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Re: [agile-usability] Google Questions

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  • Daniel Naumann
    Hi Lee, This is a list for usability specifically within the Agile software development methodology. You ll probably get more general help on a different
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 27, 2008
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      Hi Lee,

      This is a list for usability specifically within the Agile software development methodology.  You'll probably get more general help on a different list.  However, while I'm here I'll give you my quick point of view.

      Query 1

      The simple answer is no.  Reset buttons generally do more harm than good (it's often pressed accidentally - have a search on the web and you'll find articles, eg: http://www.svennerberg.com/2008/09/the-use-of-buttons-in-web-forms/).

      I've seen a reasonable number of usability tests where people have used Google or other similar search sites.  Almost no one has trouble with selecting the existing text and typing over it.  Of course, as with most things, there are exceptions, but these are few and far between.  I don't think it's a good idea to increase the problems for the vast majority just to make it easier for a very small number. 

      Query 2

      I don't know why for sure, but here's my guess.  It's at the top at first because this is where the user's focus is - there isn't too much else to focus on.  Also if you know you're going to need language tools before you do your search, then the link is sitting in your attention areas ready to go.  Once you've done your search you start to scan down the list - this moves you away from the search area at the top.  I'd say Google's reasoning is that by the time the user has decided that they need the language tools post-search (let's say they are getting a lot of foreign language results they didn't expect), then they are more likely to be towards the bottom of the result list.

      Having said all that, if the use noticed it at the top at the start, chances are they'd look back up there when they needed them.

      This is something that would definitely be useful to go through in usability testing.  I know Google does a lot of testing (including A/B testing etc.) so chances are they've already looked at it and have their answer.


      2008/11/27 Leina <leina_elgohari@...>

      When a user enters a search term in the Google search field and hits
      the search button then some results are returned. To conduct a new
      search a user may overtype what's in the search field or they may use
      the browser back button to get back to the original Google screen or
      they may retype the Google address in the address bar to get back to
      the original screen.

      Would the inclusion of a reset / clear button be more beneficial than
      overtyping / deleting the text in the field / constantly selecting
      the browser back button /retyping the Google address?

      When a user first visits Google, the Language tool is positioned to
      the right of the search button. When a user conducts a search and
      hits the search button they get a display of results. However, above
      the display of results (top part of the screen) is the Google search
      field + search button but this time no Language tool. For some
      reason, it has moved to the bottom of the screen? Would anyone know
      why it has been designed like this?


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