Mozilla Officially Launches Test Pilot Program
Article by George Norman
On 13 Aug 2009
We’ve known since January that the Mozilla Foundation wants you, the user, to help it improve the Firefox browser via the Test Pilot program which goes something like this: download the Test Pilot Firefox add-on and answer some questions in a confidential and anonymous manner (all the data is kept safe and confidential so you can focus on just answering the questions). In case you were wondering, Mozilla will not just hurl questions your way, it will only ask them when they are really necessary. Right now they're inquiring into your computer expertise to get to know how well you know your computer.

As a big Firefox team, I have been waiting for the Test Pilot program to launch since, well, January. But since announcing it, the only thing that Mozilla released was a guidelines principles proposal. Now the wait is over as the Test Pilot program has been officially launched (the Test Pilot add-on is available for download, just check the link at the bottom of the article).

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“Test Pilot is an opt-in program that everyone on the Web can join to improve the Web experience by participating in usability related tests. When you install the Test Pilot add-on, you will automatically become a Mozilla Labs’ Test Pilot, and you will receive the notice for upcoming tests. You will have the option to quit tests or leave the platform. If the test requires you to install a new feature or product, the platform will ask for your permission. At the end of these experiments, you can choose whether or not to submit your test data,” explained Mozilla.

The great thing about becoming a Test Pilot is that you will get access to the newest features and user interface ideas. On top of that, you can find out how survey results contribute to product design at Mozilla.

If you would like to the get the Test Pilot Firefox add-on, a download location is available here.
Additional details on the Test Pilot program are available on the official webpage
here.

I’m also digging the fact that the Test Pilot logo has been updated, just like the Firefox logo has been updated with the release of Firefox 3.5.

UPDATE: The Test Pilot icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen keeps pestering me about a new survey every time I launch Firefox. But I already took the survey, so when I click it, I'm directed to the "Thank you for completing our survey!" page. Kind of annoying if you ask me.

UPDATE 2: Test Pilot has been updated to version 0.1.1 and the issue seems to have been resolved.





Tags: Mozilla, Firefox, Add-on, Test Pilot
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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