Improving the Firefox Download Experience for Users in Asia

Continuing our examination of the user’s experience at the moment they click the Firefox download button, we now turn to an analysis by region (previous OS breakdown, browser breakdown).  How does the experience of a user in the U.S. compare with the experience of a user in India? or Malaysia? or Lithuania? or Mexico?

Let’s first look at the overall geo breakdown of those who clicked the Firefox download button on January 13th (at the home page or main Firefox product page).

Even though U.S. users represent about 28% of the Firefox user base, that 62% slice of the pie seems intuitive due to our numerous localized Mozilla sites.  A few countries did surprise me… if you asked me beforehand, I probably would not have guessed that Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Romania, and the Philippines would have appeared in the top 12 (out of 100+ regions worldwide).

Next, let’s investigate the experience of each segment above.  Of those clicking the Firefox download button, how many actually receive the full and complete data (installer file) and how many do not?  Due to some small regional sample sizes (of those visiting to initiate download), we decided to look at this breakdown by continent (you’ll also notice that South American and Africa were left off due to their sample sizes).

The significant red areas above for both Asia and Australia are concerning.  If a user clicks the Firefox download button, we should expect him/her to receive the installer.  The 15% to 20% unsuccessful rates for Europe and North America can be understood, as there will always be some issues in the process of downloading a piece of software (e.g., inadvertent clicks, internet connectivity issues, etc.).  We also need to give more thought to the internet experiences of users in regions such as Asia and to the broader software/download landscape in such regions to see if there are outside factors that could be at play here.

There’s much for us as a community to consider here.  Our hope is that this discussion will spur a more in-depth discussion about the experience of new Firefox users in particular regions and what improvements/changes could be undertaken.

7 responses

  1. Donnie Berkholz wrote on :

    I’m curious what you mean by small sample size. Do you mean the differences are statistically unsupported, or do you just take the easy route and pick an arbitrary cutoff?

  2. Gen Kanai wrote on :

    This is great stuff Ken.

    One of the challenges in some parts of Asia is bandwidth itself. Some countries (Korea, Japan) have an abundance, and others (Indonsesia, for example) are significantly constrained. One of the ways we can better serve Firefox to users is to provide downloads more locally. Currently bouncer is random and sends a request from Asia to Europe, etc. There are plans in place to optimize this so it should get better.

    Also, the list you have generated loosely correlates with the Google Trends data from 2008.

    We see here Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, in Google Trends as we see them in your data.

  3. Axel Hecht wrote on :

    Makes me ponder about a stub installer that can continue downloads, to deal with folks that just stop downloading after 15 minutes of dial up. (Not that I computed the 15 minutes)

  4. Philip Chee wrote on :

    Well the reason for the high failure rate here in Malaysia is not surprising given the really crappy broadband service from the local telco monopoly. Sometimes my allegedly 1megabit broadband connection is actually slower than dial-up. This makes bugzilla, DevMo, etc a pain to use.


  5. NGUYỄN Mạnh Hùng wrote on :

    I’m a bit suprised too. If we have localized content on, I’m sure that Vietnamese users will be more willing to stay and try to finish the downloads 🙂

  6. Nam Nguyen wrote on :

    advanced user likes Firefox because it’s easy to customize as they need.
    basic user need more localized in language and easier to use in normal/default interface

  7. Alan Doherty wrote on :

    as part of my normal accessibility proofing of my own site
    I recently added a “here are some better browsers” page to direct users found to be running http 1.0 {with no host-header} browsers to better alterantives

    unfortunately opera and lynx are the only browsers down loadable by said browser users {tested with IE-2.1}
    as chrome+safari require javascript to download
    but firefox {entire site} just goes into a spiraling set of re-directs when using this client, i suggest something may be improperly engineered for these edge cases on your website, and I
    suggest you should look into the matter if you want to reach those users