Firefox Personas: Enriching the Artist Experience
Article by George Norman
On 03 Jun 2009
Personas is a prototype extension for Firefox that allows the user to customize the way the browser looks; in order to do so, the aforementioned user gets to choose from a large collection of artist created designs (or skins, to put it bit more bluntly). According to the Mozilla Labs team, since Personas has been rolled out it was downloaded about 5 million times; during the same time the designs gallery has reached and exceeded the 13,000 mark.

For the past few weeks the Personas development team has focused on two areas of interest. The first was the Personas 1.3 update, which came with the following enhancements and improvements:


- Designer detail pages: each artist has his own personal space where to showcase his creations.
- Localized in Additional Languages: Personas, which already provides support for 12 languages (Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, German, English, Spanish, French, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese) is now localized in Polish, Serbian, Turkish, and Chinese.
- Personas 1.3 now works with Thunderbird.
- For each design’s detail page there is a ShareThis link to aid you in sharing your favorite Personas.
- Pagination has been added, meaning that galleries are loaded in sections.

The second area of interest for the Personas development team was to enhance the artist’s experience – a very important aspect of Personas if you keep in mind that the artists are the ones who create and share their work with the rest of us, via the public gallery (view here ). Toby Elliott, Ryan Doherty, and Suneel Gupta on behalf of the Personas development team explain : “A major goal for the Personas project is not only to scale a gallery of art, but to give each artist a platform to create and promote their work. In the latest release, we aimed to make it even easier to create Persona art, and to enable each artist to build their presence within the gallery.”

The following features have been added to Personas in order to address the development team’s wish to make the artist’s experience a more enjoyable one:
- Artist detail pages: a personal space where the artist can showoff his/her creations.
- Personalized description: artists can personalize their detail page.
- The design tutorial has been tweaked (view here ).

If you would like to get Personas, a download location is available here .

Tags: Mozilla, Firefox, Personas
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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