The Mojave Experiment


I'm back from my vacation in China now. In addition to watch Olympics with my family and friends, I did quite a few things I haven't done before like climbing water falls with metal chain, ride on the those bamboo rafts that I saw so many times in Chinese Kungfu shows, flying on top of forest though cable cars. I hope you had some time to relax and recharge in the summer as well.

 Guilin Trip 104 by you. Guilin Trip 066 by you. Guilin Trip 082 by you.

During the month I was gone, there are several things cumulated that I'd like to talk about. One of them is the Mojave Experiment. It's an experiment we conducted to see what do people think of Windows Vista when they don't know it's Windows Vista. We told the experiment participants that they were looking at the next version of Windows operating system, codenamed "Mojave." There are 140 participants. We demoed the new features of Mojave to the them. These are the people who never used Windows Vista, and we let them decide how much they like the "new" OS. Some interesting stats came out the experiment:

  • 94% of the respondents rated Mojave higher than they rated Windows Vista before the demo although they never used Windows Vista before.
  • The average pre-demo score for Windows Vista is 4.4
  • The average post-demo score for Mojave is 8.5
  • 19% of the participants rated Mojave an overall satisfaction score of 10

You can learn more and watch many interview videos on the site. I actually thought about doing this experiment myself earlier this year when I heard my friends talking about how much they dislike Vista when they never used it. They always say that "I heard Vista is blah, blah..." They were treating their perceived opinions as the reality. Why not give it a try and truthfully decide yourself? I tried and find something I like about Visa (e.g. Start-> Search) and something I don't like (e.g. annoying security check windows). This experiment was a clever way to find out how much people may actually like it. Some experts in the blog sphere pointed out the weakness of the experiment was that the demos were shown by experts, so if it were let alone for people to use the OS for a longer period of time by themselves, they may not have such high satisfaction toward Mojave.  This is a good point, and I know the Windows UX research team has done many and is continuing doing longitudinal studies on how people are using Vista.

I think the negative opinions is partially due to that we didn't do a good job in communicating to the public why you should excited about Vista. How can vista help you improve your experience when using your computer: be more organized, be more productive, and have more fun. When we sit down with participants in Mojave experiment and "show" them the new features, they get it. So, how can we scale this and let the public at large get it or at least give it a try and decide themselves? Mojave is just a start. 

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