Calling all Test Pilots and pilots-to-be!

We are excited to announce that the first test will take off soon!

We need you to join the flight!

About the test: Tab Open/Close Study

One-second Summary:
This study aims to understand user behaviors after they open or close a tab.

Tabbed browsing is now the standard interface offered by all major web browsers, and itโ€˜s been argued that the browsing experience becomes difficult to manage when more than a handful of tabs are opened.

For this study, together with other co-pilots, you will contribute to the design of a key feature of Firefox – tabs. You will help us determine the best default behavior when you open or close a tab, especially when you may already have many tabs open. When you interact with tabs, Test Pilot will automatically record what you do (open/close/switch etc) and when you do it (time-stamp). (It will not record which websites you visit.) Through these log data, we may be able to detect certain patterns that help us design the default browser behavior that works best for most users.

One thing to note is that Firefox tab behaviors may be dramatically changed by different tab-related add-ons. In order to distinguish test data from browsers with such add-ons and browsers without them, the data that is uploaded will include information about add-ons that are installed.

If you are interested in knowing more about this test, please take a look at test details.

How to participate

This very first test will start as soon as you upgrade the Test Pilot add-on and it will run for seven days.

Since this study aims to understand users’ behaviors on current tab design through log data, you are not required to do any extra work besides using the Internet as you always do. No survey or additional software is required for this test.

When the test ends, all pilots for this test will be asked if you want to submit your test data or not. The test data will be expired and removed from your computer one week after the test ends if you don’t respond to the submission.

Also, aligned with the Test Pilot guiding principles and privacy policy, all pilots for this test will be able to:

* Know what this test is about and what type of test data would be collected before it starts.
* Review all the test data during the test and before you submit.
* Opt out from the test at any time.

All test data will only be stored in anonymous form. None of it will be directly associated with any personally identifiable information about you. The data will automatically be removed from your computer after the test ends or after you quit the test.

If you are interested in helping us improve the participation process while trying out the first study, please join us in the Test Pilot discussion group.

Get Involved

This test is still the very first experiment, “a demo test” before running more future Test Pilot tests. We are planning on constantly improving it for the next iterations. We need your feedback, especially on the participation process and metrics design for the test. Please join the team and get involved in any of the following ways:

* Install and play with the Test Pilot add-on .
* Report a bug.
* Help improve the user experience of participating in tests through the Test Pilot discussion group.
* Help design test metrics or analyze data in the Test Pilot discussion group.
* Add your ideas for usability tests to the test proposals page on the Labs wiki .

10 responses

  1. Constantine wrote on :

    testpilot UI:
    in right bottom corner tp icon shows “no tests yet”
    after reinstall plugin it has begin to show “tab test” or smth looks like
    next day, after reboot, there are nothing again
    ff 3.5.3, tp 0.2.1

  2. Ken Saunders wrote on :

    I guess that it is a given that a lot of us use Tab Mix Plus. I also have Fox Tab installed but I’m uninstalling it. I just don’t need it. I usually know where the tabs that I open are even if I have 22 tabs open, if not, I rely on tooltips, but you might want to keep Fox Tab in mind considering its popularity.

  3. Jono X wrote on :

    Seems like there’s some confusion — sorry if we didn’t make this clear.

    If you have an add-on, like Tab Mix Plus, that changes tab behavior, that’s fine! We hope you’ll still participate in the Test Pilot study, with whatever extensions you naturally use. Part of the experiment is to see how such add-ons affect the tab usage data.

    You do not need to do anything special in order to let us know that you are using Tab Mix Plus or any similar add-on. Test Pilot can detect this automatically. (It uploads a one-way hash of the extension ID, so if we’re looking for a known add-on, we can identify data that comes from user with that add-on. But other than that, we can’t see the names of the add-ons you have installed.)

    If you want to help us analyze the data, you can help by giving us a couple of names of add-ons that change tab behavior, so that we have an idea of add-ons we should be looking for in the data. You can do it in this comment thread, or on the discussion forum. It’s not connected to the data collection in any way.

  4. Ken Saunders wrote on :

    “It would be great if you can provide the name of your tab-related add-on”

    I hope that this isn’t a dumb question but where do you want us to provide that info? Here?

    If it isn’t too late, perhaps a question stating “(if any) What tab related add-ons do you have installed?” added to the survey before starting it would help you all to isolate and separate user’s data with tab related add-ons installed from others.

  5. jinghua zhang wrote on :

    Hi pilots,
    There is no need to uninstall your tab-related addons for this test. It would be great if you can provide the name of your tab-related add-on so we can see if there is a pattern on behavior changes for particular add-on.


  6. Dan wrote on :

    I meant 0.1.1

  7. Dan wrote on :

    Why doesn’t a “Check for Updates” in the Addon Manager list this update from version 1.1?

  8. noz wrote on :

    Should we uninstall addons like Tabmix Plus for this test?

  9. Karel Koubek wrote on :

    If I use Tab Mix Plus (and thus my browser deviate from the standard tab behavior) will my data still be useful for you?

  10. Ken Saunders wrote on :

    Awesome job on providing all of the pilot’s options (review data before sending it, opting out, etc) and for making it all simple and clear.

    You are certainly carrying on Mozilla’s tradition of transparency and respect for its users/consumers/stalkers privacy. ๐Ÿ™‚