Hi, my name is Firefox Input


Mozilla has a new Feedback Add-on in its collection! It’s a high-er touch feedback mechanism intended to funnel in what our users would like to tell us in terms of positive/negative experiences during the Firefox Beta Program. In order to see/use it, you’ll have to get onto a beta build for Firefox 4 (when it’s available) and head over to the right side of your navigation toolbar.

There you’ll see a small suite of options available to offer feedback to the Firefox team. For the purposes of this blog post, we’re going to look at the two options associated to the happy or sad smiley faces.

Feedback Submission

As you click on either of those menu buttons, a feedback submission page will load in a new tab that asks what you specifically like or did not like about browsing on the newest beta version of Firefox. The intention is to help us understand how to make our product better with observations on specific parts of our browser whether they be features, browsing capabilities, security, etc.

On top of that, we added the capability to add a web address that may associated with a piece of negative feedback or issue. The reason for that is to allow us to known what web properties are not only broken while using our build, but could also be enhanced by using our browser. After submission, your feedback is sent to a publicly available dashboard.

Public Dashboard and Search-able Interface

All of the feedback sent in from the submission pages can be seen at http://input.mozilla.com/! On there, we created a dashboard to show how many of our users are adding happy or sad feedback for our beta builds in a variety of different methods. Here’s some highlights:

  • User Sentiment Box: Shows Happy/Sad feedback relative to the total amount of messages received over a period of 1 day/1 week/1 month/all (i.e. entire length of time the beta has been available) and by product and product version.
  • Trends Box: A list of relevant terms that are seen the most on our database over the time interval selected under “User Sentiment”.
  • Demographics Box: Shows Platform and Locale information of the feedback received over the time interval selected under “User Sentiment”.
  • Last 10 Messages: A list of the last 10 messages received. The box dynamically updates every 5 minutes. Each message includes the corresponding Locale and OS associated to it as well as a URL if it’s added.
  • Search: A user can search for terms found within messages or URLs submitted. There’s an advanced search option that allows you to filter by Sentiment, OS, Locale and Date Range.

Finally, Privacy!

This wouldn’t be a true Mozilla Application if we didn’t protect the user from as many privacy violations as we could. Here’s a list of privacy features we’ve implemented in the application:

  • Client-side e-mail blocking
  • Static warning notification on our submission pages
  • Opt-in url submission
  • Ability to change url before submission
  • Server-side web address sanitization
  • Use of https

It was a sweet 4 week development ride for this feature and a ton of thanks needs to go out to Frederic Wenzel for developing the application (his post: “Under the Hood of Firefox Input” can enlighten you on some of the technical challenges he faced), Kevin Brosnan and Jesse Ruderman for throwing up a whole host of bugs during the very short beta process, Mike Beltzner/Alex Faaborg/Alex Limi for their ideas and general UX help and Jono DiCarlo, Jorge Villalobos and Jinghua Zhang for tying the extension portion of this application with the Feedback Add-on. Of course, if you’d like to replicate this application for your own projects, our codebase is open-sourced and available on a GitHub repository!