Mozy File Restore

Mozy is a cloud backup service for more than 6 million individuals and over 100,000 businesses, allowing users to back up continuously, manually or through scheduled updates. Users can retrieve their data through a Web-based application, PC and Mac desktop clients, and iPhone and Android apps.

The Situation

The Mozy file retrieval process was difficult and unreliable. Through a customer satisfaction survey, we discovered that:

  • Almost 45% of respondents considered the restore experience unsatisfactory
  • Over 25% of respondents expressed extreme dissatisfaction
  • There was a 7% increase in users who reported being extremely dissatisfied from Jan 2010 to Apr 2010

The Impact:

  • Lost revenue due to service cancellations. Almost 7% of users who had cancelled their subscription did so due to restore issues.*
  • Increased costs due to additional support calls

*Based on 2010 YTD data

“How might we improve the Mozy file restore experience to make it easier for users to access their data?”

Project Goals:

  1. Reduce abandonment rate
  2. Reduce support costs
  3. Increase user satisfaction

The Team:

  1. My role: Lead UX Designer
  2. Product Manager
  3. Dev Lead
  4. Development Team


Support Ticket Analysis

A support ticket analysis was done in 2010 to identify the top reasons customers called for support. They are:

  • Help migrating restored data to new pc (25% of restore tickets)
  • User doesn't know how to do the restores (10% of restore tickets)
  • Not seeing a deleted file in web restore (10% of restore tickets)
  • Note: There was a 5% increase in the number of users who did a restore because they wanted to access files remotely from another computer from Jan to Apr 2010

Scenario Development

Through our research we identified the primary scenarios we needed to address:

  1. To perform a full restore to a new machine. Same Platform. Same OS.
  2. Full restore to a new OS, private key
  3. Secondary drive failure. Five failed files during restore (error messaging)
  4. Perform a pick-and-choose DVD Media Restore. Media encrypted.
  5. Restore to previous file versions
  6. Remote access data retrieval

Design Principles

This solution is a combination of user interface, system performance, and system automation. Following are a few design principles we wanted to emphasize for the project:

  • Simplicity: Users will likely be performing restores during times of distress, such as the loss of a machine or of vital data. In addition, users do not typically conduct restores on a daily, or even weekly basis. As a result, there is a general lack of familiarity with the restore process. We need to create a solution that will reduce as much complexity as possible and walk users though the steps required to restore their data.
  • Continuity: This solution is one of several key interfaces our customers use to backup and restore their data. The user experience should be consistent across each interface. This includes: branding, system behavior, messaging/wording, and overall look. All integration points with other Mozy interfaces/systems should be seamless – from a user perspective this should look and feel like one service, not several.
  • Accuracy: The restore process signifies much of Mozy’s customer value. Returning accurate data and setting accurate expectations is critical to creating the value. This feature should promote trust and confidence in the process: all selected files should be available to restore, any problems should be clearly communicated to the customer, and progress/status should be timely and accurate.
  • Speed: One of the most frequent complaints about uploads and downloads targets slow speeds. The solution should be designed with speed in mind where possible and allow customers to make basic choices on decisions such as restore order and priority.

Process Development

We collaborated to determine the most logical order of steps, which was to start with the bigger questions (which device?) and work down to the more specific (which file version?). We developed a model that reduced the number of steps needed for most scenarios, removing as much friction as possible for the majority of our users.

We brought it all together — the top scenarios, refined and aligned to our new process diagram — and mapped each to our proto personas.

Prototyping (low fidelity)

I built a prototype of the desired experience, using screenshots to show the progression of steps:


I worked with developers to create the UX Design handoff to engineering.


There was a 30% reduction in support tickets related to restores in the first month after deployment compared to the average number of ticket in the previous six months. Not bad.


What I learned:

Showing the value of UX. At the time, no one on the project team had ever worked with a UX designer. There was concern that design would slow down the process. Through collaborative design workshops and scenario development, they realized the value of understanding our users and developing a concept before coding. UX, in fact, had helped reduce development time.

Next Steps:

Optimize the desktop restore app installation. When a user loses a computer or gets a new one, they have lots of software to load, including ours. The number of steps needed to install our app is way too many. We need to evaluate how we might reduce the number of steps and the complexity of the current installation process.