Mozilla to Designers: Help Us Create the Future Web

By Josh Catone
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Mozilla Labs, the research and development arm of the Mozilla Foundation that is most famously responsible for the Firefox web browser and Thunderbird email client, has put out a call to designers, developers, and thought leaders to create concepts for the future of the web.

“We’re hoping to lower the barrier to participation by providing a forum for surfacing, sharing, and collaborating on new ideas and concepts,” writes Mozilla in a blog post. “Our goal is to bring even more people to the table and provoke thought, facilitate discussion, and inspire future design directions for Firefox, the Mozilla project, and the Web as a whole.”

Mozilla is hoping that its call for concepts will encourage anyone to join in — not just those who have the skills to create fancy visual mockups or interactive prototypes. “You don’t have to be a software engineer to get involved, and you don’t have to program. Everyone is welcome to participate,” they write.

In the spirit of open source collaboration on which the Mozilla Foundation is founded, they’re asking that anyone who submits ideas or mockups license them under an Creative Commons license and anyone who builds a prototype uses the Mozila Public License. Mozilla asks for participants to be bold and radical. “The crazier, the better.”

To kick things off, Mozilla worked with three designers and design firms to create a set of concepts. The Aurora Concept from Adaptive Path is getting the most press play today, but I was actually most impressed by the Bookmarking & History Concept by designer Wei Zhou.

Check out the videos below and let us know if you have any ideas for the future direction of the web.

Aurora Concept (Part 1)
by Adaptive Path

Bookmarking & History Concept
by Wei Zhou

Mobile Concept
by Aza Raskin

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  • n0other

    Innovation for the sake of innovation. Well, these interfaces seem like nothing useable, all these moving 3d toy effects would just annoy users and add nothing of value.

    We hardly need a new look for a web browser, what we need is new ways of interaction, faster information reach. Operas’ idea of mouse gestures was a welcome change in the browser world and this sort of thing is what we need more.

  • @n0other: I disagree. I think every one of the concepts above demonstrate ways of exposing information faster, improving organization, and enabling collaboration. In the case of Wei Zhou’s concept, her timeline approach to the history seems far simpler and more intuitive than the current implementation in most browsers. And adding context to bookmark and history items makes sense and could be very useful.

    I don’t think these are necessarily just eye candy, in the way that the dock or Exposé in OS X aren’t eye candy — they look pretty, certainly, but it’s functional as well.

    Of course, these are also just concepts. They’re just ideas. They’re a start and they’ll be refined before they ever get implemented (if they ever get implemented).


    @n0other: I don’t know how you mean by saying that these interfaces seem like nothing usable ?? It will be definitely very useful mate and these are just the Ideas for now and whenever they will implement it I am sure they will give the best and it will definitely help us to expose the information faster.
    So I don’t think it is useless at all. Sorry but I am completely disagree with you

  • I love the move from gray boxes to more humane interfaces.

    Josh already mentioned Expose. There are also Time Machine and Cover Flow as examples of successful interfaces for things most geeks would implement as gray boxes… They are different from most applications of their kind, but closer to our perception of reality – shifting through CDs vs a plan list of songs and moving through time vs “incremental backup system”.

  • Zach Beauvais

    I’ve just been trying the mozilla-cored app Songbird. Pretty cool. It leads me to wonder what else could be built on Mozilla platform? Image/data management—a la picasa— A kick-ass blogging client, CMS…

    What else is there…