Refining Our Hypothesis - Apr 25 2016

Last week the UX+Product teams met in Portland to refine the hypothesis of each train. The group’s goal was for each train to target a specific audience with a specific hypothesis that the team would work toward proving/disproving in the next 2 months.

Working with other product managers, we developed this hypothesis for the SmartHome project.

Our new hypothesis is based on our recent user research study:

  • We observed a need/desire for passive, background communication, e.g., two people connecting via Skype while they were doing something else like homework. This theme resonated with the whole SmartHome team as something we’d like to work on.
  • We chose to target 12-15 year old girls because this audience showed the most need/desire for this type of communication. But our team also can see how a solution for this audience might serve a broader audience as well.

We’re currently developing a Research Plan to test this new hypothesis.

Other updates are on our wiki.

I’m excited about this direction. This is a need we saw again and again,
and seems like something we can really bite off and chew on. Its a very
testable hypothesis and looks like we could shape something that fits well
with the principal’s and guidelines we’ve been accumulating. We’ve ordered
some “internet buttons” from Particle with a mind to pressing these into
service for the research. Vive the web.


Interesting product idea! Indeed, nicely specific, confined, and feasible. But (playing devil’s advocate, but serious question), why not just use skype for this? It runs on various devices which you, and maybe more importantly, your friends too, already own?

Also, if Mozilla brings a “continuously-on-in-the-background walky-talky” product like this to market, please make sure not to surprise/fool the privacy-aware user by white-labeling a black-box cloud API.

IMHO using Tokbox in Firefox Hello was a fundamental breach of our manifesto, not to be repeated. Instead, please use only self-hostable open source software on the Mozilla-hosted server-side.

Using a closed-source prototype for alpha testing is of course fine, as long as we make clear that the final product, once we build it ourselves, will instead be open-source and self-hostable.

My 2ct. :slight_smile:

This is a bit of a non-sequitor. We have discussed a continuously-on 1:1 video thing that you could indeed use Skype (or Hello) for, but that is not this. That idea is sitting on the back-burner for now.
To explore the updated hypothesis, we are starting another round of research in which we hope to give these kids a simple device with one button and some LEDs. They’ll be configured and distributed as paired set. They’ll be able to send simple “messages” to the other by clicking the button causing the LEDs to blink/flicker/animate. Its unlikely to become an actual product you could build or buy in this form, but its a simple thing we can create and we think we’ll be able to learn a lot from this.