Mozilla, still in trouble

Dave Shea of mezzoblue, who many of us know by now is regarded as one of the leading webstandards proponents. Zen garden being one of his wonderful creations, I just can’t stop admiring the guy. And as a full time cynic that’s saying a lot. But this ‘website beta’ release kind of sucks.

I’ll give Dave the benefit of the doubt and make the assumption that he was not involved in what could be done for Mozilla as a whole from the start of the design process. I say this because Mozilla’s new design seems to lack direction. It seems a bit uncertain in what it’s trying to tell me. And whatever it’s doing it’s doing it all at once.

The first time I saw the design via Anne’s post I was a bit bemused. I thought it looked nice, far better than what they had. But it still bugged me, something wasn’t right.
Then it struck me; where is the brand? That logo really sucks big time and those birds could be more clearly defined and I don’t have a clue who Mozilla is. Mozzila is no longer a behind the scenes open source developer for AOL/Time/Warner. They’re now a company in there own right and have to show the world who they are. They have no real identity because the one they had no longer applies. Their nerdy geeky image will just not do when held up to the light in full view of their new customers. They will want to know who they are dealing with because to them it’s an unknown company with products they never heard of.

As soon as AOL/Time/Warner kicked Mozilla out into the street to fend for itself they must have realised that their brand had now become their most important asset. Because if they want to compete they must utilise their identity and image to project the message that they have the best products in town. This website doesn’t do this very well, it all over the place. It doesn’t seem to communicate very well. Branding and within it a well defined identity will allow them to construct a concise message to have Mozilla and it’s products appeal to the world at large.

Although they’re a non-profit company they are still competing in a commercial world. Some charities have grasped the importance of good branding and do well because of it. I think Mozilla is duty bound to do much better in the branding department, despite their limited budget. If they don’t they will fail, despite having the best web products on the market today.

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