Firefox Lite (Firefox Rocket) — A tailor-made browser for Indonesia

Indonesia has the third largest number of Internet users in Asia with high mobile usage and has a very strong and active Mozilla community. I am going to share with you what we observed from this impressive country and how we strive to tailor-make our browser for Indonesians.

Design elements

When roaming the streets of Jakarta, we as designers often ask ourselves what sticks out or represents the culture the most as references for later design. The photos taken below are from our research trip to Jakarta, it shows that many Indonesian people wear colorful clothing with decorative patterns! This inspired us to do more research to understand Indonesian traditional dressing. “Batik is a traditional craft, Indonesians wear batik as a prized fashion apparel for either formal or casual occasions, not only dignified but also beautiful and versatile.”

This is an important reference and leads us to add “patterns” into our design. How do Indonesians feel about different colors? This is the question that we would like to know the answer, so we conducted an online survey to learn more about their preference of wallpapers and found an interesting finding,

“For colors, blue feels fast, light purple feels informative, green feels lively and orange feels funny”

As a result of this online survey we chose blue to fit the “Fast” image of Firefox Lite, decorated by a flower-like pattern on the wallpaper and this it is what you see now on Firefox Lite’s home screen.

Culture difference

What? Using a piggy bank is not appropriate? At the beginning when we were working on Firefox Lite’s onboarding pages we used a piggy bank image to communicate data saving with users. You may ask why we choose a piggy bank? Referring to eastern culture, people are used to drop some extra coins or a little bit of money in a piggy bank and believe that saving a little every day will avoid poverty in the future.

However, after studying Indonesian culture and demography we found that around 90% of Indonesians identified themselves as Muslim. The religion of Islam however does not allow its people to eat pork so the term Piggy Bank does not have a positive meaning, since pigs eat anything including leftovers.

“Using piggy banks is inappropriate to Indonesians”

This experience shows that it is crucial for a designer to do its research before starting to work on any design.

Full page screenshots

During interviews with users in Jakarta we found Indonesians like to take screenshots of long articles or news. Some of them mentioned inconveniences when using the screenshot feature provided by their device. First, it’s not easy to take screenshot by pressing the two hardware keys at the same time. Secondly, in order to capture the whole articles or news, they need to press on the device’s hardware keys to take a screenshot, swipe up the page a little bit and then repeat the actions many times to capture them all. Thirdly, one interviewee said that one of his device’s hardware keys was broken so he can’t take screenshot anymore.

From collecting these ideas and complaints we designed a simple and easy feature which lets users just click one button to capture an entire website. This is a new feature never seen in the browser before and a key differentiator in the market. As a result, many Indonesians set Firefox Lite now as their default browser.

Single hand experience

As many Indonesians are mobile only; therefore, having a larger screen size smartphone is becoming a trend in Indonesia. We also observed that many Indonesians find it difficult to use their default browser because many buttons and actions are located on the top of the screen, which makes it hard to reach especially if somebody has smaller hands or shorter fingers.

Hence when we designed Firefox Lite’s UI layout, we moved all the action buttons to the bottom area of the screen to be easily accessed and pressed. One of the many impressive feedbacks we received was from Google Play:

“Oh man what a browser. It’s the first browser I have ever seen that can be used by just one hand.”

What’s next?

We thank the users who love us and give us continuous feedback! We will keep enhancing and providing useful features continuously, so stay tuned :)

Staff Product/UX Designer — Firefox Lite project