Google by default

1 Dec 2008 - 12:01pm
5 years ago
13 replies
598 reads
James Box
2008

I'm sure we've all witnessed on how common it is for a user-experience
to begin at Google these days, even when the user has a known
destination/item.

I do it myself. For instance, say I want to look up 'Brighton' on
Wikipedia, I find the most efficient method of getting there to type
'wikipedia brighton' into my browser's in-built google search. This is
all based on the assumption that this will be the first result (it
normally is) and therefore the quickest way for me to achieve my goal.

This is certainly borne-out in the research I'm doing at the moment.
In some cases, this behaviour seems so habitual that users will take
this route, even when it isn't the most efficient method of reaching
their goal.

My question is, does anyone know if there's a term for this kind of
behaviour?

As an aside, it's interesting how advertising is attempting to
capitalise on this. This film poster (http://bit.ly/b1p5) encourages
people to google 'Mother Lay-By' rather than displaying the film's
URL. What's even better is that it doesn't work!

Comments

1 Dec 2008 - 6:15pm
Andy Edmonds
2004

James, this phenomena is exceedingly common. Termed navigational queries, or
more generally known item finding, it was recently estimated to be > 30% of
searches by researchers at Yahoo. That data and a lot of context at
http://surfmind.com/muzings/?p=119 . I'm not sure of a term that describes
going out of your way to use search when an easier solution is available.

Next question, why? Perhaps the value of one consistent method to get to
places you know is the core value. It also varies by users -- some novice
users may not understand the difference between the url and search bar. For
more experienced users, perhaps it's the experience halo at Google though
the widespread occurrence suggests it's more about search and the failure of
browsers to adequately support revisitation.

On Mon, Dec 1, 2008 at 12:01 PM, James Box <james.box at gmail.com> wrote:

> I'm sure we've all witnessed on how common it is for a user-experience to
> begin at Google these days, even when the user has a known destination/item.
>

> ...
>
>

1 Dec 2008 - 6:18pm
Mark Schraad
2006

No term, but I have been finding it shared on forums and social sites
recently. Some of the more common forums will only search for words
with 4 or more letters, making short words and acronyms impossible to
find in the threads and messages. Personally, I use it to game the
localness of craigslist... I just add 'craigslist' to the end of
whatever I am searching... and I get a nation wide search, something
the site does not facilitate.

Mark

On Dec 1, 2008, at 12:01 PM, James Box wrote:

> I'm sure we've all witnessed on how common it is for a user-
> experience to begin at Google these days, even when the user has a
> known destination/item.
>
> I do it myself. For instance, say I want to look up 'Brighton' on
> Wikipedia, I find the most efficient method of getting there to
> type 'wikipedia brighton' into my browser's in-built google search.
> This is all based on the assumption that this will be the first
> result (it normally is) and therefore the quickest way for me to
> achieve my goal.
>
> This is certainly borne-out in the research I'm doing at the
> moment. In some cases, this behaviour seems so habitual that users
> will take this route, even when it isn't the most efficient method
> of reaching their goal.
>
> My question is, does anyone know if there's a term for this kind of
> behaviour?
>
> As an aside, it's interesting how advertising is attempting to
> capitalise on this. This film poster (http://bit.ly/b1p5)
> encourages people to google 'Mother Lay-By' rather than displaying
> the film's URL. What's even better is that it doesn't work!
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
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2 Dec 2008 - 5:33am
Morten Just
2008

Very interesting, I agree. For some time I've argued that Google (or
an even better search engine) will eventually if not replace then cool
down the domain industry.

Google knows much better if Basecamphq.com is more relevant for the
Basecamp tool than basecamp.com. So why even rely on domains? Adding
to this argument is of course the "I'm feeling lucky button". That
button could replace most domains if the browser's search field would
just send the user to the first (and thus most relevant) result of the
search.

Oh, and here's another example of "Use google" in outdoor
marketing. This is a huge banner in Copenhagen telling people to sign
a petition.
http://flickr.com/photos/mortenjust/3072449512/

Morten Just, genstart.dk

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2 Dec 2008 - 5:49am
Morten Just
2008

Oh, here are the Japanese equivalents: Showing a search field with
suggested search

http://www.cabel.name/2008/03/japan-urls-are-totally-out.html

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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2 Dec 2008 - 3:03am
Gregor Kiddie
2008

"My question is, does anyone know if there's a term for this kind of
behaviour?"

Habit?

Gregor Kiddie
Senior Developer
INPS

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3QJ

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please contact is.helpdesk at inps.co.uk

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
James Box
Sent: 01 December 2008 17:02
To: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Google by default

I'm sure we've all witnessed on how common it is for a user-experience
to begin at Google these days, even when the user has a known
destination/item.

I do it myself. For instance, say I want to look up 'Brighton' on
Wikipedia, I find the most efficient method of getting there to type
'wikipedia brighton' into my browser's in-built google search. This is
all based on the assumption that this will be the first result (it
normally is) and therefore the quickest way for me to achieve my goal.

This is certainly borne-out in the research I'm doing at the moment.
In some cases, this behaviour seems so habitual that users will take
this route, even when it isn't the most efficient method of reaching
their goal.

My question is, does anyone know if there's a term for this kind of
behaviour?

As an aside, it's interesting how advertising is attempting to
capitalise on this. This film poster (http://bit.ly/b1p5) encourages
people to google 'Mother Lay-By' rather than displaying the film's
URL. What's even better is that it doesn't work!

________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
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2 Dec 2008 - 1:05pm
jaketrimble
2008

First off, the examples given above are mostly cases where people
don't have a domain. Maybe they don't want to go through the whole
rigmarole of creating a website just for the purposes of showing a
trailer. In the first and second examples, after actually searching
Google for the content, I found that those advertisements had no DNS
specific name for their content. Rather they were relying on several
sites (i.e. youtube, aol, flickr, myspace, facebook) to display their
content for them.

Secondly, Morten, I agree with you about the domain industry cooling
down. Today more and more we see users relying on big name domains to
supply the space for their content (i.e. Online stores, pics, videos,
etc). We can also see websites (Mark's example: Craigslist) lack of
willingness to expand certain search capabilities because they know
that Google or some other search engine will or already does do it
for them. Unfortunately this practice, in my opinion, is ultimately
bad for users. If we continue to rely on monster search engines to
aggregate our wants and needs, the highest bidding advertiser will
dictate those wants and needs to us.

Lastly, a name for the behavior. One may already exist, but I have
not found or heard of it. If I can be so bold I would like to submit
my own suggestions...

1. Site Term = Perfection (STEP). For example, you could have a
G-STEP (i.e. Google Wikipedia "Rome" = Perfection) and a
Y-STEP. Have you "G-STEP"ped it yet? No, but I have been
"Y-STEP"ing.

2. Advertisement Sponsored Redirect (ASR)

3. Or my favorite..."Searching"...okay not original, but if you
don't want to complicate the term of the behavior that's what I
would go with :)

2cents from Jake

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3 Dec 2008 - 11:04pm
Juan Ruiz
2007

Interesting thread. A new trend that we are noticing on the standard
internet users is that instead of bookmarking a page, they are
remembering the keywords on which they found the site (page).

So, the new path to arrive to an already seeing page is to go to
Google, type the keyword(s) and select the result (which is usually
on the top 5). This is similar to the behaivor you described, James.
You type "keyword wikipedia" and you know that you will get a
wikipedia result.

Now, how do you call that behavior? I've been searching for a term
as well. Users are not relying on URLs, funny domain names or even
browser bookmarks. They are using search as way to bookmark content.

So maybe, we can call this behavior, Search bookmarking?

-Juan Ruiz
Senior User Experience

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2 Dec 2008 - 7:37pm
jaketrimble
2008

hmm...sorry about that I guess it stripped some stuff from my
suggestions. Let me try it this way.

Number 1 should have read:

Site (plus) Term = Perfection

Just wanted to clear that up :)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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4 Dec 2008 - 4:52am
Kordian Piotr Klecha
2008

2008/12/1 James Box <james.box at gmail.com>

> For instance, say I want to look up 'Brighton' on Wikipedia, I find the
> most efficient method of getting there to type 'wikipedia brighton' into my
> browser's in-built google search. This is all based on the assumption that
> this will be the first result (it normally is) and therefore the quickest
> way for me to achieve my goal.

...and gives you some other potentially interesting links.

I have set "w" shortcut in my Firefox address bar for "Search using Wiki" -
so I have to type just "w Brighton" to get Wiki result. And in most
of cases I still type for example "g Brighton" (even when I'm
interested in Wiki page) - Wiki result is on the first place, but
there is also some added value.

Kind of gavigation ;].

Greetings,
KPK

4 Dec 2008 - 5:45am
Fredrik Matheson
2005

Personally I see it as shortcuts.

I've used Quicksilver for quite some time. Typing "PS4" and hitting return
launches Photoshop CS4. This is far faster than locating the app itself and
launching it.

The location bar of the browser has become packed with functionality over
the last few years. OmniWeb searched your history when you typed in the
location bar. Firefox included the page titles. Plenty of browsers made it
possible to search in the location bar, and Google Chrome got rid of the
search box altogether.

Meanwhile, InquisitorX provided splendid predictive search that let you jump
directly from search field to site, and the Pagerization script for
Greasemonkey allows you to scroll down through page upon page of search
results at Google and other sites (I heartily recommend this plugin).

They're all little tweaks, but in sum, they're shortcuts to what you're
looking for. Note: they also reinforce the power law winners.

4 Dec 2008 - 3:32pm
Troy Gardner
2008

Trained Behavior? Habit? Behavioral momentum? One trick ponism?

Every trick learned as a cost/benefit to using it, but there are also costs
to carrying and selecting the tool, ideally if there's only one tool, the
cost for selecting it goes to zero. So ones with the most utility end up
in the shirt pockets of the mind.

Most users prefer to be spending their thought on more novel aspects like
the question at hand, including not remembering exactly the URL or spelling
of the words.

I find it also interesting that for people who develop/write, having local
and web copies of the same information (e.g. a blog, code on google code),
searching locally is 100x slower and less relevant than searching the
cloud. Part of this could be made better by google for the desktop, part
cannot until peers (family) review and hyperlink to that on my desktop. I
suspect that this will only happen when semantic web get much smarter.

On Mon, Dec 1, 2008 at 9:01 AM, James Box <james.box at gmail.com> wrote:

> I'm sure we've all witnessed on how common it is for a user-experience to
> begin at Google these days, even when the user has a known destination/item.
>
> I do it myself. For instance, say I want to look up 'Brighton' on
> Wikipedia, I find the most efficient method of getting there to type
> 'wikipedia brighton' into my browser's in-built google search. This is all
> based on the assumption that this will be the first result (it normally is)
> and therefore the quickest way for me to achieve my goal.
>
> This is certainly borne-out in the research I'm doing at the moment. In
> some cases, this behaviour seems so habitual that users will take this
> route, even when it isn't the most efficient method of reaching their goal.
>
> My question is, does anyone know if there's a term for this kind of
> behaviour?
>
> As an aside, it's interesting how advertising is attempting to capitalise
> on this. This film poster (http://bit.ly/b1p5) encourages people to google
> 'Mother Lay-By' rather than displaying the film's URL. What's even better is
> that it doesn't work!
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>
>

8 Dec 2008 - 2:43pm
jet
2008

Juan Ruiz wrote:
> Interesting thread. A new trend that we are noticing on the standard
> internet users is that instead of bookmarking a page, they are
> remembering the keywords on which they found the site (page).

I'm curious -- in what context(s) are you seeing this? Using their own
computers, shared computers, public kiosks?

--
J. Eric "jet" Townsend, CMU Master of Tangible Interaction Design '09

design: www.allartburns.org; hacking: www.flatline.net; HF: KG6ZVQ
PGP: 0xD0D8C2E8 AC9B 0A23 C61A 1B4A 27C5 F799 A681 3C11 D0D8 C2E8

8 Dec 2008 - 5:18pm
Juan Ruiz
2007

In my experience, I have seen this in all contexts: private computers, public computers, kiosks, etc.
For a user, it is easier to remember the keyword(s) that found the results, than the domain name. But keep in mind, this scenario is not for common and popular companies with popular and already established urls (ie. Intel, Pepsi, etc)

Also, new ads are promoting the keywords rather than the domain name itself (look at the post by Morten, ie. http://www.cabel.name/2008 /03 /japan -urls -are -totally -out.html) . In this example, companies are promoting this behavior.

-Juan

-----Original Message-----
From: j. eric townsend [mailto:jet at flatline.net]
Sent: Tuesday, December 09, 2008 6:44 AM
To: Juan Ruiz
Cc: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Google by default

Juan Ruiz wrote:
> Interesting thread. A new trend that we are noticing on the standard
> internet users is that instead of bookmarking a page, they are
> remembering the keywords on which they found the site (page).

I'm curious -- in what context(s) are you seeing this? Using their own
computers, shared computers, public kiosks?

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