Thursday, January 21, 2010

Firefox 3.6 is out the door!

I love the feeling of shipping a release! After all the hard work and stress, it feels great to finally pull the trigger on something and be proud of what you're sending out to the universe. The best part is pushing the launch button and seeing everything do what it's supposed to do--pages changing content, graphics showing up in their respective places, the download button working like it supposed to--it's pretty cathartic, actually ;)

For the last couple of months I've been working with John Slater and Tara Shahian on making Mozilla.com look great for the 3.6 release. That means that we've been working on the site's content--from updating logos, copy writing, and managing creative assets to making sure that every link on the site takes you where you ought to go.

Working on Mozilla.com is particularly fun because soo many people see your work on a daily basis. On an average day, a million people hit Mozilla.com or one of its counterparts. On a launch day....well, let's just say a few million people exploring Mozilla.com is a given ;)

Some of the projects we worked on for Firefox 3.6 include:

The Outdated Plugin Checker
Plugins are a big security hazard because most people don't know what they do, much less that they have one installed on your computer. Plugins are small pieces of code, made by companies like Apple, Adobe and Microsoft, to help you run multimedia--like games or videos. People run into security problems when they don't keep their plugins up to date, leaving themselves exposed to all kinds of security vulnerabilities, browser and system crashes. My job was to make this page happen, coordinating the efforts of The Royal Order (a design agency), Elise Allen (our copy writer) and our awesome Web Developers (Les Orchard, Austin King and Michael Morgan) to make this page easy to use. We also implemented the page into 3.6, so now you can check your Plugins by going to the Add-Ons Manager in your Firefox, clicking on "Plugins", and clicking on "Update". On average, this page has about 40K visitors a day. With the new integration into the product, we hope to see many, many more.



You can also check your plugins by going here. To read more about Plugins, you can read earlier posts here and here.


Mozilla.com Security Page
This project was really interesting for me because it was my first time focusing on copy writing. The main issue with the previous page was that our philosophy on security and privacy was getting lost in the design. The solution was to re-organize and re-write the copy, allowing our mission and philosophy to shine through while still finding a way to keep the copy engaging. With help from TRO, Melissa Shapiro and Sarah Doherty, we built a page that (we hope) emphasizes that Firefox is the best choice out there to keep you surfing safely on the web while keeping your information and data private.




The Firefox 3.6 Reviewers Guide
A Reviewer's Guide is a staple for any one who wants to get press to promote their product. Its the place where you put all of your messaging, introduce new features, and explain the overall improvements of whatever project you're working on. Thanks to Alix and Melissa's Guidance, we put together a pretty dandy Rev Guide. Rhonda Spencer, of Fresh Fruit Creative, designed and put together the Guide and Steven Garrity of Silver Orange took the screen shots of Firefox in action.



You can get a copy here.

What's New in Firefox 3.6 Video
The last project I'll talk about here is the "What's New in Firefox 3.6" video. We usually do one of these videos with every major release, highlighting the--you guessed it--new features and improvements of the newest version of Firefox. These videos can be hard to make because not only is it hard to decide what features make the final cut, but it is really hard to make a video that can both hold a person's attention and educate them about a product. With only a few weeks remaining before release, we sent Rainer Cvillink, our in-house video producer, to Toronto to get Mike Beltzner talking about the release on film. Squeezing in the taping session between press briefing was tough, but Rainer came back with some great footage that, after a bit of tweaking, came together into a great video in less than a week. Huge thanks to Alix Franquet, Mike Beltzner, Rainer Cvillink for all their help in making this video happen. In less than two days, the video has been seen 40K times on Youtube alone.



Check out the video here.

Anyway, these projects were only a few of the things we've been working on for the 3.6 launch, so be on the look-out for more posts from the Marketing Team and other members of the community in the next few days.

Congratulations on an awesome launch! Happy 3.6 Day!

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