From click to download to engagement

This is a follow-up to the post on revisiting engagement and retention which provides an overview of the following puzzle: what happens to people who click to download Firefox but never become active users?

To start the investigation, let's look at the user experience from click to download to engagement.

Suppose you are currently using another browser, and have decided to switch to Firefox. You already know about Firefox and where to get it.

The first thing you need to do is download Firefox. You visit mozilla.com click on the green download button, complete the download and the install, and launch Firefox. From then on, you look for the Firefox icon and click on it whenever you wish to browse the web. You even install cool add-ons to customize the look and functionality of Firefox. You are so thrilled you recommend Firefox to your friends, family, and colleagues!

Now, wasn't that easy? It did sound quite simple, but only because each one of those steps went very smoothly. However, our data shows that this is not necessarily always the nice experience people go through.

Here are some hypotheses of where things might go wrong along the way, focusing on IE users on Windows XP. We'd love your feedback on whether or not you've seen this happen, whether it's likely or not. You'll see at each step if we are currently able to quantify the success rate.

  1. You visit Mozilla.com and find the download button.
  2. You click on the download button, you see the download box (no data on this), and you are redirected to the download.html page (98% success rate). or:
    • the download does not start and you don't see the text "Your download should automatically begin in a few seconds, but if not, click here." on the download page
  3. The download completes successfully (no data). or:
    • the download is interrupted because of a problem with your internet connection
    • you stop the download because it takes too long
  4. You find and successfully run the installer (no data). or:
    • you can't find the installer
    • you have an issue during the install process and aren't sure where to turn for help
    • you don't run the installer right away, because the download took too much time and you started doing something else and forgot about it. You may or may not run it later.
  5. You launch Firefox for the 1st time (57% success rate for download + install + first run ) or:
    • you unchecked the "Launch Firefox now" checkbox in the Setup Wizard and can't find Firefox anymore
  6. From now on, the next time you wish to browse the web, you remember you have Firefox, find it on your desktop and launch it (49% after 30 days). or:
    • you didn't set Firefox as your default browser and can't find it anymore
    • you started using Firefox but stopped (site incompatibility? missing plugins? didn't import your bookmarks & settings during the install and aren't sure how to transfer them?)
    • you forgot about Firefox after you installed it...

What do you think? Has any of this happened to you or someone you know? Are there other steps/scenarios you can think of?

More importantly, if half of the people who start a download don't become active users, what do you think we can and should do about it?