Mozilla unveils redesign of MDN platform, new logo

Mozilla is also launching a subscription product called MDN Plus.
Written by Jonathan Greig, Contributor

On Tuesday, Mozilla unveiled a redesign of MDN, their community-driven wiki and one of the most popular resources for developers on the web. 

Mozilla reworked the site to improve its navigability, homepage, and logo, which it said was chosen by the MDN community's more than 60,000 contributors. MDN was initially launched in 2005 as a way to promote innovation within the developer community, but users have long complained of issues with the experience on the site.   

"MDN has undergone many changes in its 16-year history... It's no surprise that the user experience became somewhat inconsistent throughout the website," Mozilla explained in a blog post. 

"In mid-2021 we started to think about modernizing MDN's design, to create a clean and inviting website that makes navigating our 45,000 articles as easy as possible. We wanted to create a more holistic experience for our users, with an emphasis on improved navigability and a universal look and feel across all our pages."

The redesign, according to Mozilla, includes a new homepage that prioritizes an improved search bar and the most recent contributions to its Github content repo.

Mozilla sought to provide users with better signposting of major sections, such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, as well as improved accessibility. 

"We're also revisiting the way browser compatibility data appears, with better at-a-glance browser support. So you don't have to keep version numbers in your head, we've put more emphasis on yes and no iconography for browser capabilities, with the option to view the detailed information you've come to expect from our browser compatibility data," Mozilla said. 

"As we began working on both the redesign and expanding MDN beyond WebDocs we realized it was also time for a new logo. We wanted a modern and easily customizable logo that would represent what MDN is today while also strengthening its identity and making it consistent with Mozilla's current brand. We worked closely with branding specialist Luc Doucedame, and narrowed down our options to eight potential logos. We put out a call to our community of users to help us choose and invited folks to vote on their favorite. We received over 10,000 votes in just three days and are happy to share with you 'the MDN people's choice.'"


Mozilla is also launching a subscription product called MDN Plus alongside the update, offering users the ability to build article collections and have access to MDN offline. 

After polling users, they found that many people wanted notifications, article collections, and an offline experience on MDN as well as new ways to organize MDN's vast library. MDN Plus will cost $5 a month. 

Mozilla laid off many of its MDN Web Docs staff in 2020, prompting a coalition of tech companies in 2021 to launch a new initiative to help write documentation for Web APIs, JavaScript, and other web tooling and platforms. The new project is not a replacement for MDN Web Docs, Mozilla says. The project's role is to fund, coordinate, and contribute to MDN Docs going forward.

Mozilla thanked their partners from the Open Web Docs for providing feedback on the redesign and making daily contributions to MDN content. 

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