the critical path, and keeps us all sane. Tyler is also one of the BEST troubleshooters I have ever met. Fun fact: He can tell you what any line of about:config does. He lives in Arizona with his wife and two golden retrievers. Tyler was a long time contributor as well, starting way back in 2008.

Aimee Forrstrom - Aimee is an Open Source rockstar. She’s been involved in countless Open Source projects with speaking engagements all over the globe. We are really excited we’ve convinced Aimee to leave her home in beautiful Australia to work with us on UA. She’ll be based out of Portland, OR (arguably the best city in the world).

Will Kahn-Greene – Even though he’s *technically* a part of SumoDev, we’ve claimed Will for the User Advocacy team and we aren’t giving him up. Will is the amazing developer that turns our crazy ideas into realities. He is the one who is responsible for ALL the Input awesomeness. Everything Will touches is amazing and we are lucky to have him on our side. He’s also one really cool guy.

Rob RaybornHe’s a Mozillian, CS grad, and Georgian. Proud of it too! Rob likes technology and we are glad he does. Rob is going to be building better backend tools to help us better understand the needs and concerns of our users. On top of all that, he’s going to be driving our Android feedback efforts. In his free time he likes to indoor climb, be outdoors, snowboard, and explore around SF.

Joshua SmithThe youngest member of the UA team, Joshua is a programmer who is excited about volunteering for Mozilla, and possibly making a career out of improving the web. We have no doubt he’ll be successful at whatever he does! You should see the Firefox OS apps he’s written. They are HOT! Joshua also enjoys developing websites, helping users, and designing graphics.

Cheng Wang - Cheng is actually the godfather of the User Advocacy team. Feel free to show your respect when you see him. Cheng is also the Firefox OS feedback lead. If you’ve got questions, concerns, or thoughts on Firefox OS just let him know. Not only is he our resident mad scientist, but he is also a fantastic chef. When he isn’t hatching some new crazy plan or fixing a culinary masterpiece, Cheng also enjoys indoor rock climbing. 

Matt Grimes - That’s me! I have the honor and the privilege of managing the User Advocacy team. I love what I do and work with the most amazing people in the world. I couldn’t be happier. I believe in the work that we do and in creating a free and open web, by the users and for the users. I live in Portland, OR (definitely no bias though). 

 

What’s next for User Advocacy?

Great question! You are really on it today. Now that you know a little more about the team and what we do, here’s what you can expect from this blog in the future: Project Updates, Post-Mortems, Input Development Updates, Pictures of Funny Cats, Release Specific Issues, and More!

 

EDIT:

Hello Everyone! It’s great to hear from so many passionate folks from around the Globe. We love talking to users. I’ve seen a few things posted so far in the comments section that I wanted to address:

  1. Requests for Support – If you are looking for 1 on 1 Support, we have the most AMAZING group of contributors that will be happy to help you get back in business. Rather than posting your individual Support requests here, please visit: https://support.mozilla.org/
  2. Product Feedback – I am seeing a lot of feedback here in the comments section about our products in general. AWESOMENESS! We love to hear your feedback. It is difficult to parse through all the feedback in the comments section though. We have some really amazing tools that help us funnel feedback appropriately. The best place to leave your feedback is: https://input.mozilla.org
  3. Content of this blog – I’ve seen several comments about the blog in general, especially the technical level of content. The nature of the work that we do in the UA team means that the blog contents will vary. There will be times that we will be discussing very technical topics that are aimed towards our more technical users (see the Input Status Updates). We will also be posting very cool, easy to consume, updates like the post by Rob Rayborn about Physical Input. We will always strive to make the topics as digestible as possible, but fair warning that we may get pretty “geeky” from time to time ;)

30 responses

  1. Gerard Donahue wrote on :

    Will Firefox continue to provide updates on its browser after Microsoft ends all its updates for Windows XP in April 2014.

    1. Matt Grimes wrote on :

      I have not heard of any plans to stop supporting XP. We know there are still quite a few folks using it around the globe!

      1. Joshua wrote on :

        http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/end-support-help

  2. Rich Daley wrote on :

    I use BING as my prefered search agent. The BING home page publishes a daily background picture that often features a cute animation. However, Firefox doesn’t show the animation even tho other browsers do. Do I need a special plug in to get the BING animation functional? Small matter as Firefox is a great browser.

  3. Mike Linham wrote on :

    I’m afraid after a number of years using Firefox I’ve stopped due to the ‘horrid’ lack of correction of the closing situation. If I close down the programme will not relaunch as it says it is still running and I have to end it in Task Manager. I also have many occasions of webpages not opening when making payments etc as the security seems to prevent me making payments. I have to switch to IE to pay for the contents of my basket….and games keep saying the page has moved….. all in all a nightmare which I have decided to move away from.

  4. Mike Lee wrote on ::

    I have gotten a lot of utility from FireFox since using it as my main browser for many years. Sadly I was forced last year to switch to Chrome due to the many issues I encountered with Firefox and the Adobe flash player (this is documented fairly well using the url above). I guess I am even more amazed that the troubles that I have experienced as well as others have not been addressed as far as I can tell. I can still bring up the web site http://espn.go.com/blog/acc and often times bring my Intel I7 processor complex to its knees with I/O counts in the millions for the Firefox Plug_Container task. I even had actually believed that on my previous PC systems that they were just under powered for all the ESPN content that was in the format of the Adobe flash player. However, after getting my current I7 processor complex system last year I finally realized that no system could overcome the inefficiencies/troubles with the Firefox/Adobe Flash player/Plug_Container interface. While I still believe a lot of great work has occurred in Firefox I am still hopeful that at some point I can switch back to using it once this Plug_Container/Adobe Flash player interface has been corrected. Maybe you could get some ideas from Chrome and how it interfaces with Adobe Flash player.

    Best Regards,

    Mike Lee

  5. Winston Rats Smith wrote on :

    OK, lots – 1: style – since it is easy when you’re inside, please offer ‘fox in 2 display frame modes: Win8 (aka orangebar and 3-line icon to get other stuff. 2 – (MINE!) Oldstyle (improved with all kinds of bar options):

    I like tabs on top of the tab page, sorta like a folder. Others prefer tabs above, major dropdown bar (from File to Help) or Icon bar (Homeicon etc) directly above tabs – Display 2 should offer a multiple choice: a)tabs down/up, and a 3-choice, er 4 choice, er, among the choices combination for the bar/s above/below: you have 4 major units: Icons, Dropdowns, Location (Amazabar? I keep all functions turned off for privacy, so I forget its official name) and Browser (I would suggest no add-ons here by default, will get to that in second. OK, on 1 or 2 lines (you would have ALREADY decided Tabs UP or Tabs Down as your second metachoice if you choose Style 2, XP, whatever you want to call it)).

    First choice to be made, 1 or 2 bars for all that info, using Classic Compact addon, I have all on one, wanted to separate some items, too much work was declared after more than an hour, then I came to LIKE it) so upper control bar options really total out (1 or 2 bars)*4*3*2*1=24 – EXCEPT There’s a last matter to decide: Add-On Bar – I’d personally make the bottom collection default (or nothing default, your choice. I would eliminate the apparent “binding” of the first Add-On icons put on to the right-hand side – serves no purpose. If you have 2 bars on top, you CAN put all/most of your Add-On bar with Addisabbabar, [Location of open page} or whatever you call that history retainer by default thing or the ICON or Icon-Menu-whateverelse ba]r. Or stick it on left or right side of current open window. My personal preference is extra bar below with everything not above) unless you run a near-naked browser, it is a Good Thing in my mind to add the add-on bar to the bottom and fill with downloaders and safety goodies., when you add in option of library bar for people who use 3 sites, that’s it, we’re up to about 256 unique choices, so I’ll stop multiplying – we’re suffering overpopulation of humanity as is.

    Another Option to add back – DLS in separate window, moveable anywhere, or just another tab. Please make it an option again. I *would* consider some way reformat the Bookmarks Column to keep it open, maybe detach and float too.

    Things to make (or at least document) as Default: Private Browsing – I cannot tell my status now that purple domino has been eliminated; A built-in series of basic d/l and grouping d/ls (Down them All/ByTubeD; AND more importantly privacy tools: ABP,BOTH HTTPS-finding programs in the pair available 1 from you, one from EFF site; Ghostery & Disconnect as a unified service with ALL available 3rdpartytools except fonts from the same site you are using, default-blocked – I’ve written to both the Amer. Soc. of Newspaper Pubs. and ABC (certifying audit orgs) to tell them that infotheft has allowed Google, Yahoo, etc. to build up nice little files on who I am, but I RARELY if EVER see an ad on the net – a reason presses should keep rolling.

    TWO IDEAS to stop infotheft: ie: I WANT PRIVACY BACK, and wish I had the cash to take on anybody who takes and holds onto data longer than necessary for a business transaction to get everything I don’t want stored, unstored.

    If I had my way, an infotheft site would first have to post a page reading “If you go any further you will, unless you opt out, allow us to take the MAC identifying YOUR computer – almost giving your name out if you only own one or own a tower or use a standard “on-ramp” like Verizon or local cable co – which provides your address.
    Shopping sites would be required to say what they keep live, or extract ‘better experience’ from info from for more than the time it takes to complete a business transaction, and every bit of such info could be challenged and removed if unnecessary to conduct biz.

    Until some large law firm comes along to back me pro bono or % if you win …

    1- Sad to say, but it is time to stop total open-licensing -barring ANY access of everything from “look and feel” to code itself to companies that commit infotheft, ala Google/Doubleclick – to name the largest, most dangerous and anti-trust meat in the world, and its worst division.

    Add a clause to the license that “no one may use this browser or design web pages or anything else with it IF THEY INTEND to compile any form of non-opt-in list. Subsidiaries and owners, as individuals or corporations are barred too.”

    Chrome would be gradually be cut out of any new developments, though Google owns a good chunk of the world.

    2 – How about a mozillanet social network which guarantees privacy through integrated GNUPGP – OK, due to harassment cases, a secret archive would have to be kept off-line, and narrowly released if a warrant were issued, Without ads, as with a clean-room Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird, users would have to pay for their base software but keeping secret mundane data might well be a better way to go, especially if one would need a public key (available if you’re my Chosen FRIEND) would be quite refreshing.

    Allow services and even for-profits to buy in for non-targeted ads, which must be inoffensive to the eye (not by subject – but OK a Porn site can advertise as exactly what it is, without a sample displayed) if one cannot turn them off, They place ‘em with YOU and get to encode their business too.

    REQUIRING use of PGP (possibly strengthened) might even start a trend towards respect by both business and government for a degree of privacy EVEN ON THE WEB in one’s home again.

    OH Hell, as Lennon said “Maybe I’m a dreamer”

  6. Dgreen wrote on :

    I have been wanting to upgrade to the newer firefox but I use Kaspersky and its not compatible- when will that be fixed?

  7. Frank Bennett wrote on :

    I’m delighted to read Matt’s response to this query, as I was going to ask the same question.
    Best wishes to you all.
    Frank.

  8. Roger Shogren wrote on :

    I’m finding it impossible to get Firefox to work with the last upgrade, and I need to contact somebody to whom I can explain the problem. Otherwise I’m going back to one of those other browsers.

  9. Suzan wrote on :

    do you have anything new for tablet ( android users)

  10. Claire wrote on :

    Since I’ve been upgraded to Firefox browser 27, I’ve been getting a lot of annoying advertisement pop-unders, is there a feature you guys can somehow create which can stop this annoying problem? similar to the features you use to stop pop-ups?

  11. leonard colman wrote on :

    more and more chromebooks can not use mozilla

  12. BC wrote on ::

    i would like to try mozilla. i have incredimail which i am use to for years. i want to know if you can keep away advertisements that prop up alot on my computer. and will you let us know when there are upgrades to windows and windows 7 like i already have. and browser updates. i am really ready for a change for the better. tired of pop ups.

  13. Bar wrote on :

    All the firefox problems I have come from the Addons.
    There needs to be more attention to the effects of Addons.
    Stop spending so much time on firefox appearance and spend more time on fixing the Addon issues that affect the firefox performance with “Not Responding” and Crashes.
    There needs to be the abilty to see the CPU effect from EACH ADDON.
    Addons with high CPU need to be reworked to lower CPU and firefox team could help the Addon Webdevelopers, before approval.
    And when “not responding” and when about to crash, firefox needs to be able to have a RESET button to clear things without the interuption of a firefox restart.
    Users are always in a constant state of needing to FIX something broken because of the constant update of firefox versions breaking addons.

    Are these people listed above even know of all the addon problems?
    Seems like they don’t because firefox has been available for so many years, and we still have all the addon problems and firefox is not good without at least 50 addons to enhance the experience.

    I keep hoping firefox will improve to be good enough, but how much longer do we wait for that?

  14. Emil wrote on :

    using MacBook Air
    recieving notes for update but cannot upgrade because the connection is not possible even after about 20 min

  15. michaelgorchovphv wrote on ::

    is there bans on hackers?

  16. ORBAN PETRU wrote on ::

    EVERYTHING IS WELL,SOMETIME TOO SLOWLY BUT IT”S OK,THANKS

  17. Anita Brassington wrote on :

    i have been trying to get back to mozilla firefox for some time now .At the moment I am stuck with ASK IT IS Hopeless I want to get back to firefox Can you help ANITA

  18. van wrote on :

    Let us have the choice of

    the tab bar disappearing if the current page

    is the only tab.

    That screen space can be much better used than it is at present !!

  19. Dennis Ray wrote on :

    I have other browsers for my use, but I have been a long fan of Firefox. It troubles me that I have begun to experience slow-downs and pauses while on many sites. It has been really bad on yahoo, while other search engines work fine. Something to think about!

  20. sal sr lo wrote on :

    …..

    this page is on …..i don’t know where it came from…..its not on my inbox but i like it…….

    i use firefox but i’m challenged user…..UA is just what i need…

    i don’t know if i’ll see this page again…hope i do…

  21. Kullmann Gustavo wrote on :

    It is not a comment! I know English only a few!
    Can you write in Italian language?
    Thank you and good afternoon.

  22. Chuck Flink wrote on :

    Looking for Firefox on WindowsPhone 8.1 ….tired of explorer!
    Note: want some good ideas for a mobile Firefox, check out “Surfy” for WinPhone…
    – tabbed, voice reader, google mobilizer, smooth, etc.
    Note: two person (husband & wife team) … don’t know if I trust this browser, but great interface and ideas demonstrated in their software.

  23. rose lanclos wrote on :

    i just love this website very good

  24. thranprach wrote on :

    mozilla every good.

  25. Nancy D. wrote on :

    Text and pictures on several sites are blocked in gray, therefore unable to read. This started with the last Mozilla update. When will this be fixed?

  26. Derek North wrote on :

    Thank you for UA. I have WXP too, and wait to see what happens in April. Meanwhile, I’ve loaded Firefox but can’t get it started which is why I’m still using the old version. Help[!!!

  27. larrie waguespack wrote on :

    I would very much like to have an “automatic” way of sending web pages I found interesting to my friends. Will Mozilla come up with something soon?

  28. Matt Grimes wrote on :

    Hello Everyone! It’s great to hear from so many passionate folks from around the Globe. We love talking to users. I’ve seen a few things posted so far in the comments section that I wanted to address:

    1) Requests for Support – If you are looking for 1 on 1 Support, we have the most AMAZING group of contributors that will be happy to help you get back in business. Rather than posting your individual Support requests here, please visit: https://support.mozilla.org/

    2) Product Feedback – I am seeing a lot feedback here in the comments section about our products in general. AWESOMENESS! We love to hear your feedback. It is difficult to parse through all the feedback in the comments section though. We have some really amazing tools that help us funnel feedback appropriately. The best place to leave your feedback is: https://input.mozilla.org

    3) Content of this blog – I’ve seen several comments about the blog in general, especially the technical level of content. The nature of the work that we do in the UA team means that the blog contents will vary. There will be times that we will be discussing very technical topics that are aimed towards our more technical users (see the Input Status Updates). We will also be posting very cool, easy to consume, updates like the post by Rob Rayborn about Physical Input. We will always strive to make the topics as digestible as possible, but fair warning that we may get pretty “geeky” from time to time ;)

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