3GBox installer (2009)

Telefónica wanted to launch its 3G modem / cloud storage flash drive (3GBox) at Mobile World Congress 2010, but research had shown some flaws with the install process. An installation wizard was requested.


USB 3G modems have become a commodity to laptop users, who can access the Internet at ADSL-like speeds from almost everywhere. Telefónica wanted to differentiate its offer by marrying the 3G modem with the other ubiquitous USB gadget, flash drives, and adding its implied synergy, cloud storage.

image of 3GBox dongle and packaging presented at MWC 2010
3GBox aimed at offering the best of 3G modems and flash drives by adding cloud storage to the mix

3GBox allowed people seamless wireless access to almost unlimited cloud storage, using internal flash memory as cache for recently accessed files, while serving as a standard 3G modem at the same time.

User experience had been developed by Telefónica I+D (R&D) Madrid UX’s team. The idea was looking good at pre-launch tests, but a couple of issues were discovered: customers were confused by the plethora of messages that appeared after plugging in the dongle (installing drivers, adding new drives…) and the tray icon, which was an integral part of the product, was usually overlooked.

excerpt from pre-launch tests showing a good understanding of the idea but issues with the messages during the installation process and overlooking the tray icon
Pre-launch tests noticed that although people understood quickly the purpose of the product there were some issues with the install messages and the tray icon, which was important to properly use the dongle (image comes from Powerpoint report)

Madrid’s team contacted Telefónica I+D’s Barcelona UX team for support in solving these issues, and an install wizard that would create a consistent and painless experience was promptly created.

My work

Reviewed UX report, comprising design brief and research, to understand the principles behind the product.

Performed a competitive analysis on the installation process of similar services, looking for strong and weak points that could be extrapolated to our product.

Created multiple sketches of the installation flow. The primary focus was making the installation process feel natural, going from a general explanation of the characteristics of the product (using known metaphors, comparing the 3GBox to a USB flash drive) towards specific advice on the issues detected by research. Minimising the number of steps in the wizard was secondary as long as the flow felt logical and simple.

hand-drawn sketch of installation flow for 3GBox
Several sketches for the installation process were created, setting the number of pages and the information to be explained in each one

We used images and careful copywriting to explain the installation process on the wizard to our customers, using plain language and supporting just one idea at each step.

electronic wireframe created with Omnigraffle for one of the steps in the 3GBox install wizard
Mid-fi annotated wireframes were created (by Isabel Conde) for each step in the install wizard

Omnigraffle was used to create the annotated wireframes for each step.

electronic wireframe created with Omnigraffle for one of the steps in the 3GBox install wizard, this one dealing particularly with the tray icon issue
Particular effort was put into making sure that the issues surfaced by the pre-launch tests were dealt with (wireframe created by Isabel Conde)

What I got

  • Experience with PC applications, working within Windows conventions.
  • Creating a solution that attacks specific issues while supporting the main ideas of the product.

Important achievements

3GBox was presented at Mobile World Congress 2010 and got a lot of attention from press.

screen capture of engadget's spanish edition article on 3GBox
Well known blogs like the spanish edition of Engadget published articles on 3GBox after seeing it at Mobile World Congress 2010