Getting Help when Using Firefox – Part II



In part I of this two-part series (found here), I discussed the first level of my analysis of our support site. Next, we asked ourselves two questions –

  • Which search terms lead to which articles?
  • Are visitors ultimately satisfied with the articles they choose to view?

Let’s take a look at the data:


Highlighted in green and red are paths our support site seems to do particularly well and poorly with, respectively. A positive take-away from just glancing over the data is that in four cases (under searches private browsing, clear cache, cache, and export bookmarks) we  have top articles performing really well to visitors’ standards.

Focusing on some of our poorer marks, we see the cookies, enable cookies, bookmarks, and clear history searches are not directing users to the content they want. With help from David Tenser, we were able to come up with some reasoning behind these numbers.

Starting with the clear history search to the “Clear Recent History” article, there seems to be a solid explanation for the poor grade. A continuing problem we have had (documented concretely here) with the Awesome Bar is that users do not realize their bookmarks show up while typing in an address. When this is the case, users that believe they are clearing their history will still see any undesirable bookmarks in the Awesome Bar and hence think the “Clear Recent History” article has not helped their problem. Users need to change the content their Awesome Bar remembers in the Privacy section of Firefox preferences to accomplish this task.

Visitors hitting the “Lost Bookmarks” page from the  bookmarks keyword have given the article a low approval rating. An issue with the “Lost Bookmarks” page is that it does not link to an article explaining how to import bookmarks. Users who have upgraded their browser or have just come from another browser may not know how to import their bookmarks, and they navigate to “Lost Bookmarks” in order to find a solution.

We are looking deeper into users’ experiences with two other articles highlighted above in red — “Websites say cookies are blocked” and “Cannot log into websites” — to see if any content is missing and needs to be added. The problems are straightforward enough — visitors making their way to these pages are probably not clicking on them by accident or confused about their problem. The SUMO team is currently implementing changes across the site to increase user satisfaction in areas like those discussed above. This should provide for a much smoother help site experience across the board for our users.

4 responses

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  1. Dan wrote on :

    It’s possible at least some of the low marks for the log in/cookies issue are because of malfunctioning websites and not a fault in the user’s browser itself.

  2. Michael Lefevre wrote on ::

    Maybe it’s in the plan, but looks to me as if the most likely solutions to “websites say cookies are blocked” are actually in the “cannot log into websites” article, but nearly everyone is choosing the “websites say…” article.

    The first article does have a link at the end, but that’s not an ideal way of getting there.

    (I’m guessing that the number of people using firewalls or privacy/script blocking addons is larger than the number that have set detailed exceptions in Firefox’s cookie prefs.

  3. Mark wrote on :

    Remember folks, using red and green to highlight differences really backfires on those of us who can’t see the difference due to colour-blindness.

  4. ehergenrader wrote on :


    RED: cookies->”Cannot log in to websites”, enable cookies->”Websites say cookies are blocked”, bookmarks->”Lost bookmarks”, clear history->”Clear recent history”

    GREEN: cookies->”Disabling third party cookies”, private browsing->”Private browsing”, private browsing->”Clear recent history”, clear cache->”How to clear the cache”, clear history->”How to clear the cache”, cache->”How to clear the cache”, export bookmarks->”Exporting bookmarks to an html file”

    thanks for the reminder! definitely an oversight on my part

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