With the launch of Firefox 48, we debuted a new page in the Get Add-ons section of about:addons. For simplicity’s sake, we’re calling this the Discovery Pane.
We recently covered the reasons why we redesigned this page. Now I’d like to share more insight into how this page’s content will refresh moving forward.
The Discovery Pane is designed to appeal to users who may have very little—or zero—understanding of what add-ons are, or why they should customize their browser. That’s why this page only features add-ons that meet the highest standards of user experience, like excellent UI, intuitive work flows, and polished functionality.
We also want to put forth only content that addresses what we know to be the most common needs of a broad set of Firefox users. The page as it exists today includes a few visual themes and four add-ons: an ad blocker, a video downloader, an emoji enhancement tool, and a screenshot extension—all very widely appealing use cases.
The list of content is intentionally short. As with introducing any unfamiliar concept, we wanted to avoid overwhelming people with loads of options, but rather focus their attention on a few enticing paths to choose from.
There are many high-caliber add-ons that would be a great fit in the Discovery Pane. So we’ll update this page each month as we identify more content and appropriate use cases. This does not mean we’ll update all of the content wholesale each month—we may leave certain add-ons in place if they offer a distinctly unique user benefit. However, for example, if we have four screenshot add-ons that are all equally awesome, we’ll endeavor to evenly rotate them.
An updated wiki page goes into greater detail about the selection criteria of Discovery Pane add-ons. But here are three critical criteria you should know about for all Discovery Pane add-ons; they must be…
- e10s compatible. As Firefox moves deeper into the new world of multi-process, we should only highlight content that is compatible with it (without relying on shims). Here’s how you can check your add-on for compatibility.
- Restartless. We need a uniform installation process for all add-ons presented on the page.
- Already be part of our broader Featured Extensions collection, which is vetted by our community-driven Feature Board, as well as Mozilla staff.
If you’d like to nominate your add-on (or someone else’s) for Discovery Pane consideration, please use the same channel we always have for featured content—email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add your nomination to the editorial review queue. There’s no need to specifically mention “Discovery Pane” while nominating, since all nominations will be viewed through that prism, but feel free if you like.
Any questions? Concerns? Better ideas? Feedback? You know where to leave comments…