Toward Making User Research More Open – Firefox Test Pilot

… re-published the same day as Toward Making User Research More Open – Firefox User Experience – Medium

On the plus side:

… In this second year of Test Pilot, we’re making a concerted effort to make our work even more public by sharing all of the user research we conduct on our experiments. …

On the down side: the experiment in which I was most active ended prematurely. The unexpected loss of functionality was a very ugly user experience, which probably can not be measured by Test Pilot …



Good point. Fading out features is one of the most tricky parts of long term UX. As we see here, it is already tough when done in an experiment.

Did they have any follow up (survey?) on that?

Tab Center

The apparently premature end of the experiment

Not that I’m aware.

tl;dr I guess that Firefox Sync excludes Firefox Test Pilot and so, a refresh of Firefox caused all Test Pilot extensions to not reappear. Not refreshing!

In retrospect, I might have regained functionality by copying the relevant file – I guess, ~/Desktop/Old Firefox Data/…/extensions/

… instead, I took the opportunity to seek an alternative. I chose one that’s compatible with my extensions, not compatible with WebExtensions.

The experiment shows that it ended a month ago (2017-07-12) and “… working on a full report. …”.

More generally (defocusing from Tab Center): Firefox Test Pilot chat is publicly logged and searchable, for anyone who’s interested.

(I have a similarly searchable Riot/Matrix view of the room, but I haven’t visited recently.)

Recently I’m in, but not finding time for feedback on, two of the current experiments:

– if there’s a good graduation from that experiment, then I’ll probably make Firefox Send one of a number of services that I’ll promote to colleagues.

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FWIW the testpilot programme appears to have closed down permanently some time ago. It’s unclear to me if the software used for it is Open Source or reusable by other projects.