Mozilla Pulse

An online platform to showcase projects, find help, and connect Mozilla stakeholders with each other

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Client

Mozilla Foundation

Role

UX/UI Designer

Year

2019

The project overview

Mozilla Pulse captures global projects from around the Web. Developers, artists, campaigners, activists, past Mozilla Fellows, and more all have contributed their content to the platform. Anyone can sign up and create a profile and begin uploading projects to the site. Users can also ‘favourite’ projects that they like or search for internet-related topics that they may be interested in. In 2019, I was responsible for updating the interface of Mozilla Pulse, adding search functionality and tagging with the developer, and enhancing new features to the user profile section in order to create a better user experience.

The problem space

Mozilla and the network had many projects and campaigns that circulate around the Web—but no where to categorize, search, or house any of them. Pulse first began in 2016 with the concept to create a central space for people to organize, share, view, and contribute to different projects that are currently helping to build a healthier internet.

Audience

The Mozilla Pulse has grown over the past three years from a quite niche audience within Mozilla to over 5,000 users. The primary users of the site include Mozilla stakeholders (Mozilla employees, organizations and partners associated with Mozilla, fellowship and award applicants, Mozilla Festival attendees, and people interested in bettering life online). 

Secondary audiences include partners and organizations, news sources, and journalists who come to the site to specifically find information about projects or connect with people doing work in a particular topic (e.g. artificial intelligence).

For the platform updates, the intent was to improve the experience and interface for these existing audiences.

Goals

Original goals from 2017:

  • Create an online space where Mozilla staff, our community and network, artists, campaigners, and more can access, share, and contribute to projects.
  • Catalyze collaboration for members of the Pulse community.
  • Feature and more easily access and share the work that Mozilla members are doing.

2019 goals for the platform update:

1. Add search and a filter in order to allow user to find relevant content from and people from the thousands of users and projects on the site.

2. Update the user interface to align with the new Mozilla brand.

3. Evaluate the benefits of user onboarding (for our Fellows audience) and add profile and form sections to user accounts.

4. Enhance the experience of the project pages.

Getting started

 Another issue was that new users to Pulse (either from our audience or people who enroll in a Mozilla Leadership program) had some pain points in regards to onboarding. The previous site had no onboarding experience (other than the ‘learn more’) description and entry page. With these things in mind—we decided to focus on these areas for our 2019 feature updates as we felt it would have the most impact on user experience.

Existing site

The previous version of Mozilla Pulse had a non-filtering search function which caused some user difficulty in finding people vs. projects. We also received feedback that users were having some difficulty determining how to actually help or volunteer on a project.

Originally designed by the Mozilla Core Design Team

Existing project page

The project pages provide more information about the user's project and ways that other people can get involved along with external links to personal sites.

Originally designed by the Mozilla Core Design Team

Solutions

With many visual updates to the site, myself and the product manager focused on the main pain points from user feedback. This included:

  • improving the search functionality
  • adding and adjusting the existing help labels and filter capabilities
  • updating the interface and project page design
  • and as Pulse is used globally, we also updated the user profile section to include more robust about sections and the option to input a city or country location

Improved search functionality

The search function was improved by filtering the results into two categories: people and projects. The original version of Pulse only provided search results for projects. We wanted to better highlight the creators of each project to better connect internet health with real world people working on complex digital issues. Being able to view a creator working on a specific issue also allowed search users to more easily find and view additional projects from that individual creator.


Help labels and filtration

The help labels to the right of the search tool was refined to included the most common searches and tags for 'help' in project uploads. It also allowed users to filter by a specific 'help' topic in order to find projects they may be interested in volunteering with.

Visual design and interface

In terms of the visual design, I maintained the visual consistency of other Mozilla related sites by incorporating colours and brand elements from our guidelines. The design of the project entry pages was also redesigned by adjusting the hierarchy to better highlight the content on each individual page.

Project page

The project page was redesigned to make the 'visit' and 'get involved' CTA buttons more prominent. I also highlighted the 'help needed' section and included the help label tags in order for users to find similar ways of getting involved in other projects.

Social sharing and the option to 'favorite' a particular project were also added to the page.

Edit profile page

The profile form was redesigned to included a more extensive bio section, social media urls, and the addition to share your location.

Learnings and next steps

  • Due to resources, our team currently does not have plans to update Pulse until 2021—so it was important with the 2019 updates that the platform could function and provide a good experience until the next update.
  • We're receiving feedback both anecdotally and through email on the Pulse site.

 

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