I upgraded my browser to Firefox 3.6 last week. Did you know that Firefox can now be skinned? All you have to do is click on one of the “Personas” found online and your Firefox User Interface can be immediately turned into something a bit more fun and interesting!
On that very first day I skinned my Firefox using the very popular Japanese Tattoo persona (see below). And changed my desktop to something a bit more interesting. I love it. When I was studying design part time our small class was forced to listen to a soundtrack of totally strange music and soundscapes – the idea being that if one of your senses is constantly engaged/surprised you just might produce more creative work. Changing up my interface kind of reminds me of that principle.
And unlike previous attempts to theme or skin applications, “installing” a Firefox Persona just requires you to visit the website and click on an option. And you’re done. I think it just sets a preference somewhere in a text file. Oh, and you actually have to use Firefox. I got Lath hooked just the other day and I think she’s already changed her persona about three times over the space of a week. It’s actually easier than changing your desktop wallpaper and I think that’s saying something.
30 000+ Personas and more than 10 World of Warcraft Personas
Anyway, in the space of about a couple of weeks since Firefox 3.6 has been released the number of available personas has reached over 30 000. That’s a lot. And as of writing this, there are 2 pages of World of Wacraft themed personas. Unfortunately they’re all pretty bad – very little thought has been given to the context: the actual Firefox functional elements, for example the URL input bar, that sit right on top.
Just in case you aren’t already using Firefox – which is unlikely because nobody would help Microsoft to take over the world when there’s a better alternative – I’ve skinned my own browser so that you can see some of the existing World of Warcraft personas.
We have some amazing artists in the WoW community. And anyone can create a personas (essentially a single image and some text and background colour settings). I could create a Persona. You could create a Persona.
I encourage you to create a beautiful World of Warcraft personas that complements the Firefox user interface, is beautiful and reminds you of why you love playing World of Warcraft. Think of a scene from the World of Warcraft story and try and create an image that brings that to mind. You could try and create a persona that reminds you of how fun it feels to play a Paladin or what it’s like to be part of the Forsaken or simply reminds you that you’re intent on killing Arthas in the near future. I would love to see the World of Warcraft Mosaic turn into a persona.
I’d offer some kind of reward but I think creating something visual that could be looked at every day by thousands of people around the world is a pretty compelling reward all on its own.