Making Add-ons People Will Love

add-on hugThis week I presented a talk called Making Add-ons People Will Love at the Mozilla Add-ons Workshop in London. The event went really well thanks to engaged attendees and excellent organization by William and Julie.

Nick and Julie suggested the topic for my talk a couple months ago and I knew I’d have fun working on it, as it’s really important to me that the add-ons people make are enjoyable. A single bad experience with an add-on can turn someone off to the idea of customizing their browser for a long time, but a great experience with an add-on can have the opposite effect.

I came up with a series of tips and guidelines broken into 3 areas for this talk:

Building – creating an add-on with a great user experience
  1. Clean first-run experience
  2. Don’t clutter the UI
  3. Earn and keep your users’ trust
  4. Stay current with the platform
  5. Smooth performance
  6. Be delightful!
Marketing – getting people to download your add-on once it’s made
  1. Choose a descriptive name
  2. Have a relevant (and pretty!) icon
  3. Upload and update screenshots
  4. Avoid EULAs
Listening – communicating with your users and incorporating their feedback
  1. Provide support
  2. Monitor user reviews
  3. Utilize tools provided

The full video of my 30 minute talk is below in Ogg format, or you can view it on Vimeo. You can also view my slides on SlideShare or download the .pdf or the .pdf with my notes.

Let me know what you think!

And thanks to Alex Woodbury for the illustrations used in my presentation.

  • Hi Justin,
    Do you have anything to do with “Add-on Collector”?

    I was really pleased to see that there is now a way to automatically publish collections – I think I posted that as a suggestion on a Moz or FF forum when you had to add extensions manually (or maybe I had just not clocked that functionality already existed :-/

    The Support for Add-on Collector is a teeny bit rubbish really. The “forum/newsgroup” is full of spam and when I tried to search the “Add-ons” forum for “Add-on Collector” I got the search result that “no messages contain the term ‘add-on'”.

    S, was wondering if you could tell me, or point me in the direction to find this out: is it possible to categorise or tag add-ons and then auto-publish them as groups by tag or category, rather than have to auto-publish the whole lot to a single collection?

    Best wishes,

    • Hi Liz,

      It’s not currently possible to categorize add-ons within your browser and publish them to separate collections based on that.

  • Ah well – it was a thought 🙂

    Thanks for replying so quickly, Justin.

    Best wishes,

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