Last week I was able to accompany the Mozilla Audience Insights team in Munich for their Conscious Chooser Behavioural Research.
Throughout the week I participated in:
- Two subject matter expert interviews
- Two 2 hour interviews in people’s homes
- A number of hours debriefing and documenting these conversations together with the team (see picture).
This was the first time I was able to participate in this type of structured user research. I feel honored for having been allowed and able to join that team for a week. Here are some thoughts and impressions. Look out for a target audience tagged blog post for a comprehensive summary of Germany’s research.
The research team will spend a lot of time on a thorough synthesis of the many interviews they conducted. I am going to list some of my personal key takeaways here. These are not representative research result, so please consider it raw, anecdotal evidence.
- The term Internet Health (Internetgesundheit in German) is hard to relate and interpret if you are not a dedicated Mozillian.
- A browser should be fast and simply has to work.
- We observed that people use a different browser for different tasks on the Internet. For example, Chrome for streaming, Safari for everyday use and Firefox for online banking and shopping.
- Mozilla is perceived as a platform which releases trustworthy products. In Germany it could be compared to public broadcasters.
We also heard a lot of great statements. Here are some of them.
“Open source is absolutely relevant. It has gone from niche to widespread adoption. Similar to ‘Agile’ the term has gone beyond software, e.g. it is also observed in design processes. Today, open source is a way for the biggest companies in the world to make more money. This changes the economics of open source.“
“Openness does not necessarily change who has the power. The people with more resources have a bigger voice.“
“The price for convenience [of IoT] is data, and people are accepting this.“
“‘My home is my castle’ and this should remain a safe place. That’s why I am not using Alexa.“
“My phone number is a ‘losing battle’ because somebody else has already uploaded my number to the Google cloud.“
“We don’t need 1984 because it is already reality.“
“The state is like my mum, they have no idea what the Internet is.“
Kaizen (process improvement)
My ROTI (Return On Time Invested) for the week is a clear 5 (out of 5). It was time well spent and I’d love to do it again. The team is awesome and it was amazing to have been part of their journey for this short time.
Here are a few observations on how to make this even better the next time:
- While we obtain a lot of information from these interviews, they are also a chance to provide great answers to our interviewees. It might be helpful to plan for messaging to leave them with. We frequently found ourselves mentioning Project Common Voice.
- These interviews are a great opportunity to expose Mozilla Staff to the people using our products and technologies. An easy way to get involved is by serving as an interview note-taker. This is what I did. It proves to be helpful for the research team and enlightening for the scribe.