India/User Research

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This survey is open only to Firefox Student Ambassadors who registered for the User Research project. 
(Registrations are closed now)
Before you get started, wait to receive the USB drive, which should be used for collecting data. Rest of the
 USBs will be shipped by 10th June
NOTE: Deadline to submit data has been extended to 20th June

Project Goal


  • Find system configuration of Windows desktop/laptop/tablet computer users.
  • Help Mozilla build a better Firefox and in-turn let hundreds and thousand of users have a better web experience.


Reach out to Windows desktops/laptops/tablets users. 
(If you are reaching to a Mac/Linux/Android system, contact us for more details).
Wait to receive the USB drive, which should be used for collecting data.

Reach out to two types of target groups equally to collect data.

  • 1. Users having Firefox in their Computer
  • 2. Users without Firefox in their Computer

Step 0: Carry Instructions

Step 1: Get Permission

  • Check with your relatives, friends, neighbors, and acquaintances whether they use Firefox browser and note down whether they are users or non-users of Firefox.
  • Inform them that you are doing this study to help Mozilla on a project. This is also your opportunity to convey Mozilla's mission <> and purpose <>. If you have a laptop, you may also show the Mozilla Mission video which is at the first link.
  • Especially for non-users, ask them if they would allow you to study their computers' hardware configuration.
  • Explain about the project to the user and how it will benefit Mozilla to improve Firefox.
  • You must have the users' permission to view/upload their computers' system information
  • We do not need the users' name, email or any other information that personally identifies them

Step 2: Collecting data with permission

  • Format the USB drive before inserting into user's computer.
  • To find system configuration on Windows, use msinfo32 (Step by step instructions:
    • You can download the steps for your offline reference here.
  • In Notepad (or other text editor), open the .txt file exported from msinfo32. Approximately line 30 should be "User Name<tabspace><computer-name>\<personal-name>".
    • For example: Some computers are set up with the person's first and last name. Bob Smith may have set up his computer with computer name HOMEPC and with user name BOBSMITH. You will find this information around line 30 in the msinfo32 text file as "User Name<tabspace>HOMEPC\BOBSMITH".
    • To respect Bob's privacy and because Mozilla does not need to know about Bob, replace all occurrences of BOBSMITH in the msinfo32 file with the text "U-N". Why U-N? It could have been anything. We will use a script to read files and U-N is short and different enough to detect.
    • Save the msinfo32 file with this edit.
  • Copy the edited msinfo32 file to USB drive

Step 3: Ask Questions

Make sure you have some mark/code so that you know which answers belong to which users 
  • 1. This desktop/laptop/tablet computer is a
    • Personal computer at a home
    • Shared computer at a home
    • Computer at work
    • Computer at an internet cafe or library
    • Other (please specify) Please enter an 'other' value for this selection.
  • 2. This desktop/laptop/tablet computer is used to
    • Prepare for scheduled activities (e.g. presentation for school/work, find route to meeting/vacation, etc)
    • Interact with people (e.g. email, IM, voice/video chat, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, etc)
    • Seek products or services (e.g. research or compare products/prices, actual payments, etc)
    • Discover information (e.g. news, magazines, books, articles, reports, journals, etc)
    • Participate in hobbies and interests (e.g. photography, art, collect articles, write essays/novels/blogs..., etc)
    • Entertain (e.g. watch funny video, play games, read gossip pages, listen to music, etc)
    • Manage life (e.g. budget, grocery list, keep track of health - BP/weight/..., stock portfolio, etc)
    • Other (please specify) Please enter an 'other' value for this selection.

Step 4: Uploading data

  • Directly upload each 'msinfo log file' by filling the Survey form at
    • Before uploading the file, rename it to [your-first-name][count-of-files-you-uploaded].txt
    • Example: Suresh.2.txt (here Suresh is the name of the FSA, and number '2' indicates that he is submitting his second data file)
 NOTE: For every new user that you are reaching to, please repeat doing the steps 0 to 4

Tools & Resources

  • Selected FSAs will receive a confirmation email to participate in the project.
  • The confirmation email will have further instructions and a form to request for a USB drive.

Purpose of the USB drives

  • 1. Avoid using the users' Internet connection to upload the msinfo files (they tend to be large ~ 1MB-10MB ), especially in cases where the users' Internet connection cost is based on time spent online or based on amount of data transmitted.
  • 2. Avoid letting users access the survey forms. Only FSAs must access the survey forms. This helps avoid privacy issues, e.g. users might type in other personal information which we do not need. We need only the FSAs' email addresses, not the users' email addresses.
  • 3. USB drives are meant to help FSAs gather the msinfo files without getting stuck in privacy issues, and then upload msinfo files using the survey form to Mozilla.

Precaution to be taken

  • The msinfo files are plain text files. They should contain no viruses.
  • No personally identifiable information must be taken from users.
  • No other files must be copied to the USB drives during this exercise to avoid viruses.
  • If the FSA is carrying a laptop during the exercise of meeting non-users and users,
    • they must format the USB drive after getting each msinfo file(& uploading to the survey form) and before inserting into another user's computer.
  • Ideally, they should also run a virus scanner while copying the file to their laptop.
    • No viruses/malicious code must be spread to users computers.
  • Do no harm users computers. In other words, it must cost the users nothing, before during or after the study. So, no user's money should be spent.

Important Instructions

  • It is important that for every computer with Firefox, you must find one computer without Firefox.
  • If the computer has more than one user, ask for the total number of users
  • Find the oldest to the youngest computers - we don't want only the most recent ones
  • We also want a range of people, from young to old, from experts of technology to novice users, using any form factor of Windows computers from desktop to laptop to tablet
  • We have not set an upper limit - meet as many Firefox non-users as possible, and meet up to an equal number of Firefox users.
  • Don't go into unsafe places or places where you are not confident about to gather the data. Your safety is more important than the data.
  • Do not collect the data in unauthorized ways, always ask permission.

What do you get?

  • Help Mozilla build a better Firefox and in-turn let hundreds and thousand of users have a better web experience.
  • FSAs who successfully complete the task by following above instructions will get opportunity for recognition(more information soon!).
NOTE: It is important that while collecting data, for every computer with Firefox, you must find one computer
without Firefox.

Example: If you collect data from 4 computers with Firefox, you must find another 4
computers without Firefox to collect data. Then only the project is said to be completed.


  • Keep a offline version of this wiki with instructions + steps to collect the specs
  • Carry a printout of the same to cross-check if you are on track with the procedure

Project Deadline

  • The deadline to submit data is 20th June 2014