New Firefox Nightly firstrun page and community growth

Note: this article has been cross-posted on the Mozilla Blog.

This summer, I'm doing an internship at Mozilla, and so far that's the most exciting time of my life. I work in the Localization Team at Mountain View, California, and one of my goals for this summer is to increase the number of users on Firefox Nightly builds.
Several projects are ramped up to reach this goal, and one of them is the Nightly firstrun page. The firstrun page is the web page you see the first time you run Nightly (makes sense, right?), but also each time we release a new Firefox. [Update: This was a bug that’s now fixed.]

Why do Firefox Nightly builds matter?

Firefox Nightly is the earliest Firefox branch, on which all Firefox developers push their work. This build may be unstable, (but I've been using it as my main browser for more than 3 years, so far not that many issues). Most of the users are technical users, and they would be really valuable to the Mozilla mission if we could find an easy way to get them more involved in the project. Here comes the firstrun!

nightly firstrun

Why does the firstrun page matters?

This page is one of the first things we show to our technical users. The page has been simplified on purpose, to give them a clear way to get involved. 3 core areas are displayed: coding, QA, and localization. For instance, they can find a way to provide feedback to the localization team of their language, this is really helpful for localizers to get early feedback. They can even join the team! There is also an optional community section on the page. We really want users to get more involved with their local community. That's why we added a customizable block at the bottom of the page which allows Mozilla communities to create and publish their own content, (for instance to promote local events, IRC channel) so that users can meet them and get involved more quickly and easily.
I, myself, was initially using Nightly and contributing to Firefox code before even knowing a French community existed!
The page has been live for a few minutes now, and you'll see it if you create a new profile on Firefox Nightly. You can take a look at the per-locale customization on the French page for instance.

nightly firstrun

You too, get more involved!

If you want to contribute to these areas, you can download Firefox Nightly in your language. Right now this is the only link we have to get people to download localized Firefox Nightly builds, but we plan to get them more exposed really soon by adding Firefox Nightly to the channel page.

Personnal notes

I learned a lot during this project, this was my first page for, and this was a fun challenge. I did all the HTML/CSS code and, of, course, be sure the page was l10n friendly! There were a lot of things to take into account: performances, accessibility, localization, metrics, responsive design… but it was really worth it. A huge thank you to Pascal Chevrel and Delphine Lebédel my mentors, and to all the Mozillians for helping me learning new things!