Outreach to end users

Blake Winton bwinton at mozilla.com
Tue Mar 21 15:34:26 UTC 2017

I see a few people making the claim that everyone already has an 
account, and expects Thunderbird to just download their existing email, 
but the user research that Mozilla Messaging did found exactly the 
opposite, which was what lead to the development of the Get An Account 
feature in the first place.  As I remember it, we would have loved to 
add more account types, but none of the providers we contacted were 
interested (with the obvious exception of Gandhi).  I don't think 
changing Thunderbird's initial user flow is necessarily a bad idea, but 
let's not do it under false pretenses.


------ Original Message ------
From: "Onno Ekker" <o.e.ekker at gmail.com>
To: "tb-planning at mozilla.org" <tb-planning at mozilla.org>
Sent: 21/03/2017 8:51:19
Subject: Re: Outreach to end users

>On Tue, Mar 21, 2017 at 12:51 AM, Ben Bucksch <ben.bucksch at beonex.com> 
>>Thank you, everybody, for electing me into the TB council.
>>One thing that we can do better is to reach out to end users. Some 
>>people are already working hard to give end users support. Thank you 
>>for that!
>>We should also try to find new users. Most people I know just use 
>>either webmail or a smartphone app to read mail. They know what an 
>>email client is. Once I installed Thunderbird for some "mom and dad" 
>>type users, they were overjoyed: "I don't have to log in anymore. I 
>>just open Thunderbird on my computer and boom! All my emails are 
>>there!" and "I have my 2 emails accounts both in the same place. No 
>>need to check several websites. That saves so much time". For me, the 
>>3 key reasons are:
>>efficient useprivacyuser empowerment
>>How can we reach new users?
>>I have some ideas, but hopefully, you have more:
>>Introduction tutorials for new users of Thunderbird, e.g.On the 
>>website, as explanations of the advantages of Thunderbird for end 
>>users. Not just the power user features like advanced filtering, but 
>>what Mom and Dad users get from an email client.As videos on YouTube 
>>or WebMA blog, Twitter account, Facebook: Posting new good 
>>developments of Thunderbird. E.g. the vote of the new council, any 
>>requests for contributors when we identified a need etc. Any new 
>>features, releases we did.Organizing "onboarding parties", where 
>>existing local users and community members think of ways to make 
>>Thunderbird and the concept of an email client (in contrast to 
>>webmail) and its advantages known to a new group of users. Each group 
>>could find their own ways of doing that. We'd establish a mailing list 
>>to let these different regional groups can exchange experiences and 
>>ideas and material.
>>How else could we get new Thunderbird users? Do you have any other 
>>ideas?Who would like to get active, in one of the above tasks? It 
>>shouldn't just be a spur of the moment action, but a continuous 
>>nurturing of the communication channels.
>I think one thing that should be improved, is setting up Thunderbird 
>for the first time. As it is now, you immediately get a prompt to get 
>an account for Gandhi, and the option to use an existing mail account 
>is somewhat hidden. Most of the users do have an existing account 
>though, provided by their ISP, so I think configuring Thunderbird for 
>an existing mail account should be the default.
>Also if someone doesn't have an existing mail account or wants to setup 
>a new account anyway, he should be served better than to be given the 
>option to get an account for Gandhi. There are a couple of free mail 
>providers, like Gmail of Hotmail, which have their own merits. A brief 
>explanation of the differences between such a free account, an address 
>with their ISP and a payed account and maybe a guide to help acquire an 
>account for Gmail or Hotmail is the least we could do. This is 
>especially necessary, since people don't always realize what an email 
>client is or does and they don't understand the difference between the 
>program and the mail address.
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