Colombia Firefox OS Field Tests: Exploring The Smartphone

Mary Trombley

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In my previous blog posts, I shared our Colombian Firefox OS study design and outlined the Firefox OS user journey and its first stage, Meeting Expectations. As a refresher, take a look at our journey graphic (created by our awesome research partners at Sylver Consulting).

Firefox OS Journey

Firefox OS Journey

 

Exploration was the second part of the Firefox OS journey for our 24 former feature phone owners. In the Exploration phase, our participants began to have “a-ha!” moments, as previously frustrating or lengthy tasks became easier and new possibilities opened up. For example: use of email on the phone might mark the Meeting Expectations phase, but closing a business deal on the go using email marks the Exploration phase.

Our participants’ mental model shifted from the Internet as a fixed thing (a box on a table) to something more fluid and valuable. For example: .

  • Sharing an internet connection with a cousin at an airport
  • Doing business on the fly
  • Not having to return home for urgent matters or an information request.

My favorite quote from this phase comes from our participant Pilar: “Compared to my old phone, it’s from heaven to earth!”

Picture of Firefox OS phone

Picture of Firefox OS phone

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that they had experienced the value of mobile Internet for themselves, our participants were even more frustrated if basic functionality didn’t work. We gathered much detailed feedback on the phone from participants in this phase, especially around the keyboard and connectivity.

How can we help users in the Exploration phase?

  • The essentials become even more important than in the Meeting Expectations phase. Great keyboard, connectivity, and other basics are key to facilitating exploration.
  • Focus on localization, particularly around apps. There are barriers to exploration and use if participants do not feel the phone or apps are “for me.”
  • Chat apps like WhatsApp, Line, and Viber increase in importance, as users desire more inexpensive communication with social and business contacts.
  • Can we increase exploration in our Mozilla Marketplace through UX design or gamification? Firefox OS may be the first time users have had contact with an app store, and they may need some friendly guidance to understand why apps are important and how they can be located and downloaded. We can increase the value of the phone in users’ lives if we can help them explore all the new, free apps available to them.
  • Participants were intrigued by the search capabilities of Everything.me. We should explore ways of integrating it as a dynamic search tool.

My next blog posts will focus on the final phase of the Firefox OS user journey, Intuitive Integration.

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