Usability/design problem - Users type "google" in intranet search form
10 Jul 2007 - 1:06pm
9 years ago
This comes up regularly, and we don't have a very easy way to find out
how to solve it, or if it needs solving:
The #1 search term on our corporate intranet portal is "google", even
though any user in the company can type "www.google.com" in the
address bar just a few inches above. We're somewhat of an outlier in
that our search form is in the upper left corner, rather than the
right, but it's separated from the address bar by about 1.5 inches of
graphics and a "welcome message".
This seems to be a problem, because we obviously want people to get to
google the first time they try, rather than using our search form to
do it. We have helped these folks by manually
inserting "www.google.com" as the first search result when you enter
it into our form. The result is that even if you type google in our
search form and hit Enter, you can click the first link to get where
you want to go.
Every time this comes up, none of us has any data to prove one way or
another why users do this, because we don't have the resources to
pursue it. We don't get any bug reports about it, and I've never
heard a complaint. On the other hand, it seems like odd behavior.
On a slightly ironic note, if you type google in our search form, hit
enter, then click the first link, you would save 7 clicks/keystrokes
over typing www.google.com in the address bar and hitting enter.
Maybe we've invented a faster way to get there...
Curious to see what you think...
PS, if you're wondering, our intranet search does not combine Internet
data, although I believe it should. That hopefully explains why users
need to go outside the company to look for certain data.