Snooze Tabs Graduation Report

Snooze Tabs is now available at the Firefox Add-ons website for all Firefox users.Test Pilot users will be automatically migrated to this version.

We’re getting ready to graduate the Snooze Tabs experiment, and we wanted to share some of the things we learned.

The Problem Space

Snooze Tabs launched as an experiment in Test Pilot in February 2017 with the goal of making it easier for people to continue tasks in Firefox at a time of their choosing. From previous research conducted by the Firefox User Research team on task continuity and workflows, we started to develop an understanding of the ways people’s workflows can span multiple contexts and the types of behaviors and tools that people use to support context switching and task continuity. We knew, for example, that leaving browser tabs open is one way that people actively hold tasks to which they intend to return later.

With the Snooze Tabs experiment we wanted to learn more about how a tab management feature — specifically one that might reduce the cognitive load of leaving many tabs open — could support task continuity.

How It Worked

When installed, Snooze Tabs added a button to the browser toolbar. This button triggered a panel displaying different time increments at which the current tab could be snoozed, including an option to pick a custom date and time.

The Snooze Tabs panel showing the different snooze options

People could then select a time and confirm their selection. At the selected time, the snoozed tab would reappear and people could then switch, or give focus to, their “woken” tab or re-snooze it for a time of their choosing.

At the selected time, a snoozed tab would wake, or reopen.

The Snooze Tabs UI also allowed people to view all of their pending snoozes and delete any snoozes they no longer wanted.

What We Learned

Over the last year, we saw just over 58,000 people using Snooze Tabs over some 400,000 sessions. The number of both new and returning users stayed relatively constant over the life of the experiment.

Total new and returning Snooze Tabs users

People using Snooze Tabs used all of the available options to create snoozes. “Tomorrow,” “Pick a Date/Time,” and “Later Today” were the most selected time options, and “Next Open” was the least selected option. The popularity of the “Tomorrow” option suggests that people tend to anticipate continuing with tasks in the browser in the short term — in the next 24 hours — rather than anticipating what they will do in the next few weeks. The relatively few number of people who selected “Next Open” may suggest that people using the experiment did not understand that option, that they do not anticipate closing the browser, could not anticipate when they would re-open the browser, or that “next open” is too soon to continue their task.

Cumulative snooze times

The data on resnoozes showed the same near-future options being most popular and greater time increments being less popular.

Cumulative re-snoozes

Additionally, more than half of tabs that were snoozed were resnoozed when woken. This data suggests that people may have a hard time accurately predicting when they will be able to return to a task. While we don’t know people’s complete workflows or whether tasks were completed, we saw that most woken tabs were given focus, which suggests that the feature may have at least helped people remember tasks they intended to continue at a later time. Finally, very few people edited or cancelled their snoozes, which might suggest a threshold of active management that people are willing to do in the name of task continuity.

Next Steps

Snooze Tabs will now be available for all users of Firefox from the Firefox Add-ons Website for all users of Firefox. Test Pilot users will be automatically migrated to this new version. This version has the same functionality as in Test Pilot, but we’ve closed a number of bugs, improved the user interface, and made the experience more accessible.

If you’re interested in contributing to the future of Snooze Tabs, check out the Github repository and/or the Discourse forum and let us know. Thank you to everyone who used Snooze Tabs, and we hope you’ll continue trying out Test Pilot experiments.