A few members of the Mozilla UX team spent the last weekend at MozCamp which was held in Warsaw, Poland at the Fabryka Trzciny. There, we heard talks from Mozilla leadership, led sessions, and most importantly met with other members of the Mozilla community from Europe, the Middle East and Africa. I’m going to skip over much of the programmed content (which was universally excellent) so that I can discuss our work at the conference.
The User Experience Research Team had two goals in attending:
- To introduce ourselves to the larger Mozilla Community and lead an ideation session with my colleague Mary Trombley called Firefox: What Should Be Next?
- Conduct user interviews with developers about how they learn new technologies for use on our own App Marketplace Developer Hub.
Over the course of two blog posts, I want to cover each of these goals and their outcomes.
User Research Presentation and Ideation Session
First off, our session was much more well-attended than we anticipated. The attendees were excited to hear about what the user experience research team does and how our work influences the direction and outcomes of projects. We had a chance to answer some questions which mainly focused on how to integrate our activities more effectively into the community at-large.
The most interesting result from the discussion was the consensus that with the assistance of the Mozilla Community we have the opportunity to broaden the scope geographically and culturally of user experience research. The Mozilla User Research Team is especially interested now how we can partner with Mozilla Community members in conducting more user research in their locales. Some of this may evolve toward the goal of training Mozilla Community members in user research techniques in order to be able to gather richer and more relevant qualitative data. Our team looks forward to hearing from the community members we met with to discuss more about working with them on this endeavor.
For the ideation session, the attendees were given four topics with recent user experience research findings to then come up with ideas for how to tackle those features. The topics were:
- What is the future of the browser?
- Improving the first run of Firefox
Participants divided up into one team for each topic and after spending 20 minutes in discussion, presented their ideas to the other attendees. There were some really exciting ideas that were generated and we are eager to share them with the appropriate product teams who could not be in attendance.
Below are some of the ideas generated by and discussed during the ideation session.
- Create a visaully-oriented sidebar dashboard for bookmarks including the following elements: title, screenshot, favicon, URL or extracted key images.
- Interaction with history to make suggestions for flagged items.
- Auto-expiration of saved items based on time or other user-defined criteria.
- Expose privacy controls early in the user’s experience of Firefox, perhaps during set up or the first run.
- When something breaks due to a privacy setting, explain why in clear language.
What is the future of the browser?
- Flatten the user experience for deeper integration into the operating system.
- Home screen icons could provide deeper more functionality (like windows tiles). For example, there could be a mail tile that tells you when new mail is available.
- The browser could help users find more relevant things more easily such as social tools or events via services such as GPS.
Improving the First Run of Firefox for New Users
- A tailored first run based on the browser from which the user is migrating.
- A lightweight tour.
- Surfacing unused and unexplored features in a lightweight and simple manner.
- Locale-specific suggestions for add-ons and other tools.
Next time, we’ll talk about the user research we conducted with developers on how they learn unfamiliar technologies including programming languages and platforms.