Opera desktop team reveals browser usage findings

6 Jul 2007 - 4:13pm
939 reads
Petteri Hiisilä

These may interest some people.

Originally found from http://www.osnews.com/story.php/18219/Opera-

The article: http://my.opera.com/desktopteam/blog/2007/07/06/reality-

"Back in January we added the ability to report usage of different
features and preferences so we could learn more about how the browser
is used in general. First we invited you, our weekly users to help us
and in 9.2 we started asking one in 100 users if they want to
participate. We would like to share some of our findings with you :D

The first conclusion was a bit surprising: Weekly users are in
general less active users than the average user. What? Well, we
suspect that many weekly users simply have both a weekly and a final
installed, so they don't use as many features or change as many

There was one area where weekly users seemed more active: More of you
have proxy servers set up. What we forgot to check was if the proxy
goes to localhost or not (is it a central proxy or just an adblocker
on your own computer?).

Not all of the data tell us much, but some are clear
enough :sherlock: to draw conclusions:

* Quite a few people have installed widgets, but virtually noone
arrange them in folders.

* A preference we added by popular request, the ability to turn on
Fit to Width by default is used by 0.0%

* The option to "Open windows instead of tabs" (SDI if you like) is
the *least* popular of all the tab options, which tells something
about the popularity of tabs...

* You're not left-handed p: Well... the option to flip the buttons
for mouse gestures is used by only 1% of those who enabled mouse
gestures, which possibly indicates that many left-handed users prefer
a right-handed mouse setup.

* The home page is more popular than we maybe thought, 51% actually
change the home page address.

* The status bar is quite popular, so we consider turning it on by
default again.

* When using the Master password, about half of our users want to be
asked every time needed, the other half once per session. Only one in
5000 users set a fixed interval instead. It sounds like a useful
choice, but in practice the two basic options are enough.

* JavaScript and Plugins are both used by more than 99% by default

* Only 1.8% ask Opera to confirm exit. Since most people only use a
single window, this setting is very close to the warning in Firefox
that you are about to close a window with more than one tab. The low
number might indicate that asking by default (like we used to do and
like Firefox still does) is annoying more people than it helps.

* A lot of people hardly use bookmarks at all (30 bookmarks and
less). A lot of people use bookmarks a lot (300 bookmarks or more).

* Folders are actively used for bookmarks (the average number of
folders is 17), while they are rarely used for contacts."

Petteri Hiisilä
Senior Interaction Designer
iXDesign / +358505050123 /
petteri.hiisila at ixdesign.fi

"Simple is better than complex.
Complex is better than complicated."
- Tim Peters

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