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Published 18 Feb 2014

Firefox Design Values

By Firefox UX

As we design new features for our existing products, take Firefox to new platforms, and create new products, we find ourselves asking — is this Firefoxy? Is what we’re making a clear expression of what it means to be Firefox? What will make it more Firefoxy? What will we not do because it’s not true to Firefox?

So, design values help us understand the attributes of Firefoxiness and guide us as we work.

Where did this come from?

The Firefox User Experience team developed this set of design values as a tool for our own use. We think that they are true and useful enough that they can guide anyone working on Firefox.

Delve deeper into these principles in this beautifully designed booklet.

Source: Firefox Design Values

  1. Takes care of you

    Firefox champions you - your security, privacy, and the quality of your online life. It makes sensible decisions for you that respect your time, data, and attention. It will err on the side of protecting you, and it will inform you of what's happening in ways that are understandable and actionable, giving you control of things that matter.

    Principles

    • user-sovereignty
    • default to privacy
    • no surprises
    • actionable advice
  2. You help make it

    Firefox is crafted to have the best possible user-experience, but it’s only a perfect fit once it’s in your hands and you can make it your own. If you want to take the time, Firefox is designed to be customized, personalized, and added onto. Even if not, Firefox becomes more and more comfortable as you use it and wear it in.

    Principles

    • research gives a voice to our non-core community
    • start people with smart defaults
    • implicit as well as explicit customization
    • invite people to be more than users
  3. Plays well with others

    Firefox is part of the community of products you choose because they’re great, not because they’re the defaults. In that spirit, Firefox never locks you into particular services or providers. Instead, it gives you choice and independence (along with great suggestions) so you can have the best possible experience.

    Principles

    • user control and choice
    • simple to use the services you choose
    • suggest ways to get the most out of the web
  4. Exuberant

    Where other browsers might be plain and minimal, or sleek and impersonal, Firefox is human, fun, whimsical, and joyful. We all love the web and so does Firefox.

    Principles

    • feels like there is a person at the other end
    • fun tools are easier to use
    • humour and whimsy
    • have a point of view
  5. Finely crafted

    Firefox is made by people who care about the details. A beautiful product is a pleasure to use and feels easy and clear. This only comes with craft and attention to detail.

    Principles

    • see also our visual design guidelines
    • continuity of look and feel across platforms
    • perceivable quality is vital
  6. Global

    Firefox is used and made by people all around the world. It’s not just translated — it’s designed for the whole world, place by place. While
    certain activities are universal, there’s a real diversity of use and need across the globe, and Firefox cares about these differences.

    Principles

    • global means local and local and local
  7. Balances power and simplicity

    Firefox is simple and easy to use, clean and straightforward in its design. But simplicity is a means, not the end - the end is understanding and user-agency. Firefox will never overwhelm you with interface, but it will also give you the satisfaction of using the web with mastery.

    Principles

    • 80/20/2: default to surface minimalism and easy access to the rest
    • user-agency and understanding, not just less
  8. Makes sense of the web

    The web is huge and hard to comprehend. Firefox helps make sense of it by focusing on your real human goals and activities and giving you the tools you need to accomplish your ends. Often, this means asking not only “how do we improve the browser” but rather “what is a browser for?”

    Principles

    • focus on real human tasks and contexts
    • many real tasks involve a browser and other tools
    • quick access to your stuff and web
    • no jargon
  9. High user-performance

    Speed is still the most important part of a good browser experience, and Firefox should be the fastest in the market. But on top of benchmarkable technical performance, the browser must feel viscerally responsive. Firefox feels highly tuned and eager to browse.

    Principles

    • performance is objective, but responsiveness is subjective
    • a happy user performs better

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