I'm Aza Raskin @aza. I make shiny things. I simplify.

I'm VP at Jawbone, focusing on health.

 

Intensely Personal Browsers and Mozilla Labs’ Personas


Suneel Gupta: Interview on Mozilla Personas

Mozilla Labs’ Personas — although still in beta — is an a extension that adds lightweight theming to your browser, allowing dynamic changes to how your Firefox looks. Whether it’s your kids, your favorite band, or beautiful art, all it takes is a single image to make your Firefox yours.

Personas project manager Suneel Gupta sat down to talk about what it means to have the browser’s look-and-feel reflect our personality, passions, and mood. And he’s looking for feedback.

Open question: How else should Firefox enable an intensely personal browsing experience? (Keep in mind intensely personal doesn’t mean lots of settings and preferences to tweak!).

RT @aza Intensely Personal Browsers and Mozilla Labs’ Personas | Follow @aza on Twitter | All blog posts

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Stephen

I play around with the persona on occasion, most of the time I am do use Camino so the option is not there. But since I use Zotero Firefox is a regularly used item. The thing I look for in persona is really one that reflects the time of day and weather. Another idea would be one that is works dynamically with the amount of time you have the browser open. Just some ideas



tylerstyle

I love personas and have been with them from day one. It’s awesome and works so much easier, then Mr Cupta lets on. You just create the image file in the proper size, hit up the Personas Icon on your browser and select it as your custom persona, done.
Done!
Couldn’t get easier then that, now could it?

As for your question, Aza, I don’t think there are many other ways to increase the personalization of the firefox browser, then there is right now.
Anything, that you don’t like about it can be either a) turned off, or b) modded by an addon.
Most of the things you will ever think about already exist as addons out there and you just have to install them.
The only thing, in my humble opinion, that has to be changed is the way you get to those things.
The interfaces, you use to edit things and the interfaces to get to addons and especially the addon interfaces (gosh. So many interfaces) really tend to obscure the whole process of living with them.
When you are new to the whole computer and internet world, I think it’s far too confusing to deal with all this different layers of interface designs.
And even to me, a “veteran” in this field, it often feels wrong, that you have to deal with about 10 different ui designs, that all reside in one program.

I think, that is one thing, mozilla could remedy at some point (and who else could they ask, then you, man. You sir are the UI wizard!)

Tyler out!


Hi Aza,

Personas looks nice!

Can you share your process for shooting these lovely ,personalable, videos? What do you record video on, what do you edit in?

My one suggestion would be that seeing a few cuts to screenshots would really makes them more visually enticing.


@Stephen Great ideas. When the original version of Personas came out, I whipped up a dynamic edition that tracked time of day and weather. Don’t know if those work in the latest beta, though: http://azarask.in/personas/weather/

@Tyler: Absolutely agreed. Matching users to the personalization they need — and putting them in a unified UX framework — is something we can do much better. And are working on :)

@Keith: Happy to share my methods. I’ve been using a Mac-mini with built-in iMove, along with a tripod and whatever video camera happens to be around. I tried putting screenshots into the casts, but iMovie was a bit too limiting.



Des

Hi Aza,
I’d personally love it if the right click context menu was either customisable or adapted to my behaviour. For example every single time I click “Open Link in New Window” or “Open Link in Foreground Tab” , it’s a mistake. Every time. I only ever open links in tabs, but I make this mistake all the time.
So that’s something I’d like to see change. Same for most of the right click menu.

In other, softer, words I just want to say thanks for your amazing work, I love Ubiquity, I love Songza, your stuff is awesome :)

Des



Dan

“How else should Firefox enable an intensely personal browsing experience?”

IMO Weave would go a long way toward improving this. The ability to have access to your bookmarks from any computer on the web is a nice start (and one many solutions already exist for, I admit). If we could take it a step further and get a whole online profile dealie going, with a theme and extensions and settings… that would be pretty personalized when you can log onto a public computer with Firefox and get your customized and tweaked browsing experience all right there.

Probably a bit of a big order though, especially if you have lots of extensions, leading to a large profile to download (uploading might be easier if you only sync changed files, and even easier if you sync as the changes are being written to disk as opposed to when the browser is closed).

Another hiccup is that some extensions don’t work properly on all OSs, and AFAIK right now OS screening is done on AMO but not in the Firefox itself. So for example IETab will load on Linux (but I doubt it does anything useful). As will Firefox themes designed to use Windows VisualStyles for buttons (resulting in button backgrounds not painting on Linux).



Jimmy

I love the idea behind personas. But ever persona I seem to like gets is displayed in a way where finding which tab I am currently selection is impossible. Check out this screen shot for more info. If this is fixed i can really see myself using this.
http://dl-client.getdropbox.com/u/11429/persona.png


Really nice facebook integration.

I know plugins etc. but I think some sort of question like ‘do you use facebook a lot?’ then recommend a really slick plugin + show them how to move all the buttons on the toolbars and stuff.


I play around with the persona on occasion, most of the time I am do use Camino so the option is not there. But since I use Zotero Firefox is a regularly used item. The thing I look for in persona is really one that reflects the time of day and weather. Another idea would be one that is works dynamically with the amount of time you have the browser open. Just some ideas


I play around with the persona on occasion, most of the time I am do use Camino so the option is not there. But since I use Zotero Firefox is a regularly used item. The thing I look for in persona is really one that reflects the time of day and weather. Another idea would be one that is works dynamically with the amount of time you have the browser open. Just some ideas



Sex

I play around with the persona on occasion, most of the time I am do use Camino so the option is not there. But since I use Zotero Firefox is a regularly used item. The thing I look for in persona is really one that reflects the time of day and weather. Another idea would be one that is works dynamically with the amount of time you have the browser open. Just some ideas


thnks
gooooood


I love personas and have been with them from day one. It’s awesome and works so much easier, then Mr Cupta lets on. You just create the image file in the proper size, hit up the Personas Icon on your browser and select it as your custom persona, done.


thnks
goooooooooooood
min:)ااا


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