Mozilla, The AP Aurora Concepts, and Open Source UX Design

August 06, 2008

Today Adaptive Path, the godfather company of the interface and experience research industry, released the first of some amazingly high quality concept videos about the web browser of the future.

I'm really impressed, even though I spent most of the day grousing about some of the details of the interface they showed — my nitpicking is really just evidence of how much detail there is in the video.

Anyway, the real importance of the videos is not specific to any of the UI details — it's about what's happening at Mozilla, and the new inclusive approach they are taking to visual and experience design.

I couldn't put it better than Dan Harrelson did this week:

Joining an open source software project usually requires one thing: the ability to cut code. If you live in the world of functions, methods, Git, SVN, and SQL, you'll find many a friend in open source. If you instead work with Photoshop, wireframes, sketches, and stickies, you'll find it is a bit of a challenge to join an open source project. The community of developers has a history of shunning anyone who is a not programmer. Plus, open source software projects are not heavily promoted in the design community.

UPDATE: My buddy Andy pointed me to the Mozilla call for participation, which does a great job of summarizing the initiative.

Today we're calling on industry, higher education and people from around the world to get involved and share their ideas and expertise as we collectively explore and design future directions for the Web. You don't have to be a software engineer to get involved, and you don't have to program. Everyone is welcome to participate.