Personas Expands Opportunities to Personalize

Personas for Firefox is a prototype extension that adds lightweight theming to the browser.

Today, we are launching a major expansion of the Personas experiment, which includes more dependable functionality, a cleaner look, an expanded gallery of artistic designs, and a much easier way to contribute.

Here’s a video that was put together by Rainer Cvillink that shows off some of the new designs with folks around Mozilla talking about what they like about Personas:

Getting Started with Personas from Mozilla Labs on Vimeo.


Since we began work on the Personas experiment, the project has evolved with the support and creativity of the Mozilla community. We have been able to accomplish the following key milestones:

1. smoother integration into the chrome, including styling for the Find toolbar;

2. an expanded gallery of over 500 persona designs, including art from independent and established artists;

3. ability to create a “custom” persona locally either to keep private, or to test before submitting to the gallery;

4. an easy-to-use interface for contributing designs, with more control over text and accent colors for your art;

5. localization for the extension, which now supports Bulgarian (bg-BG), Czech (cs-CZ), Danish (da-DK), German (de-DE), English (en-US), Spanish (es-CL), French (fr-FR), Hebrew (he-IL), Italian (it-IT), Japanese (ja-JP), Korean (ko-KR), and Portugese (pt-BR).


The Personas project began in late 2007 as an experiment within Mozilla Labs to explore new ways to quickly and easily personalize the online experience. With the support and creativity of the Mozilla community, the project continues to evolve and is focused on three key concepts:

1. It Shouldn’t be Hard to Make Your Browser a Little More Fun and Personal

You can download the Personas add-on in under a minute with just a few clicks of your mouse. Select a design from the online gallery that reflects your mood or interests, and when you are ready for a change, rotate it out for another style. Your choice will appear instantly with no disruption to your web browsing.


2. You Should be able to Personalize Your Entire Web Experience with Lots of Great Designs

You can personalize your homepage, blog or instant messenger, but you leave your design behind when you visit another webpage or minimize your chat. The only way to personalize your entire online experience is through your browser. With Personas, your design stays with you at each and every point of your time online. And to give you lots of great content to choose from, we have opened the Personas gallery to independent designers from around the world, and also teamed up with popular brands, including Greenpeace, Cynthia Rowley, All American Rejects, and LIVESTRONG. Here are just some of the designs for you to choose from:


All American Rejects

All American Rejects


No Doubt


Lady Gaga



Common Ground Foundation


3. The Artist in You Should Be Able to Treat the Browser as Your Canvas

The Personas project aims to support and promote artists and their work. We do this by making it easy for you to style the browser with your own designs and share your work with millions of people around the world. Until now, designers had to write code to customize a browser. With Personas, you can use a simple interface to upload formatted images. If you don’t have experience with formatting images, we make it easy for you to learn how (and, we’re working on tools to make it even easier!) Once you’re done creating your design, you can upload it to the design gallery for people to discover and enjoy during their next online stroll through the gallery.

While we suggest that everyone license their designs under a Creative Commons license, we’re also now exploring a model where designers can keep their designs proprietary.  The idea is that we’ll freely host content that’s contributed as open source while providing an option for paid hosting of other content.  We’re still working on the details and expect to have a more formal plan and framework for this soon.

What’s Next?

Mozilla is dedicated to promoting choice and innovation on the Internet. Personas extends on that mission by giving Firefox fans, both new and established, the ability to make the browser reflect their personality, interests and passions. This is the first of many steps to expand the catalog of available designs by reaching out to both established designers and the imagination of our community. After you give Personas a shot, let us know what you think. As always, we’ll be listening carefully to your feedback on how to make your browser more personal.

Get Started

Install the Personas add-on for Firefox, watch a demo, or find out more by visiting Even if you’re not a current Firefox user, you can download Personas in less than a minute and begin asking yourself: “What will my browser wear today?”

How to Get Involved

— Suneel Gupta, on behalf of the Personas development team

12 responses

  1. Klaus Peter wrote on :

    senior moments

  2. Brendan wrote on :

    Love Personas! I had my students create some Personas for fun, check’em out

    Plus I wrote a tutorial on how to make your own Persona

    Keep up the great work!

  3. narufreak wrote on :

    hey…what if my e-mail changed?? how can i change my e-mail info for the personas web site??and still keep my name???+ the e-mail here is not the new one…can you help me without sending a message???

  4. Bobby wrote on :

    It would really be nice if we could download & keep any Persona we wished on our own hard drive. This way we could adjust things just the way we would like to see them & then upload the updates under a new Persona name, giving credit to the originator naturally.

  5. justin wang wrote on :

    one complain: there’s many vertical bars between each icons on status bar. can you fix this problem? to make it looks smoothly. I think that will be more beatiful.

  6. Patrick wrote on :

    Am I missing something? You mean I can put a background image on my browser window now? Wow, welcome to 1999 everybody!

    Seriously, did this silly feature really need its own website? I’m normally not a troll, but this is just dumb.

  7. Tyler wrote on :

    I’m sure different parts of Personas are still being tweaked, but I just wanted to say that it can be pretty difficult to read tab names and identify the active tab using the addon in Firefox on OSX. I also think that you should be allowed to select custom colors, because sometimes you can’t find the one you are looking for with the preset palette.

  8. Sibrand wrote on :

    Loving the ease of creating your own personas!

    I believe there is a tiny bug with personas:

    when applying any skin (except the default) the little ‘home’ button right underneath the Big Back button, the home button gets a small “back button” as background.

    I have only seen this behavior on OSX.

    Whenever I select “default” again, the home button has a little black house icon as background again (like it should).

  9. Mark wrote on :

    I’m starting to wonder if this isn’t a bug as on the front page:
    None of the Most Popular Personas are clickable.

  10. Mark wrote on :

    This is a great thing for those who like to customize their browser.

    I do have a suggestion for though. When I’m viewing a gallery I fully expected that when I click on the image of the persona to take me to the details page. It didn’t. So I clicked on the title – the next largest and apparent thing about the content. Nothing happened. Finally I clicked on view details and got to the page.

    My suggestions would be to linkify the image as well as the Title. After looking and seeing that there’s no other linkified info, instead how about just linkifying the whole box?

    Also, and this may be on your radar already, it would be nice if when you’re looking at the details page that you could preview the way the browser would look on your platform.
    Again, I’m guessing that’s already something you’ve thought about.

    I just feel like this is a usability issue that should be addressed before it’s ready for the masses.

    Good job guys!

  11. Rainer Petrasch wrote on :

    Thanks 🙂
    Themes are out, Personas is in. Nightshirt for Firefox (in German):

  12. Personas Fan wrote on :

    This is a really cool way to not only make your browsing experience more personalized, but also give users the choice of what they want their browsers to look like. No doubt, Personas are a great way to engage users.