Agency Visit: Mozilla Labs

(guest post by Jordan Barber)

What do you think of when you hear “Mozilla?” Let me guess, Firefox. I think that is comes to mind for most people, myself included.

When we got the chance to visit Mozilla Labs for our Industry IQ class, three-inch shag carpet on the ceiling was the last thing I expected to find.

Having come from a corporate background full of cubicles and white walls I had imagined that Mozilla would be the same, another cookie-cutter workplace of the business world. After all, they are a company that works on a global scale with Firefox alone bringing in over 450 million users.

When we arrived at Mozilla Labs David Ascher, VP of Product for the Mozilla Foundation, invited us into their conference room. With large windows, couches, stuffed animals (including a fox and red pandas), an oversized bean bag chair and of course the shag carpet on the ceiling accompanying the conference table it could be described as more of a lounge.  Here we sat down to talk with David and learn exactly why Mozilla is so different.

Instead of conforming to the corporate business model Mozilla has turned it on its head. Unlike most companies that work on an international level, Mozilla is a non-profit. Founded from the ashes of Netscape, Mozilla focuses on keeping the web transparent, accessible, open and free. This creates an environment where the user is the primary stakeholder and user experience is the top priority.

To achieve this at such a large level Mozilla relies heavily on innovation, exploration and experimentation. They pull in the community by encouraging participation with volunteer positions and user research kits. How does that work within their business model?

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Visit with Mozilla Labs

 

Mozilla Fox

A group of Digital Design students recently visited Mozilla Labs as part of an Industry and Career Prep course. Studio tours are organized at the midpoint of the program to provide a glimpse of life after VFS where students can connect with industry, experience different work environments, and explore career options. Students visit motion design studios and interactive agencies of different sizes and specializations. Mozilla Labs was conveniently located near the VFS campus, and the students were fortunate to have David Ascher, Director of Mozilla Labs, lead the tour. The office space inspired creativity with the colourful walls adorned with interesting artwork and the use of customizable modular desks. The students were very delighted to see a friendly fox as a fixture of the office.

Mozilla has sought to move the Web forward by creating products that promote openness, innovation and opportunity. David shared with the students some of the experiments and prototypes that supported this mission. He also conducted a Q&A session with the students and provided some insight and guidance on what would make the students more valuable when they enter the workforce.

Thank you, Mozilla Labs!

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Josh Carpenter @ Mozilla — The mandate is: Make the world a better place!

web image for Gaia Ux Concept for Boot to Gecko

VFS Digital Design alumnus Josh Carpenter is working as Senior User Experience Designer with Mozilla on the GAIA UX concept for Boot to Gecko. This open web platform for mobile looks like a significant game changer. As Josh says, ‘We are really trying to define the future of the Internet.’

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