Posted on June 25, 2008


I am going to prepare two presentations on the Summit. One is about next generation’s web browser, the other one is about user research on web browsers. I copied the wiki text here and today I need to come up a plan.

History & Future: Imagining the web browser of 2015 [faaborg, wei]

  • size: 100-200 people
  • equipment: projector & screens
  • style: free thinking, open brainstorming, inspirational
  • timing: early in the day, anytime during the week

What are people doing with web browsers [wei]

  • size: 50-100 people
  • equipment: projector & screens
  • style: presentation & discussion
  • timing: end of dayish

Yes, I have been here for almost one month, and I found I am deeply in love with Mozilla and firefox – it sounds a little bit exaggerated, especially when the words came from people like me who is easily getting tired of a new environment – I left China to seek the freedom, I left Yale because I don’t like lofty artistic approaches, I left Microsoft because I hate their bureaucracy and their ravage on the users,  and I choose Mozilla and wish I could stay. Of course, it might because I have a awesome mentor here who writes awesome inspirational blogs, or because I have a awesome boss who gives me 100% freedom allowing me to do awesome things I want to do, or because I have awesome co-workers who are lovely in a awesome geeky way..bla bla bla, I think the ultimate reason is, I am attracted by Mozilla(firefox)’s culture. Designers should accomplish their goals by making the users happy(Not only make yourself happy Yalee dudes), and here in Mozilla, every tiny things I do, I am on my way of making millons of users happy – It makes me so exciting whenever i think about it.

Interestingly I like Mozilla somehow because it lacks of something(Someone said if you love something because its flaw, then it means you really love it). It doesn’t have a perfect system of integrating marketing, developing, design and research together(We don’t do user-centered design much, designers are not even working tightly with branding strategy specialist and architecture engineers, etc), which makes the whole thing beautiful in a eastern way-everything is relatively free-formed, fits Richard Buchanan’s plastic cross rules of interactivity. You see a lot of potential – and there’s a huge community back you up. When you see it, all the theory you learn from school flies away: Oh yes, a free product could be this successful without a rigid mechanism behind it. And look at the name – Firefox, it reminds me the fairy tales of blue bird in my childhood, it gives an impression of speed, power, intelligent and sorrowful rebellion for some reason, which encourages you to believe that a software could be this emotional and romantic…never mind.

Due to the lacking of time, I’ll stop my compliment here otherwise it becomes an excessively nonsense. One thing I’ll say is I never know what a web browser will be look like in 2015(I only know that year is important tome because I’ll turn in 30). I also feel sorry that 32.5% of people in my survey said they are quite happy with the current web browser and don’t wanna any change, and 78.5% of people said they don’t wanna web browsers to be smart, emotional and considerate, and 31.5% of people even wish we could design the web browser as stupid as possible –  I have to claim sadly I’ll basically ignore all your feelings in my further research. One big problem of current software design is we are lacking of female imaginations(and 50% of users are females).

Yes, what are people doing with web browsers? What can we do in the web browser in the future? We could run operating systems in a web browser, we could subtract the information on the websites and visualize them in the browser, we could be emotional attached to the web browser because we use it so often and it becomes the only interface in our personal computer… If any of you have read the book of Narnia, the web browser is like the world with all the lakes, where each lake represents a unique world, new or old. And the world with all the lakes are the world beyond all the worlds.

Design must be culturally different. For example, QQ,Baidu, Xunlei, Kugoo, Emule and PPstream are the most popular websites in China.  Those product’s interface looks fairly bad: noisy, ugly, messy information crammed in an awkward way – but Chinese people buy it. EBay, Google and Amazon fail because their websites look so deserted in Chinese people’s eye. I think Firefox should try to win Chinese people’s heart because they click the advertising more often than American people do – that explains why China are so poor because Chinese waste too much time on inquiring unneeded information such as which star fail to marry which star, or which product is 1 cent cheaper. Good news for Mozilla.

So much for today.

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