Mozilla asks Firefox users to become 'Test Pilots'

Mozilla has announced the opening of its "Test Pilot" platform, to gather users of all technical abilities to participate and give feedback on new Firefox and Mozilla Lab experiments.

The new initiative will allow Mozilla to collect data in a more structured way, allowing users who aren't so tech-savvy to give feedback. Mozilla are looking for a one per cent representative sample of the Mozilla user base.

Previously, new Mozilla experiment feedback relied on blogs and word-of-mouth, which automatically biased feedback towards tech-savvy early adopters. It was therefore difficult to gauge the opinions of an increasingly mainstream audience.

It also meant that interested people who had taken the time to become testers were effectively thrown away, as Mozilla was starting from scratch with every test.

To become a Test Pilot, a user has to install a Test Pilot add-on to receive notices for upcoming tests.

The platform will ask for your permission to install new features, and at the end of the tests you can choose whether you want to submit the data.

Mozilla said in a statement: "As a Test Pilot, you will not only be able to try out the newest features and user interface ideas before anyone else, but also see and learn how those results may contribute back to the product design."

Mozilla tried to calm any privacy fears, saying that it would only take feedback on product features, rather than feedback on users.

The Test Pilot initially starts with a survey to understand the type of users choosing to help test, with the rollout of tests on specific Firefox and Mozilla Lab experiments expected soon.