[Marketing-Public]Mozilla is not (quite) for end users
marketing-public at mozilla.org
Sat, 03 Jan 2004 01:37:08 +0000
The more I've seen inexperienced users try to install Mozilla I see a
number of problems arising:
- People not sure exactly what they're supposed to be downloading
- Not sure why flash isn't working out of the box
- Same with java I guess, but I've only had people complain about Flash
- (For the suite) they've done a full install and they're not sure why
their usual email client isn't showing up when they click an address
- (For firebird) 'My desktop has filled with flames' which turned out to
be Firebird stealing the image associations (known bug)
- Someone heard of Mozilla Firebird and ended up downloading Seamonkey
thinking it was Firebird - I noticed this when someone came online with
ChatZilla and said he was using Firebirds IRC client. When I pointed out
he didn't get the one he thought he had then I had to explain the
difference - it's not very clear on the site.
So here's my thoughts (mixed with other people's that I agree with):
- I believe that the demise of Netscape was accelerated by Netscape 6.0,
that was a product that was released before it was ready for public
consumption. Although obviously Mozilla and Firebird are fine browsers,
the fact that it's not bundled with common plugins is a major setback -
people upgrading from Netscape should be fine as these browsers detect
common plugins, but if they're upgrading from IE then they've got no
NPAPI plugins to auto-detect.
- So because of this I don't think Mozilla should directly target end
users with their browser until they can offer java and flash (at least)
as options in their net installer.
- Mozilla.org should only be pushing one browser to the end user, which
at the moment would have to be seamonkey considering the preview release
status of the *birds, however there needs to be a way of easily
accessing all the old information that used to be on the old mozilla.org
website such as dev.mozilla.org, all people interested in the cutting
edge would have somewhere where we can find the info that we want.
I think the current website has tried badly to please the end users
while still providing for the more technical people. It just means that
some people get confused with what to download (many end users who don't
know much about mozilla), while the advanced users are missing a lot of
info that was once easy to find. Also, things like linking to the
bugzilla project on the home page will just confuse many users, who
might think it's a link to the bug tracking database not to the bugzilla
- Some lessons need to be taken from djst's sites (*bird help), they
make things a lot clearer to find what you're after. I think for the
moment these are the best places to point people wanting to give the
*birds a try. Although once they reach 1.0 such a help site shouldn't be
needed for most people (the installer in 0.8 will make it easy enough
- For the new user, then a simple page that uses the UA to detect the OS
and then take them to the appropriate download would be a good idea.
- Does mozilla.org use the auto update notification feature in Seamonkey
that was put there for Netscape's benefit (as mozilla was not for end
users back then)? This would help people know when to update.
- It'd be good to have detailed help pages written for Seamonkey similar
to those on FB Help that would be placed on the mozilla.org site as
official support. Placing the paid support options on the site so
prominently give a bad impression (people thinking they might have to
splash out to solve a problem - so why not stick with a browser that
works). The free support options should be the most prominent.
As I've being using Mozilla even pre-seamonkey (MozillaClassic) I'm not
likely to fall into the traps an average end user would, so basically I
could recommend Mozilla (or Firebird depending on their needs) to
someone competent enough, or someone I could visit to complete the
installation, but pointing an average end user to mozilla.org just looks
like a recipe for disaster.
So some questions: do we need any help writing seamonkey end user docs?
Any news on gaining access to the Netscape DevEdge content (I'm sure
someone said they were in negotiations for it)?
Has anyone asked djst if he's move and maintain the firebird help docs
on mozilla.org once the *birds reach 1.0 status - I think having docs on
the official site will mean a lot to end users.
Well, I'm tired, so any typos please ignore and anything you don't
understand please ask for clarification.
LogicaCMG UK Ltd