Adopting a new look & feel in Firefox Australis
This new version of Firefox looks drastically different than the prior release, so a more hands-on onboarding experience was needed. We involved our community in user testing, but wanted to be sure that the rest of our users were also prepared for the new look and feel. We found that response to change was more positive when giving users a heads up in a tour like this that they see when opening the browser after an update. An update to the browser this drastic doesn't happen every day, nor should an invasive (though optional) tour. Updates to the browser have since been smaller, so we've since minimized the onboarding experience.
Process, prototyping, and forming an alliance
Since the idea I had in mind for this experience would require an API to be integrated into Firefox (not a simple request), this project started with prototyping in my spare time while starting to form alliances across product and engineering teams.
Low-fi concept testing was conducted first to know if this experience would perform better than a stand-alone web page. To further validate, we needed to build an API and start building the technology into the browser. Demonstrating the value and opportunities to stakeholders was key since creating an experience that requires the web and browser chrome to talk to each other also requires cross-team communication among very distributed teams.
Video of the new Australis Onboarding Experience - You can see how the web and browser respond to each others actions and state changes. The API created for this project is a gift that keeps giving, now the go-to technology used to introduce users to new features and get browser support.
From onboarding to feature awareness and adoption
Some features, when introduced in an onboarding flow, can result in more daily usage of Firefox. We've found that signing up for an account, supported by awareness of Firefox on mobile, has this affect. How we present this information in the UI also impacts the result. What you see above is the impact of iterating from first introducing the Account sign-up message and CTA w/ a clear Sign-up button to improving with an embedded sign-up form. With each iteration we measured improvements in awareness, engagement, and sustained browser usage over time.
Feature-focused onboarding and growth-focused testing
As our goals shift at Mozilla and new features are introduced, we've continually tested and implemented new onboarding experiences (as seen in one of the test plans I've mocked up above). Sometimes we need to focus on one key action and success metric at a time, like signing up for a Firefox account or creating awareness of the new Firefox for iOS.