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Mozilla The Internet GUI Software

Branding Mozilla: Towards Mozilla 2.0 701

sgarrity writes "I've written some recommendations for the branding and visual identity of the Mozilla Foundation's project and product line. I argue that the Mozilla Project should adopt a simple, strong, consistent visual identity for the Mozilla products including consistent icons across applications that mesh with the host operating system. Read Branding Mozilla: Towards Mozilla 2.0 and let us know what you think."
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Branding Mozilla: Towards Mozilla 2.0

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  • Mozilla needs it (Score:4, Interesting)

    by genkael ( 102983 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @01:50PM (#7292635)
    Mozilla could use a good branding and marketing scheme to take part of the browser market for IE.
    • Re:Mozilla needs it (Score:4, Informative)

      by hackstraw ( 262471 ) * on Thursday October 23, 2003 @01:59PM (#7292746)
      Having it installed as a desktop icon on a Windows default install couldn't hurt either. However, most people don't know that Mozilla is out there, nor do they know that popup/ under/howeverelsetheywanttomakemoneybyannoyingme thingies don't need to exist.

      I've been popup free for almost 2 years, I have forgotten about them and when I see someone else use a browser that lets them through, I cringe.
      • by Sylver Dragon ( 445237 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @02:35PM (#7293221) Journal
        The problem I have found with Mozilla, is that most people just don't care enough. Personally I use, and love Mozilla. Like you I haven't seen a pop-up in a long time, that I didn't specifically allow. I am also a tyrant when it comes to cookies. I hate them, I see little need for a web site to be able to track me, unless its for user-login or purchasing purposes (and even then, I usually delete the cookie after I am done with the site). So, I have Mozilla ask me whether or not to store a cookie, when a web site attempts to. Most of the time, I will simply check the "Always do this" box and hit Deny.
        The problem comes in when my girlfriend sits down at my computer. First off, I had to get her to belive that Mozilla was a web browser, and that IE was not necessary. That out of the way, she hated it. Having to deal with cookies annoyed her, she didn't care and just wanted it to work. She never even tried the tabbed browsing really. About the only thing about it that didn't annoy her was the lack of pop-ups, and even then some of the sites she went to were the kind that used pop-ups in the design of the page, so she didn't even appreciate that feature that much.
        Basically, all of this is to say that most people aren't going to switch, no matter how the program is branded. They are used to IE, with all of its security holes. They want a program that just goes when they click on the purple monkey. They are willing to install another program which blocks pop-ups based on the title text, and to train that program. In all, they are afraid of change. And that is what Mozilla needs to overcome, it needs people getting their friends/girlfriends/family to use it and see the advantages. As long as it looks reasonably clean, and functions close to IE, that is enough. And damn well don't go changing the interface between versions, once you have something that works, don't fix it, you'll just scare and alienate people.

        • by RoLi ( 141856 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @02:56PM (#7293483)
          Can you come up with a single example of when somebody was harmed because of cookies?

          Anyway do yourself (and your gf) a favor and just turn off the cookie-paranoia.

          BTW, most people I've shown Mozilla were very impressed with tabbed browsing, it's definitly a feature a lot (of course not all, but definitely many non-techies) like.

          • by Fastball ( 91927 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @07:30PM (#7296109) Journal
            Admit it. You are a web developer who leans on cookies to get the job done. Shame on you! ;)

            Remember the audience you're speaking to. This is a demanding crowd here. We are the types to complain when someone tries to set a cookie in our browser when all we want to do is read an article. I've never understood this. I too am a cookie conspiracy theorist and deny cookies to the end of days.

            I admit there are times though when cookies are useful (e.g. e-commerce, user preferences, etc.), so I'll allow cookies where they are warranted. In Firebird or Mozilla, that means dancing through a couple of menus to sway these settings. I'd love a little switch say on the status bar that quickly allows me to toggle between a "read-only" mode where no cookies or tracking can take place and a less strict browsing mode that allows cookies, etc. I know I can be tracked by IP address, but goddamn cookies all the same.

            I mean 95% of the time I just want to read some nouns and verbs and to hell with everything else.

        • by MobyDisk ( 75490 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @03:06PM (#7293628) Homepage
          I found the exact opposite user sentiment with Mozilla. I have tested Mozilla on two different variants of Mom (tm) and they were ecstatic. No more popups, fewer goofy ActiveX animations. They understood the security concepts that I explained (so those outlook attachments can't hurt me in Mozilla Mail? Cool!). Once, one of the Moms even ran into a bug and so I went to the Bugzilla site and found a workaround. They were so shocked that there was such a community of support, they wanted to know what other programs were like this! One Mom wants an open-source replacement for Quicken!

          The key thing here is to give them useful features without bombarding them. The popup stopper is a killer app, no doubt. But cookie prompts are just too much, so I set cookies to be limited to the current session. Fixes the tracking problem without sacrificing convenience. I turned off saving of forms and passwords, and they learned to like re-entering passwords since it meant their son couldn't see their financial data. One mom also enjoyed being able to right-click on the Monkey and turn him off. Woohooo!

          They key is in presentation. Don't install a firewall that prompts them constantly. Or a cookie manager. Or a download manager. If there isn't a way to secure a system without prompting the user everytime, then it won't be accepted.
        • Re:Mozilla needs it (Score:3, Interesting)

          by timmyf2371 ( 586051 )
          During the course of my work I often encounter customers who are dissatisfied with the number of pornographic popups they receive, particularly those customers with children, and I take the time to give them a tutorial on how to download and use Firebird.

          All so far have seemed genuinely pleased that they need not see popups ever again, and most seem impressed with the tabbed browsing feature.

        • by Chordonblue ( 585047 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @04:00PM (#7294260) Journal
          Here is a reason why Linden Hall School has chosen Mozilla lately - Windows XP Home. Why? Well we use ISA with authentication as our proxy server. This enables access to various age/class groups to the Internet. The problem is - in order for there to be pass-through authentication your OS has to be a member of the MS Domain.

          This never used to be an issue until XP Home. XP Home can't be joined to the domain - so all these girls that come here get a never-ending request box for authentication whenever they attempt to use their XP Home-installed home computers.

          It's not that MS couldn't make this work for us (caching domain authenticated logins) - it's that they don't want to. Proof? Mozilla doesn't have a problem caching this information one time. All a student has to do is fill in the info once, check the 'save password' option, and they're good to go. IE can't do this. If you use anything that includes an MS domain authentication, it will conveniently forget it.

          My only wish is that I could get Moz to default to that authentication in 'options' so that the student wouldn't even have to push the 'enter' key.

          Again, thanks Moz devs!

        • My wife switched over to mozilla for everything except her sites that require IE. Sometimes she complains when a site fails to work in Mozilla, but it's more out of disappointment because she seems to prefer Mozilla (runs it first). But my wife also uses Lynx and prefers that to IE. YSOMV.

    • by RoLi ( 141856 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @02:47PM (#7293376)
      Actually that's not the key. I think IE loses the browser domination the day Sony ships the Playstation 3 (with a non-IE browser, which will probably be Mozilla).

      Also Internet-aware cellphones (many of those use opera), IE's constant flow of security issues and complete lack of development and of course Linux desktop inroads especially in governments will contribute to the erosion of IE domination.

      In 3-4 years, IE will still make up the majority of hits, but the remainder will be far too large to ignore.

      Honestly I don't see "branding Mozilla" influencing that developments in any way, although it sure can't hurt...

      • Vanishing Browsers (Score:3, Insightful)

        by joshsnow ( 551754 )
        I think IE loses the browser domination the day Sony ships the Playstation 3 (with a non-IE browser, which will probably be Mozilla).

        Well, that depends on how visible the browser is.

        OK, I accept that a greater number of hits by a Moz based browser would force sites (banks especially) to support Moz, but in the wider context of this discussion - which is about branding and Moz having a strong brand identity - this isn't necessarily true.

        If Sony integrate the browser correctly, the only brand which w
  • Why bother? (Score:2, Interesting)

    The main reason you'd want to brand is to leave an imprint in the mind of somebody who's a potential consumer. People who are already using Mozilla probably won't be affected by the presence or absence of branding -- it's likely been branded enough for them. Unifying it might mean dropping the dinosaur connotations or the magical bird connotations, one for the other. But really, at this point, why bother?

    Unless this is going to be part of a bigger marketing strategy by Netscape or AOL or whoever...?
    • Re:Why bother? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mopslik ( 688435 )

      The main reason you'd want to brand is to leave an imprint in the mind of somebody who's a potential consumer... But really, at this point, why bother?

      For the exact reason you state: the potential consumers. Branding would be useful in getting more people to give ol' Moz a try. One of the main things about the average surfer, I find, is that (s)he simply doesn't know about it.

    • Re:Why bother? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by squaretorus ( 459130 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @01:58PM (#7292732) Homepage Journal
      A stack of reasons - mostly relating to adoption within the workplace. As soon as I fire up Mozilla in front of a newbie they comment along the lines of 'playing games huh' or similar.

      Im not suggesting the monster gets replaced with some prick with a laptop looking serious while rubbing his chin as his foxy secretary takes notes in their walnut and leather office - but something a little more businessy wouldn't hurt.

      Branding gives you things to hang onto. Some people like their jeans more because missy elliot wears then (or says she wears them). I'd like Mozilla more if I didnt look like a dinosaur geek everytime it starts up.
    • ... choosing a logo that isn't an obvious rip off of the logo of the Toronto Raptors [nba.com]. Uncanny similarity, don't you think [forteonline.com]?

      I'm shocked and awed that the Raptors haven't filed a suit against them yet.

      • Tsk... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Ayanami Rei ( 621112 ) * <rayanami@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Thursday October 23, 2003 @04:14PM (#7294417) Journal
        The Mozilla "dinosaur" theme is older than the Raptors. Netscape was using the "Mo-zilla" character on it's site as early as Fall of '94, which, incidentally, was the same time the Raptors were having a contest to design their logo.

        And at the time, they looked nothing alike anyway (Moz was green and anthromorphic).

        Over time, the green guy logo evolved with the Moz project, notably turning Red (almost as a joke) to revel in the socialist nature of the Mozilla.org foundation when Gecko went open-source. It got pretty silly, Soviet-inspired designs with stars, sickles, and even fur hats.

        I guessed the like the image of a Red, more realistic looking dino, with the flames and everything. I don't think it was because Mozilla.org members are all Toronto fans (Bulls I might believe).

        And since no one could confuse a web browser with a basketball team in the marketplace anyway, I don't think we'll be seeing any trademark infrigment suits anytime soon.

    • Re:Why bother? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by swordboy ( 472941 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @02:21PM (#7293027) Journal
      But really, at this point, why bother?

      I build systems for various people and there are some things that has prevented mozilla from becoming the default browser on these systems. For mozilla to become mainstream, it needs (but not limited to):

      1) Favorites - in Win2K or XP, why can't it just use my IE favorites? It isn't like they are hidden... they are there in plain sight in their own folder under %USERPROFILE%\%USERNAME%\FAVORITES. If people are to "migrate" they might have to occasionally use "that other browser". Consolidated favorites helps that along...

      2) Feel - face it - mozilla just doesn't "feel" like a Windows program. I can't drag and drop the toolbars around and then lock them down like I can in IE (there might be a way to do it, but I haven't found it). If someone could just make mozilla "feel" like IE, we'd have infinitely more users out there. Not only because it would be one less thing to learn, but because people simply wouldn't notice that they were using "something different" which is generally a no-no for non-techies. Heck, I'm a techie and I've found that I don't like using mozilla for this reason. I just don't have the time anymore. ...

      Bah... I could go on but mozilla is for geeks right now. The DOJ has blessed system builders with the complete ability to hide IE as an internet browser. If someone could just make something similar to IE but without all the monopoly shit, millions of PCs could be deployed with a real browser. Until then, I'll keep letting IE fly on the systems that I build.

      PS - a really cool unrelated idea that I have thought of would be a spyware/adware/scumware blocker for non-techies who don't know when to click yes/no. If mozilla implemented such a feature, a flock of elected geeks could vote on which software/applets could get installed and which ones would not (or which ones make it to a user prompt). Non-techie end-users could have the option to turn on this "geek wall" and prevent their systems from being infiltrated by the world's best scum. Until then, I'm happy to charge $50/hr to remove this stuff.
      • Re:Why bother? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Rutulian ( 171771 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @04:43PM (#7294760)
        Bah... I could go on but mozilla is for geeks right now.

        Why does somebody have to say this every time a piece of software from the open source community is evaluated as a replacement for a piece of proprietary software? Granted, in some cases it is justified, but this is just absurd. I'm sorry, but not being able do drag-n-drop toolbars does not make Mozilla a geek-only toy.

        If somebody is using new software, they need to accept that they are using new software, and not insist that it behave in exactly the same way, shape, form that their old software did. If they want IE they need to use IE.
      • Why bother? Because. (Score:3, Informative)

        by SimplexO ( 537908 )
        I'm sure you do realize that mozilla and IE save bookmarks/favorites differently. IE uses individual files for each favorite, where as mozilla uses one file that is basically a webpage itself to hold all of your favorite website needs. There just isn't a practical way for mozilla to use IE's bookmarks if you consider how many profiles mozilla is run on that DON'T have IE.

        With that said, you can still find some free wizards to in various places. [freewarehome.com]

        If you use the Luna [mozdev.org]* theme for Mozilla Firebird, run some
  • by Anonymous Coward
    You should come up with operating system that everyone uses and then get like 95% of the desktop market, and then bundle the browser with the OS and call them inseparable.

    Seemed to work for the case studies I've investigated.

  • It seems that this article points out the need for consistency, AFTER the Mozilla organization already figured it out. In his own article, he shows how nice and consistent the new FireBird and Thunderbird icons are. And how consistent the naming is now. What's the problem here?

  • by metroid composite ( 710698 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @01:56PM (#7292696) Homepage Journal
    ...is things that block adds and what not. Mozilla has "block immages from this server" which really needs to be advertised more; from stopping adds to blocking out ugly avatars which I'd rather not see on various forums. Wouldn't hurt to advertise a patch that range blocks a few servers like Gator (As I know this can be done, but I'm too lazy to look it up myself).

    Though, yes brand name recongition helps with any such advertising, of course.

    • I suspect that most people would rather download the Google toolbar than downloading a new browser just to block popup.
      And my classmates argue that popup advertisements are near dead and that most sites use inline advertisements now.
  • by Randolpho ( 628485 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @01:56PM (#7292715) Homepage Journal
    Lose What Doesn't Work
    The Mozilla project is lacking a strong visual identity. The Mozilla lizard is widely recognized by developers and early-adopters on the web, but does not reach far beyond these groups. It is also used inconsistently across projects and products.

    Any good visual identity builds on what is already established, while improving on the weaknesses of past. So too should the visual identity of the Mozilla project and products. A unified, consistent, but flexible brand and visual identity would be a great compliment to the technology developed under the Mozilla project.
    The mozilla lizard is at least as recognizable as the linux penguin. The mozilla lizard may be a bit bland, but it's a sufficient trademark. Needs more artistic work, perhaps, but it still doesn't need to be dropped entirely. What matters most is how you hype it. Nike's trademark is a friggin rounded check-mark for chrissake! Everyone recognizes it, because Nike pushed it so much, and for no other reason.
    • by cloudless.net ( 629916 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @02:12PM (#7292910) Homepage
      Most well-known trademarks have a very simple design. Nike's logo is simple, unique, easy to remember and recognize. By the way it fits its "Just Do It" slogan perfectly. The mozilla lizard and Linux penguin don't have the same advantages as the Nike logo. Think about Apple, MSN (Butterfly), and even the original Netscape icon... they are much more fit as trademarks.
    • I don't click on a lizard icon to launch "mozilla", I click on (a poor image of) a flame, which maybe is supposed to look bird-like, maybe not. When I launch the mail and newsgroup reader, I click on a blue version of the same flame with some sort of square-ish shape in the foreground.

      Seperating the mozilla suite into firebird, thunderbird, and whatever the other one is named was (and is) a great idea for usability, but it hurt their branding process. Not only do most people not recognize the icon (it is
    • The Nike "round check-mark" is actualy represents the wings of the Greek Goddess Nike.

      from nikebiz.com's faqs

      Nike and the Swoosh

      Where did the words "Nike" and "Swoosh" come from?

      Nike, pronounced NI-KEY, is the winged goddess of victory according to Greek mythology. She sat at the side of Zeus, the ruler of the Olympic pantheon, in Olympus. A mystical presence, symbolizing victorious encounters, Nike presided over history's earliest battlefields.

      A Greek would say, "When we go t
    • by Aqua OS X ( 458522 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @03:18PM (#7293751)
      Well, I'm a professional graphic designer... so here's my take on this.

      Good logos are very very simple. Good logos can be boiled down a strong one or two colored silhouette built with simple lines and shapes. Moreover, good logos are clearly recognizable at both small and large sizes.

      The human brain reads and interprets simple shapes very quickly. Furthermore, the brain remembers and recalls simple shapes faster then complex graphics. This is, more or less, a psychological fact.

      When you take a glance at a good simple logo it gets stuck in your head. Even if you've only seen it once, and you can't quite pin-point the company associated with it, there's a good chance it will seem "familiar" to you. Familiarity is essential to a good brand. People like to use things they feel familiar with... even if their sense of familiarity is coming from a near subconscious level.

      It should also be noted that simple logos are easier to slap on everything. They are easier to print, it's easier to use as decoration, etc etc.

      Honestly, Tux is not a very good logo. Most people don't know what that orange and black rendered penguin is all about (trust me, I guarantee you they don't). It's only the geeks like us who know what Tux is. Common people remember the RedHat logo, or the Suse logo... but not tux. If Tux's shape was simplified (kind if like what IBM did with it http://www.humanist.de/erik/rza/ibmlinux.jpg ) it would be much more recognizable to the general public.

      And as for Mozilla. Well, Mozilla currently has that lizard head and the "M." Both are fairly simple (think the lizard could be simplified some more though), yet Mozilla.org doesn't stick with them. They don't place these logos all aspects of their products, they keep creating new icons and splash screens, etc. Mozilla.org needs to work on their branding. They need to pick one general logo, and they need to boldly place it everywhere.
      • by jschrod ( 172610 ) <.jschrod. .at. .acm.org.> on Thursday October 23, 2003 @04:53PM (#7294860) Homepage
        You might be a graphics designer professional, but you doesn't seem to be a marketing professional who has been responsible for product campaigns. I'm neither, but I had to pay (my) money for them, and I learned a lot from them.

        Tux is good(TM). Why? Because it is not a logo, it is a mascot that's associated to a brand (Linux). And as a mascot, it's near perfect, because pinguins are cool. Don't believe me? Go out with children or teenagers (hell, with most adults) to a sea park and notice where they stop and rest. Pinguins are among the must-stops, because people like them. And it's good marketing to associate that "like"-ness with the term "Linux".

        Actually, it doesn't matter how the pinguin really looks, in the mind of the general public the connection "Linux = this new pinguin operating system that is neither Microsoft nor Apple" has been made. With "in the public" I mean that I can hear non-geeks talking about it at the next table in the pub. That's just like the animals on ORA covers, it doesn't matter which ones or how complex they are, the overall similarity is the part that gets communicated.

        Come to think of it, dolphins might be good mascots for other projects.

        Btw, please note that I'm writing about marketing and not about ads-only campaigns. As you did, too. And, last but not least, I agree with you on the lizard and the inconsistency of Mozilla's public face. Of course, because nobody thinks this is a lizard. It looks like a dinosaur - and dinosaurs are cool, too. Ask your children, they'll tell you. And I mean that earnestly - when one starts a marketing campaign, children are the most honest reviewers available. You just have to take their opinion seriously.

        • No, he's right, simple logos are better. Show people tux and ask them what they think. Penguin! Tell that its Tux and he's the linux mascot. Show them again ask what they think again. Penguin!

          Yeah, people like penguins and everything, but the Tux is a cartoon penguin, not a logo. No matter how many times people see it, they are gonna think penguin, not linux.

          Same thing with the mozilla logo. The dinosaur head is really nice and all, but at the end of the day its just a dinosaur head. Mozilla needs a log

  • Spot on. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by numbski ( 515011 ) * <numbski@hkGINSBERGsilver.net minus poet> on Thursday October 23, 2003 @01:57PM (#7292719) Homepage Journal
    Unfortunately, workalikes are going to make consistency difficult.

    Actually, Camino is really the only workalike left around. By workalike I mean is built from the same source code base, customized. I guess my terminology isn't very good here.

    Standarize icons and names. Make them visually appealing. Make the default styles blend in with the OS/Window Manager.

    I have to laugh, one example was of the two Mozilla apps placed prominently on the Start Menu right where IE and Outlook Express are by default. Is this an option in a full installer? If not, put it there. :) Make it an option to gently 'replace' IE and Outlook Express. Replace the shortcuts, import favorites, e-mails, and contacts by default. Import Server Settings, proxies, the whole nine yards.

    Then people like myself, who run an ISP can standardize on Mozilla and when I send my installers out I can have them install the app. Even better, have a custom installer file so I can add in OUR servers and make them default in the Mail application.

    Now no matter what platform my installers run into, they can install my Mozilla package and have the right settings. Minimalistic training required.
    • Re:Spot on. (Score:3, Informative)

      by bay43270 ( 267213 )

      I have to laugh, one example was of the two Mozilla apps placed prominently on the Start Menu right where IE and Outlook Express are by default. Is this an option in a full installer? If not, put it there. :) Make it an option to gently 'replace' IE and Outlook Express. Replace the shortcuts, import favorites, e-mails, and contacts by default. Import Server Settings, proxies, the whole nine yards.

      Windows XP does this by default. Those top two buttons are the user's default email program and browser. W

    • Re:Spot on. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Otter ( 3800 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @02:26PM (#7293085) Journal
      Standarize icons and names.

      I use Mozilla as my primary OS X browser. Mozilla what? I dunno -- Mozilla. I'm probably well into the 99th percentile of the computer using population as far as familiarity with Mozilla goes and I still can't keep straight the differences between Camino, Firebird, Thunderbird, Phoenix and the rest of the Mozilla projects. Let alone the new names that result after each lawsuit or C&D letter.

      I realize that the open source community loves endless new not-really-clever names, coming up with ludicrous justifications for why something isn't infringing and arguing about what should begin with GNU/. But if the Mozilla people want to appeal to a wider base, they need to realize that mostly people don't regard changing software as a hobby.

  • by MonkeyCookie ( 657433 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @01:57PM (#7292724)
    Branding is a cruel practice, and should only be used when necessary.

    We need to weigh the pros and the cons. Mozilla will undergo a great deal of pain when we apply the branding iron and will no doubt scream in agony. However, we will be able to separate it from the other browsers when it escapes out onto the open range.
    • Mozilla will undergo a great deal of pain when we apply the branding iron and will no doubt scream in agony.

      Seeing how BIG Mozilla is, I'll plan to be WAY out of the way when you approach him with your branding iron...

      Wouldn't it be easier to do it the "Wong-Style" and brand everything that is NOT Mozilla?
  • by Trillan ( 597339 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @01:57PM (#7292726) Homepage Journal

    The server is getting pounded now, so it's tough to see the examples, but the icons and look for the Mozilla applications have always bugged me.

    The Mozilla Thunderbird icon is nice in that it finally represents something related to the purpose of the application, but I find it too subtle in a lot of ways. Especially on a small Windows toolbar, where it looks a lot like a slipcase.

    A visual facelift would be wonderful, though. Maybe get the Cute guy to work on it a bit... he's already proven himself competent, and having one person working on all the art wouldn't be a bad thing at all.

  • by cibus ( 670787 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @01:58PM (#7292731)
    ...isn't it?
    Shouldn't this kind of efforts be aimed at the consumer projects forked off mozilla and not on mozilla itself? IMHO mozilla should be about robust technology.
  • KISS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rf0 ( 159958 ) <rghf@fsck.me.uk> on Thursday October 23, 2003 @01:58PM (#7292740) Homepage
    As long as things are kept simple, light and work well then branding will only help. If that helps then I'm for it

  • I hope they follow this one. In Mozilla I have to consciously remember that the address bar does not work like every other Windows app I use, because it's not a Win32 Edit control, it's a unique Mozilla widget.

    It's true the IE edit box works slightly differently -- you click it once to select everything, then again to select words. And you can double click sections to select just a word. In Mozilla it's totally different; you can't select words automatically, and you click once to select individually an
  • Artical Text (Score:2, Informative)

    by Sir Haxalot ( 693401 )
    Branding Mozilla: Towards Mozilla 2.0

    Recommendations for the branding and visual identity of the Mozilla Foundation's product and project line - by Steven Garrity

    This document is intended to offer suggestions to the Mozilla Foundation for the future of the Mozilla brand and visual identity. It is not intended to replace or redo the good work that has already been done in this area. Any suggestions made here that contradict, conflict, or replace guidelines, recommendation, or other work that has alr
    • You know what'd be great? A mirror with pictures. So that we can understand what he is talking about when he says, "like these proposed icons".
  • Marketspeak (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Devil ( 16134 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @02:04PM (#7292809) Homepage
    Branding is what you do when you haven't got a better product than the other guy, but you want people to think you do.

    I agree that we should make Mozilla's icons a bit more consistent across applications and platforms, but I think the Mozilla lizard is just fine as far as logos go.

    When you're going up against Microsoft and its built-in IE, you're fighting a losing game; the proper way to beat Microsoft is to play a different game than the one they want to play, because they own the field, the ball and they set the rules.

    "Branding" is just another word for shining sh*t and calling it gold.
    • Re:Marketspeak (Score:2, Interesting)

      by DavidH_Mphs ( 657081 ) *
      so the linux penguin is "shining shi*t and calling it gold" ?? An entity's identity _is_ its brand. Your post seems to convey that a consistent identity is not important as long as you're playing 'a different game' than the other guy. If that's the case, why do we need jerseys (i.e., all team members wear the same uniform, therefore projecting the same image) in sports? can't they all just wear whatever the hell they want?
    • Re:Marketspeak (Score:5, Insightful)

      by FattMattP ( 86246 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @03:40PM (#7294022) Homepage
      Branding is what you do when you haven't got a better product than the other guy, but you want people to think you do.
      Wrong. Branding is what you do when you take something, associate it with your or your company, and impress it upon the public consciousness. It doesn't have to be a real thing. It can just be an idea.

      The AT&T logo is a good example of branding. Show the globe part of the logo to people and most of them will know it's AT&T. The same goes for the Coca-Cola "wave" and the Nike check mark. Those are brands.

      The most important part of branding is consistency. When I look at the linux penguin [tamu.edu] I think of Linux. That doesn't happen when I look at other penguins. It's not going to happen for the averge person either and that's the person you want to target. For people to associate Linux with that penguin, they have to see that pengiun image and hear about Linux at the same time, over and over and over again. The same thing needs to happen with Mozilla. There needs to be an official logo and it needs to be used on everything. The average joe needs to be able to look at that logo and think Mozilla.

    • Re:Marketspeak (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jeff Fohl ( 597433 )
      I would have to agree to most of the responses to this post. Yes, it is true that branding is often used to shore up weak products and make them look like there is something there of value.

      And it's not only about icons and logos. I would go so far as to say that branding is really the development of clear values and goals for an organization, group of people, or product, and making sure that those values permeate the work that the organization does, and are communicated to their constituents. This not onl

  • by grungeman ( 590547 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @02:04PM (#7292810)
    If you want to improve usability you can do it by using different icons for Mozilla itself and files associated with Mozilla (for example html-files). Currently I have Mozilla and a html file added to my Windows coolbar and they both use the same icon. InternetExplorer has the face "e" for IE itself, and a document with the "e" in front for associated files. Please do something similar for future versions of Mozilla. I really want to see from the icon if a file is a html file or the Mozilla executable.
  • Branding Works (Score:2, Interesting)

    by DavidH_Mphs ( 657081 ) *
    branding is a great idea; however, it's an all-or-nothing game. Mozilla must either commit 100% to developing brand identity or not commit at all. Consistency in branding communicates something deeper to the public: a consistent brand image communicates [whether true or not] consistency in the entity itself. It shows that the entity has a common goal toward which they are working. When people see the brand's logos, they immediately recognize it as familiar. In order for Mozilla to be successful (which
  • by occamboy ( 583175 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @02:05PM (#7292822)
    Give Mozilla a unique selling proposition - something that you can tell a prospective user about why they must switch from IE to Mozilla, i.e., "You should switch to Mozilla because it does X", where X is something obviously good, and not easily done with IE. For 95% of prospective users, X !=
    - cross-platform
    - thwarts the evil M$
    - is a really cool open-source project
    - and so forth

    Lose the dragon. It's difficult enough to introduce something new into a corporate environment, and mythical firebreathing critters are of no help. Doesn't have to be boring - just not too strange.
    • by Necroman ( 61604 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @02:22PM (#7293037)
      X = Tabbed Browsing
      X = Popup Blocker
      X = Handles CSS properly

      • by good-n-nappy ( 412814 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @02:37PM (#7293245) Homepage
        I actually appreciate all those features but I don't think they are very motivating for non-techies. Here are a couple others I like:

        X = Themeable (no, IE is not *really* themeable)
        X = Mouse Gestures
        X = Pie menues
        X = Block ads
        X = Control javascript (beyond popups)

        However, these are also not very motivating for most people. Of course, there is also the negatives list:

        X = Doesn't work on website foo
        X = Doesn't support plugin blat
        X = Takes longer to startup
        X = Requires an extra download

        Some of us can swallow these, but most people can't and won't.

        I really like Firebird and install it on all my machines, but I still haven't found a way to sell it to the non-tech crowd. Maybe once it gets enough momentum, all these small benefits will pull people in. Doubt it - but here's hoping.
  • Given the current mechanics of software distribution and product awareness, I'd argue that a bundling approach to the Mozilla suite/browser would be more effective than looking for a replacement of the red lizard and the like. The lizard is dead; long live the lizard!
  • I thik Mozilla could stand a more user-friendly Web site. Whatever look you come up with, the main page should be familiar and easy for non-developers to navigate. The home page is intimidating. If you want a chance to compete with IE and Netscape, make the main Web interface and download accessible for those users. Link to the 'community' for those who are interested in more than a just finding a browser.
  • As long as I can smash all the bars up in one small line. There is nothing more that I hate than having 15 bars covering half the screen with jumbo icons such that I cannot even see the page I'm wanting to look at.

    I have File-Help, the back, forward, stop, and refresh buttons (all with no text & small icons) address bar(no idiotic go button to click), and google way off to the right to stop the popups. One line and the rest of the screen is web page.

    Something along those lines is what I want fro
  • by Anonymous Coward
    They should NEVER have bothered with the developer names Firebird, Thunderbird, etc. From the start they should have called them Mozilla Browser, Mozilla Mail, etc. They have lost fast name recognition until the change does occur, and they have created a lot of confusion. I remember telling a lot of people to switch to Mozilla. I didn't tell anyone about Firebird because I knew the name wouldn't stick for long. Others on the other hand, have been name-dropping Firebird all over the place. Imagine when it's
  • by asv108 ( 141455 ) *
    /. is the last place to seek advice about branding.
  • Uhmmm...Themes? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by RedHat Rocky ( 94208 )
    Perhaps I'm just missing something here (like the images from the article), but who gives a crap about what Mozilla looks like when it's very easy to make your own or modify a theme? The whole point of Open Source is "Do What You Want", not "Do what they let you".

    Using the word "brand" of course raises my anti-marketing hackles, but that's just me.
  • Press Kit (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jahf ( 21968 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @02:16PM (#7292968) Journal
    Interestingly, I had requested a press kit or at least press-ready logos for Mozilla awhile back for inclusion in a presentation I'm writing. Got a quick response saying it sounded feasible, but nothing since. I ended up scouring the web and finding a lizard picture but it wasn't the best quality for the resolution I need.

    If Mozilla had a full press kit explaining the project and including press-ready logos I think they'd see more coverage (and more serious coverage) of their package in the mainstream press.

    Additionally, it is quite inexpensive to send out a press release over the newswires. When the Thunderbird/Firebird products are 1.0'ed (or 2.0'ed) ... send out a press release along with a link to the press kit. Heck, if you can get a contribution pool (I think wire releases are something like $100), make a press release each time a major release occurs.

    It won't make front page headlines, but it would be alot better than the current situation.
    • Re:Press Kit (Score:3, Informative)

      by RapaNui ( 242132 )
      A nice example of how this probably should be handled is the OpenOffice [openoffice.org] project's 'media kit', including product flyer, FAQ, logos, and even CD labels and slip covers for the various versions.
  • Bigger problem (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sir Haxa1ot ( 715348 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @02:16PM (#7292969) Homepage Journal
    The real problem with browser branding is that currently people fail to see the browser as something which should be branded. It's a utility product that allows you to view sites, and that's about it. Who cares what's beneath?

    By establishing IE as a client-run COM control, Microsoft only further implemented that idea. You can hardly brand something that people view as a tool.

    For example, what sports cars do you have in your garage? Ferrari or Porsche I'd assume. And what's the brand of your kitchen sink? Eeeh, who cares, some crap made in China and purchased at Home Depot. The same with the browser - when the sites are more or less the same, and it's the sites you care about, who cares what brand the browser is.
    • Re:Bigger problem (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Refrag ( 145266 )
      For example, what sports cars do you have in your garage? Ferrari or Porsche I'd assume. And what's the brand of your kitchen sink? Eeeh, who cares, some crap made in China and purchased at Home Depot.
      Blanco [blanco.de]

      See? It does matter.
  • schools (Score:2, Insightful)

    by liquidpele ( 663430 )
    One place i see for Mozilla or firebird to explode is in public schools. I always see teachers struggle with IE because of pop-ups and it's random startups to windows update, where it automatically starts downloading patches.

    Furthermore, kids in the schools go online and download Kazaa and all sorts of games. I know for a fact if Mozilla made a EDU version that had the properies password protected, and the ablility to disable downloading certain files (so you can still get PDFs, but not mp3s for instance
  • by DeadBugs ( 546475 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @02:23PM (#7293060) Homepage
    This seems to work for other companies so:

    Put Mozilla stickers all over San Francisco

    Dress people up in Mozilla suits and send them screaming through New York City

    Mozilla streakers at sporting events.

    A Mozilla based reality show.

    Have Mozilla claim their source code is in Linux

    Pay companies to give them unrealistic bench marks.

  • by kidgenius ( 704962 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @02:44PM (#7293347)
    I've read through a good chunk of the replies here, and I keep coming across people saying "well you can change icons like this", "or do a splash screen like that." etc. The problem is, is that 90% of the computer users simply want to install, and be done with it and see nothing but a desktop icon. They don't want to go changing icons, or splash screens, or whatever. That's what this author is trying to get at. He makes a good point about the computer geeks and their clever naming, etc. It seems as if programmers have this holier-than-thou attitude. "If you don't like something, you should change it yourself or not use it." I know that it is a hobby to most people and there is no commercial gain to be had. It's almost like OSS (or whatever you want to call it) is like old school punk rock. You want the recognition, but you always fear being called a sellout. In the software world, you want to have this really great piece of software that is free and takes over the world and throws Microsoft off its pedestal. But at the same time, you don't want to conform to the game they are playing. Yes, people often don't know about non-MS ways of doing things on a computer, but Microsoft has done a halfway decent job at making a computing experience consistent to the average Joe computer user. And so people come to expect that out of others. I personally am willing to do things a slightly harder, or different way. I know that when I use free software, that things may be a little quirky, or there may be some weird fixes that I have to implement to get it work all the way. I've made that choice, but there are many out there who won't/can't/don't make it. They just want it to work out of the box for a million years without a hitch.
  • by borkus ( 179118 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @03:30PM (#7293912) Homepage
    1. Take your basic product name - ie, "Mozilla".
    2. Get permission from a celebrity to put their name in front of it.
    3. Put next year's number on the end.
    4. Add the letter's "X", "XP" or some abbreviation
    with an "X" in it.

    Therefore, Mozilla 2.0 should really be -
    Madden Mozilla 2004 SSX
  • by leoboiko ( 462141 ) <leoboiko AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday October 23, 2003 @04:02PM (#7294286) Homepage
    In my experience, most Windows users don't use Mozilla because they never heard of it (at least, the ones I teached Mozilla never went back to IE). Some users are actually willing to pay for spam filters, popup blockers, download managers and tabbed browsing.

    I want to put a box in my homepage that looks for MSIE user-agents and displays something like "Are you using Internet Explorer? Did you know that there's a better browser with popup blocking and download management included? Try Mozilla! (link to end-user website)".

    The Mozilla folks seems to agree with me on this [mozilla.org], but there's still a barrier: English. Windows users worldwide are used to their fully localized environment, and afraid of anything in foreign languages. The language packs are too buried in the site. Mozilla's new user-oriented website is a great idea, but there should be localized versions of it, with easily accessible downloads of localized software.
  • Negative Branding (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sielwolf ( 246764 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @04:14PM (#7294423) Homepage Journal
    I thought that the strongest new brands in a market with name recognition is to be the opposite of said brand. Pepsi's market share rose when it had it's "New Generation" campaign (implying that the old standard, Coca-cola, was the Old Generation). Avis car rental saw a gigantic increase with it's "We try Harder" [than the other companies]. Burger King versus McDonalds. Fox versus the Big Three. Heck, Linux versus Windows.

    Consumers seem to think in simple dualities. There is the iconic brand... and then there is the one that is the anti-brand.

    The problem for Mozilla? It is a product that is nigh identical to IE. Functionally they are the same (with only minor variations and where it differs siginficantly [that you need to do a third-party install] isn't a major selling point). To some extent it's the difference between a Chevy and Pontiac, not a Harley and a Honda.

System restarting, wait...