my Bugzilla redesign 2¢

Bugzilla lately has been going through a bit of a redesign process. Guy Pyrzak has been leading the initiative and has been making some very useful observations and changes. For instance, he observed that one issue for users is that new users sometimes don’t know where to begin; the initial path to a common action like creating an account or filing a bug isn’t immediately clear. In the recent design iterations, the path for new users – both to file a bug and create a new account – is much more eminent.


As I see it, the main challenge of the Bugzilla page is to cater to both users that see the page a million times a day and new users who just want to file a bug. It may be worth noting that a user filing a bug for the first time might be angry as the result of that bug, and thus less willing to search through menus. I haven’t seen Bugzilla’s data, but I’m guessing that users tend to fall on one of these two sides – very new or very experienced – with less in the middle. So the problem is one of focus – giving the new user a clear path, but not patronizing experienced users.

So here’s my quick suggestion. I like very much Guy’s idea of showing common  actions prominently, and included those in the design below. Other than that, I tried to group relevant data (navigation at top, login info at side) so that possible tasks were separated a bit more clearly.

Bugzilla design suggestion

Note: This is a design for default Bugzilla, not Mozilla-specific Bugzilla. However, since I decided to do a followup post with design suggestions for Mozilla’s Bugzilla, I’m happy to hear feedback about that too.

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  1. Gorgeous.

    FWIW, I think we can depricate information about Bugzilla as a product in this home page, since most people are coming to Bugzilla to talk about Firefox or some other Mozilla product.

    That leads to another issue: we use our Bugzilla to track issues that exist in:
    – Firefox
    – Gecko
    – Thunderbird
    – Seamonkey
    – our IT bugs
    – our websites
    – our developer tools
    – etc, etc

    The current “go to Bugzilla” experience doesn’t really differentiate between any of those purposes, and perhaps it should, as it’s where we send people who have trouble with Firefox.

  2. (note: I’m talking more about the Mozilla instance of Bugzilla, I guess)

  3. That’s really slick; I like it.

  4. Gerv says:

    Fab 🙂

  5. AndersH says:

    You layout looks nice. As opposed to the current poroposed design which is almost worse than the current design.

    Couldn’t it just show the hottest (frequently dublicated/newest) bugs right on the frontpage close to the search box as bait to get people to search before filing.

  6. AndersH says:

    … although it reminds me of livejournal

  7. Eevee says:

    One problem I have with all of these front page designs is that none of them are IMMEDIATELY useful. They make it easier to find out how to get where I’m going, sure, but why can’t the front page be useful in and of itself? Show a brief list of new bugs, or random old bugs, or my newest bugs, or my oldest bugs, or recent changes to my bugs, or whatever.

  8. That is totally slick indeed. 🙂 I’m not sure it’s as totally idiot-proof as the current design, but it’s definitely prettier. 🙂


  9. lpsolit says:

    @Eevee: this page is currently designed for logged out users, not logged in users, so we cannot display *your* bugs.

    I like it a lot. About being more or less idiot-proof than the current design, I would say that if Boriss’ proposal is not idiot-proof enough, then I would prefer these idiot users to abstain from reporting an idiot bug, and I would be fine if these users are confused enough to not report the bug at all.

  10. Pyrzak says:

    I like it! Thinking of working on the patch asap, after I fix the blocker on 3.4 and the reviews I need to do. We’ll have to merge this with the header that ss came up with, but I like the direction, and a much better aesthetic.

  11. Jason Oster says:

    Very pretty! It looks incredibly inviting [to my untrained eye]. The only suggestion I have (and I had to strain to come up with one) is I think the search fields should contain the “Search” title within them, similar to how your username/password fields are shown. Alternatively, pull the username/password titles out of the respective fields. Just to keep some consistency, you know?

    I also like the suggestion of including the “hottest bugs” on the index. A top-ten listing under the common actions.

  12. Gc says:

    Shouldn’t “search for existing bugs” be first, before “report a new bug”?

    Should “report a new bug” be disabled, with a note that it “requires login”?

  13. Marinkina says:

    То что бредомысли это точно 🙂
    Видно настиг творческий кризис. Мысле нет о чем писать 🙂

  14. David Tenser says:

    Looks much better for sure! One question though: does the main menu really have to be duplicated at the top and bottom of the page? I found myself scanning both menus and it took a few seconds before I realized they were showing the same items. Might be cleaner and less confusing to just have it at the top.

  15. E. Smith says:

    I love your design idea. I really like the texture in the header, the fonts and the pleasing colors. It’s more like a piece of furniture than a web form.

    Is there any chance of your releasing a Bugzilla skin with this general feel to it? I’d love to use that over the skins presently available, which I’m not that fond of.

  16. Greg says:

    It’s a shame that the aesthetics of projects like bugzilla get left out, I think your design would make it look professional while the current and new*ish* one make it look like a web designers first attempt.

    I don’t mean to be harsh, but I’m staring at the ugly right now and really there are so many talented graphics people out there.

  17. Guy says:

    I think the biggest problem is not many of these talented graphics people are willing to take the time to redesign the WHOLE of Bugzilla as a concept visually. Instead they are willing to redesign a homepage, or a screen they dislike, but that tends to result in piecemeal looks. Jon Pink was the first visual designer to give us updates to the current homepage.

    So I guess what I’m saying is. Where are those many talented graphics people, please tell them to stand up and volunteer some well thought through UIs that cover the whole site. I’ve love to see some of those designs.

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