An Improved Experience for New Users of Firefox

Ken Kovash

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Over the past year, we set out to identify and solve any possible pain points that might arise during a person’s experience downloading and installing Firefox (previous posts are here, here, here, here, and here).  Thanks to feedback from users, and some resulting product changes, we can now safely say that there are no issues confronting new users when installing Firefox for the very first time.

How do we know this?

Last week, we re-ran our installer feedback mechanism for a short period of time.  If a user clicked “cancel” while walking through the Firefox installer, they were asked if they wanted to provide feedback.

cancel_step1_blog

After making an initial round of product improvements based on our first time feedback (March ’09), here are the transformed feedback results from our more recent efforts (both July 2009 and last week):

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While we still have plans to tackle the remaining big slice of the pie (see concluding paragraph), we were able to successfully solve the red and green pie slices from last time.  In our latest feedback results (pie on the right), the big pie slice now represents nearly 100% of the total feedback (the previously seen categories virtually evaporated).  One way to interpret this is that we’ve now successfully identified and resolved 3 of the top 4 issues originally encountered by users.

Here were the specific actions we took addressing those red and green slices (details are in bug 508684):

Don’t Want Firefox as Default

People indicating this issue were missing the selection option earlier in the installation process, arrived at the end, and mistakenly believed that we were making Firefox their default without being given a choice.  So, we added the choice to the final step in the installer:

installer_default_choice_blog

Confusion About Updating-Upgrading-Installing

We did a few different things to help address this area of confusion.  First, we added content to mozilla.com and prominently displayed it on the main Firefox product pages seen by existing users:

upgradehtml_blog

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Second, within the Firefox installer, we changed the Install button to say “Upgrade” instead of “Install”:

Installer_Upgrade_button_blog

Thanks to Rob Strong, the Firefox team, the Funnelcake team, John Slater, and Laura Mesa, among others, for implementing the changes highlighted above.

Lastly, there remains one outstanding problem for installers of Firefox – “it tells me to close Fx, but it’s not open” (the big pie slice in the charts above).  This issue affects people who already have Firefox and are attempting to reinstall it, and as we’ve noted previously, this cohort becomes fairly frustrated during the experience.    Some fixes are starting to be contemplated (e.g., bugs 496207, 544356)… and I’ll make sure to talk more here once some progress is made.

3 responses

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  1. Gc wrote on :

    >
    > within the Firefox installer, we changed the Install button to say “Upgrade” instead of “Install”:
    >

    Could you explain the rationale for this? I might think I downloaded the wrong package, that it was only an incomplete upgrade and not a full install, and therefore might cancel out.

  2. Natanael L wrote on ::

    I think that you could add a text together with the Upgrade button saying something like “this is the same as a reinstall, but with a newer version then the one you have installed, and your old profile data will remain intact”.

    That would probably solve issues like the one in Gc’s comment above, “I might think I downloaded the wrong package, that it was only an incomplete upgrade and not a full install, and therefore might cancel out”.

  3. Donnie Berkholz wrote on ::

    The important question is, has the total number & percentage of people with issues gone down, or have the other/zombie issues risen to compensate for your improvements?

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