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Mozilla releases interactive Firefox heat map illustrating just how often we hit the back button

Proving yet again that Mozilla is a cut above the rest, its Metrics team has just published a fantastic interactive Firefox heat map that illustrates exactly how we interact with the main browser window.

The Mozilla Metrics blog has some background info on the project and some basic analysis of the figures. I'm going to try and dig a bit deeper, however. Let's start with Windows versus Mac OS X (with a soupçon of Linux).
  • Mac and Linux users seem to be more voracious surfers -- with 550 uses of the Location Bar throughout the 5-day test period, Mac and Linux users seem to visit a lot more sites than Windows users (only 395 Location Bar uses). Alternatively, Windows users might just have other things to do -- like playing video games.
  • Windows users seem to really love those scroll bars -- and no, I'm not sure why. Windows (and Linux!) users seem to use the vertical and horizontal scroll bars a lot more than Mac users. This could be due to Macs having larger monitors -- but leave a comment if you have another theory!
  • Everyone uses their Back button a lot -- 95% of all Firefox users clicked the Back button in the 5-day test period, and it's the second most-used button on the entire UI (behind the Location Bar). I thought more people had back buttons on their mouse; obviously not! Backspace on the keyboard works most of the time too...
There are lots of things we don't do with Firefox too! Only 0.9% of users printed something during the test period. Almost no one checks their History, and only 5% use that RSS icon (though I bet most people simply don't know what it does). There's a startlingly low occurrence of copying and pasting -- but that could be because Ctrl-C and Ctrl-P aren't being captured by the test program!

This heat map was produced using Mozilla's Test Pilot program -- and so that you can help with the fine-tuning of Firefox 4.0's interface, go and install the Test Pilot add-on!
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Tags: browser, firefox, heat map, HeatMap, interactive, interface, metric, mozilla, mozilla metrics, MozillaMetrics, use, user experience, UserExperience, ux, web



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