Firefox Lite

A growth project that redesigned the onboarding experience and top site customization based on the qual. & quant. research results.

Project Background

The Latest Major Release Results in a Lower Day-1 Retention Rate and a Number of Complaints on Google Play.

Firefox Lite is a lightweight version of the Firefox browser. It's tailor-made for emerging market users (mainly in India and Indonesia) who have storage or internet data constraints on their mobile devices. 

At the end of 2019, the team released Firefox Lite 2.0 with new features on Home, including affiliated top sites, Shopping, Game, News and Travel, to expand the business opportunities by transforming Firefox Lite from a pure browser to a super app.

Unfortunately, users were not satisfied with the new features. The Day-1 retention rate was lower, along with a number of complaints on the Play Store about seeing ads in the browser and inflexible customization.

The team put all the new features on Firefox Lite Home, but the feedback on the Play Store shows how it can be irrelevant and unsatisfactory for some users.

3 Project Goals

The churn rate was high in Day-1, so we decided to redesign the onboarding experience. Our product manager set 3 goals to the project:




User Satisfaction



The assumptions

It’s a short design project that took one sprint for the kick-off planning and one sprint for UX/UI design.

Therefore, I made assumptions based on the previous user research findings from Firefox Lite and Firefox desktop, then going forward to design phase.


A delightful onboarding experience can help retain new users.


New users who customized their Home will be continuously using Firefox Lite.


Making the top site presets relevant and customizable can reduce the chances of losing users.

design challenge

HMW Engage New Users with Delightful Onboarding Experience and Guide Them to Customize Browsers with Ease?

The Team

The team consisted of 5 members participating
in the product development process.

1 product Manager
1 Product designer
1 Visual Designer
2 researchers

My role

What I Did as a Product Designer

Framed research questions and delivered a user survey to validate the assumptions we made for top sites.

Designed wireframes, copy writing, and checked feasibility with engineers to make sure the design could be delivered in 2 sprints.


User flow #1

Research Findings #1

Users Never Read Onboarding Messages.

Most of users tended to skip onboarding messages. Before I joined the team, Firefox Lite released 2 versions of onboarding design, but none of them met the team's expectation.

There was a user research tried to understand "why". From the interviews we learned that users wanted to directly use the features instead of reading through messages.

I don’t need instructions. I can explore and learn it by myself.
— Participant A

Original | Version 1.0

Lots of users tended to tap on "SKIP", and some users dropped before entering Firefox Lite Home.

Original | Version 2.0

User just quickly dismissed the prompts and never followed the guides.

Research Findings #2

Wallpapers were Buried, and Users Complained about the Brightness of Night Mode.

Originally, it required gestures to change wallpapers and night mode settings. Since it's hidden on the screen, the team added some onboarding dialogs to introduce them. Unfortunately, the usage rate were very low because users never read messages.

Especially for the night mode, which bundled the lower brightness and dark theme. We constantly received a huge number of complaints on Google play because users didn’t know how to adjust the brightness for night mode

It was a huge pain for emerging market users because the environment was very dark at night.

Original | Wallpaper Onboarding

Double click wasn't intuitive and the onboarding message was ignored by users.

Original | Night Mode Onboarding

There were a huge number of complaints on Google play because users didn’t know how to adjust the brightness. 

Research Findings #3

Theme and Default Browser Settings can Help Improve Retention

1. Themes were promising to Firefox desktop users. Participants were wow-ed by the dark theme.

2. The behavioral data from the Firefox Lite users showed that users who set as default had a higher rate on retention. However, we had to find a good timing to ask.

Redesign Goal

Create A-ha moments in the User Journey

The new user journey map

UX design

User Flow with Wireframes

The new user onboarding flow

Product UI

No Clicks Required. Show Product Values in an Animation.

From the previous research, we learned that telling product values in text didn’t work. So we tried an animation approach in the new design.

We wanted to help users set right expectations that were aligned with Mozilla’s mission, so they could feel safe and private when browsing.

Redesign | Product Value Animation

The progress bar wasn’t real.
It was to demonstrate that Firefox Lite was preparing all the great features for them to optimize their browsing experience.

Hidden Wallpapers and Dark Theme are Provided Upfront.

For guiding users to choose a theme, I collected the hidden wallpapers and the dark theme from the night mode in one panel.

The panel was built as a component, so we could leverage that in the menu to allow users to have a further change.

Redesign | Theme Panel

The theme panel was built as a reusable UI component which collected wallpapers and dark theme.

Ask to Set as Default While Users are Highly Engaged.

We believed that users would be fascinated by the theme settings and felt very engaged to the browser, so it should be the best timing for asking users to set Firefox Lite as default. 

Redesign | Set as Default

The prompt congratulated the users and asked them to set Firefox Lite as their default browser.

Top Site

User flow #2

Research Finding

Unsatisfied Users Viewed Top Sites as Ads and Irrelevant.

In the beginning, we didn’t understand the complaints about ads because there was no ads in Firefox Lite.

Therefore, I designed a survey tried to investigate:

1. Why do users complain about ads in Firefox Lite?
2. Do users view top sites as ads? Any specific category of websites (e.g. shopping sites) looks like ads to our users?

UX design

Add Customization Features to the User Flow

Customizing top sites must be quick and simple, because too many may deter users from exploring the browser.

I separated the editing tasks into 2 steps: quick setup & detailed setup.

Product UI

Provide Preset Top Sites for 4 Personas

I put options on the welcome page to understand how would the users use the browser. 

For example, user who choose “Find Good Deals” will see top sites like Amazon, Ebay, and Shopee on their Firefox Lite Home.

Redesign | Welcome Page

The options led to presets that made the top sites more relevant to our new users.

If Users Don't Like the Presets, They Can Customize Their Own.

There was a website list from which users could add their new top sites.

We didn’t provide the full flexibility of adding any sites on the internet because the user need wasn’t clear enough at the time (from the telemetry data, we only saw a small amount of users pinned and removed top sites).

Therefore, we decided to provide the list as a MVP, which included our affiliate partner sites.

Redesign | Add Top Sites

The website list was localized and included trending websites & our affiliate partner sites.


Outcome & Iteration

The Outcome

Small Changes,
Big Impact.

Because of the limitation of the time and resources, we didn’t add big features, but made small changes by leveraging the existing features. 

The redesign has improved a lot on satisfaction:
1. The previous complaints about night mode has magically reduced. Users were very satisfied with the dark theme, which is an existing feature on Firefox Lite.

2. We barely saw complaints about ads. Instead, there were some reviews asked for more flexibility to add top sites. It proven that editing top sites is a valid user need.

It’s amazing! I really like the theme selection especially the dark theme. Very useful.
— Comment from a user survey
Why can’t I add bookmarks on home page?
— Review on Google Play

The Rate of Setting Firefox Lite as Default has Doubled Up.

The diagram is the conversion rate of users who set Firefox Lite as default. The blue line is the new redesign version (v2.5).

The Day 1 Retention Rate Stayed Unchanged. 

When we looked into the telemetry data, we got 2 findings:
1. There was a 5% drop rate in the first welcome page.
2. Users who didn’t choose the default option “Browse the Web” were more likely to retain.

Iteration proposal

Reduce the Drop Rate and Encourage Users to Select Other Options.

The Original Design

From an internal user testing we noticed that participants tended to tap on the button "Browse the Web" instead of the small-blue check button.

Iteration Proposal

The proposal was to replace the check button by a button with a clear label "NEXT", and deselect the default option.

Unfortunately, the project was suspended in the later stage. We couldn't know if the iteration works as what the team expected, but I believe it'll be the right direction to improve the conversion.