remove about:rights infobar from Firefox desktop




6 years ago
3 years ago


(Reporter: asa, Unassigned)




Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)




6 years ago
The about:rights infobar is a mostly useless to most users interruption. We should remove it from Firefox start up. For those who care, it's still available in the About dialog. 

It's especially bad now that you get that on first launch and then telemetry opt in on second launch. We're assaulting our users with stuff they don't care about and shouldn't have to care about. This is the opposite of creating a delightful user experience on first run.

Who can make us a patch to disable this thing?


6 years ago
Summary: remove about:rights infobar → remove about:rights infobar from Firefox desktop
This was concerned an important addition when we originally removed the EULA, so I don't think it's a good idea to remove it without running it by the people involved in adding it.

Comment 2

6 years ago
In 2008 we apparently thought we needed the infobar in order to remove the EULA. Do we remember why? Are those reasons no longer valid?

Bug 456439 - add about:rights and a "Know Your Rights" infobar to Firefox
Bug 462254 - Remove EULA from Firefox installer / .dmg and related bits
Keywords: ux-interruption

Comment 3

6 years ago
I wasn't closely following this when it happened, but if we're OK with an infobar after installing (not requiring a click-through EULA in the installer) then how does an infobar give us any more legal protection than a menu item in Help or a link in the About dialog. If there's no affirmative consent required, then we're just annoying users with something that's not technically required.

Comment 4

6 years ago
Yup, a real legal analysis of this is needed.  Thanks Gavin for adding us; I'm deferring to Harvey here.
I'd say there's two considerations: legal and social. The legal one is obvious: do we actually need to tell people about the licensing terms, or at least wave a link under their nose, for some legal reason?

However, the social consideration is whether this is part of our strategy to help our users understand how Firefox is fundamentally different to other browsers. And if it is part of that, is it an effective part? (Can telemetry be fixed to give us a click-through percentage? Even if telemetry is opt-in on second run, we can probably store the info and submit it if the user says "yes".) In the past, it's been considered strategically important to try and educate users in this way, to some extent consistent with not hitting them over the head with it - and I'd say it still is. Of course, it's certainly open for debate as to whether this is the best way. But if this is important, and the bar is our current attempt, we should probably replace it with a better way rather than just removing it.

We of course need to remember that as developers, we probably see this bar far more often than the average user, so it might annoy us more. I'm pretty sure we don't re-show it on every update, do we?

FWIW, this also was a rather clever jujutsu way of turning an onerous EULA agreement process into a very Mozilla-like message about user rights (not restrictions), community, and free software.

But, yes, even a nice notification bar is worse than no notification bar from a purely UX point of view.

If we do need to keep something, a link in the About dialog (comment 3), a link at the bottom of about:home, or a link on the firstrun web page might be other options. [The first launch of Firefox on a system open tabs with about:home and the first run page, which might be relevant for being more in-your-face than a link in the About dialog.]
(In reply to Gervase Markham [:gerv] from comment #5)

> I'm pretty
> sure we don't re-show it on every update, do we?

We do not. There is a mechanism in place to allow us to force showing it again should the need arise, but I don't think it's ever been used.
There was also, at the time, considerable community interest in this bar, its composition, and the EULA it replaced. It's one of the only times we try to tell the users anything about who we are. I agree that it is not actually a helpful part of the first run experience, but it does have emotional significance for some people in the project. If Harvey tells us we need it, the point is moot, but if we are free to make a change like this, I'd like to see some community discussion first. Not a vote, but not surprise, either.
I'd guess that measuring if people ever click it is a good start. If it's not actually being used, and we don't need it for legal reasons, we should remove it.

I'd rather put some effort into making the About dialog better represent our values and tell a compelling story.

So, +1 from UX unless there are compelling (usage data or legal) reasons to keep it.
Who do we talk to to get some measurements here? Or are we waiting for a legal opinion first?


Comment 11

6 years ago
I suppose we hook up telemetry to this to see if it gets used, though we might have some strange bias there given that telemetry people use an info bar to opt in to helping us collect that data. I'd like to hear whether or not this is strictly required to be in this location from a legal perspective and if it is not to move on removing it without usage data.

Comment 12

6 years ago
Assuming people want this text, would it make more sense to have about:home include it the first time it's opened?

Comment 13

6 years ago
I'll prod Harvey on this, too. There's information the user should be aware of, notably the information around the service terms, and we wanted the user to (have the opportunity to) be aware of that information. Putting it into about:firefox removes the explicit notification, and I'd be sad if we took that away.

Comment 14

6 years ago
I don't believe we should waste the effort measuring this. If we don't need it, something for Harvey to answer, we should remove it.  The document it links to with all of its inspirational goodness, will still be around and we can find other places to link to it.
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