Gemma Petrie »

Masthead header

My alma mater, The University of Illinois, recently interviewed me about “nontraditional” librarianship. Check out the article on the GSLIS website.

Mozilla Summit

Build. Empower. Teach. Shape. When Mitchell Baker defined the Nature of Mozilla in her keynote at this year’s Mozilla Summit, she highlighted these activities to be our main responsibilities as Mozillians.

The User Research team is dedicated to understanding who our users are and how to build products that will meet their needs. Earlier this year we completed the Firefox User Types study as part of this effort. This research has already been used by internal Mozilla teams to think about different features and design solutions for Firefox, and the Summit gave the User Research team the opportunity to share this work with the entire Mozillia community.  Our session, “Designing for our users, not for ourselves,” was facilitated by Mozilla User Research team members in all three Summit locations: Toronto (Cori Schauer & Gregg Lind), Santa Clara (Bill Selman & Lindsay Kenzig), and Brussels (Gemma Petrie and Dominik Strohmeier). Special thanks to our amazing UR and UX colleagues for their support at each session!

User Type Pins

Getting Mozillians Excited about User Research

The summit was an awesome experience with more than 1,800 Mozillians across three locations. We were excited to share our work during our UR/UX breakout sessions, but with so many concurrent tracks, we knew not everyone would be able to to attend. In order to convey our enthusiasm for our research, spread the word about our sessions, and get the community talking about who our users are, we created and distributed enamel user type pins to all of the Mozillians in attendance.

Read the rest on the Mozilla UX Blog >>

Bangkok Day1 3

In August and September, the Mozilla User Experience Research Team visited Thailand and Indonesia to conduct Firefox qualitative research. The goal of this research project was to understand how people in these markets experience the Internet and to learn about emerging trends that will provide insight into new and current product features. If you would like to learn more about the project planning phase of this study, please read the first post in this series. The fieldwork teams will be dedicating the end of September to the thorough analysis of our findings. In the meantime, we are excited to share five initial observations from our Thailand fieldwork.

The Mozilla research team, along with our partner SonicRim, interviewed 22 participants in 11 sessions over a two week period in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Thailand. We also had the opportunity to explore cultural sights, public transportation, new and second-hand electronics stores, public spaces, Internet cafes, and universities.

Bangkok Day 4 928


The transportation options in Thai cities are seemingly endless – everything from motor bikes and tuk tuks for hire to public boats and trains. In Bangkok, the congestion is also seemingly endless, with an average road speed of less than 10 mph.Perhaps as a result of these long commutes, mobile devices are popular and prevalent on all types of transportation. In fact, Thailand has a mobile phone penetration rate of 120%, which means there are more mobile phones in use than there are people.

Read the rest on the Mozilla UX Blog >>


I’m extremely flattered to be included in Crain’s Tech 50 this year!* I’m proud of Chicago’s tech scene and it is truly exciting to be in such esteemed company. Though, as many people have already noted, it is disappointing that only nine women appear on this list. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of many generous people, and those that have been my strongest mentors and allies have been other professional women. I will continue to do my part to continue to encourage other women to enter the tech field and I look forward to the day when having a “Wise Men” category on this type of list (seriously, wtf?) is no longer even a comprehensible option.

(*I’d like to note that while I wish it was the case, I did not learn to program as a child. I also wish they had mentioned the Chicago UX Book Club and my MLIS degree, not to sound ungrateful :)


Every good UX researcher has the ability to become totally engrossed in even the smallest research project. Yet, one of the amazing things about working for a global, mission-driven organization like Mozilla is the opportunity to take on some truly big research challenges. The Mozilla UX Research team is about to embark on such a project as we begin our Firefox Southeast Asia research in Thailand and Indonesia.

Research Goals

The primary goal of this research project is to understand how people in specific emerging markets experience the Internet and learn about emerging trends that will provide insight into new and current product features. We are particularly interested in learning about the context of Internet use, values related to the Internet, and specific Internet usage.

So, why not just send out a few surveys? Mozilla believes that there are valuable insights that can only be generated by in-context, ethnographic research. We recognize that many of the people involved in creating new technologies live in a fairly limited tech bubble and we truly value learning from a global community of Internet users.

Why Thailand & Indonesia?

One of the more challenging decisions researchers have to make at the beginning of a project is how to appropriately limit the scope of the research question. For this project, we have decided to focus on Thailand, Indonesia, and India. (India is slated for early 2014.) Both Thailand and Indonesia have rapidly growing economies and relatively low internet penetration rates. Interestingly, the Firefox market share in these two countries is dramatically different. Firefox holds 64% of the browser market in Indonesia, yet only accounts for 23% of the market in Thailand. We believe these two countries will provide valuable insight into understanding user needs and improving the Firefox market share.

Read the rest on the Mozilla UX Blog >>