Like the old commercial says, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. With that in mind, David Rolnitzky and I have been working to improve the Firefox first run page with the aim of increasing the post-download user retention rate.
The previous version of the page was light on concrete ‘getting started’ information, so in the new page (which went live a few days ago) we wanted to provide a few quick tips on how to use some popular Firefox features. Our assumption was that if we can educate people on these features early on in their Firefox experience, they’ll be more likely to come back next time.
The big challenge was to provide this info in an easily scannable and non-invasive way so as not to delay people from actually using their new browser. To do this, we’re exposing just one tip at a time – the rest are discoverable through a series of pretty nifty DHTML transitions. We also focused on only four very easily understandable features and tried to keep the copy as short as possible.
This is obviously a crucial page in the Firefox new user experience, so we’re considering this the first in a series of tests. Right now it’s only available in the en-US version, but once we have a better idea of what works we’ll begin the process of localizing it for Firefox users around the world.
A screenshot of one of the panels is below, but I highly recommend viewing the actual live version of the page to get the full effect.
Thanks to Paul Kim, Mike Beltzner, Chris Beard and Jay Patel for their feedback and advice on this page. Big thanks to Alicia Patterson for her design work and Steven Garrity for his DHTML wizardry.