It wasn't very long ago that I thought a Google was some kind of cutesy stuffed animal, this denotes my wealth of knowlodge on computers or search engines or the Internet. Such an intimidating realm of modern technology. I am a 48 year old, kinda old school, with a serious lapse in computer ease. I finally came to realize that there was a mass of oppurtunity's that were passing me by if I did'nt get with the program and learn to control this new age beast. Off to the Library I went to start my self proclaimed computer program initiation. The first thing I learned was that Google has a very significant claim to this technological world. I soon had a Google email, then a Google home page then a Google toolbar, a Google this and a Google that. How can any one actually use this system without rolling on the floor in laughter. Well here are some interesting facts about Google;
The name ‘Google’ was an accident. A spelling mistake made by the original founders who thought they were going for ‘Googol’
Gmail was used internally for nearly 2years prior to launch to the public. They discovered there was approximately 6 types of email users, and Gmail has been designed to accommodate these
Google makes changes small-and-often. They will sometimes trial a particular feature with a set of users from a given network subnet; for example Excite@Home users often get to see new features. They aren’t told of this, just presented with the new UI and observed how they use it
The prime reason the Google home page is so bare is due to the fact that the founders didn’t know HTML and just wanted a quick interface. In fact it was noted that the submit button was a long time coming and hitting the RETURN key was the only way to burst Google into life.
Due to the sparseness of the homepage, in early user tests they noted people just sitting looking at the screen. After a minute of nothingness, the tester intervened and asked ‘Whats up?’ to which they replied “We are waiting for the rest of it”. To solve that particular problem the Google Copyright message was inserted to act as a crude end of page marker.
The infamous “I feel lucky” is nearly never used. However, in trials it was found that removing it would somehow reduce the Google experience. Users wanted it kept. It was a comfort button.
Google has the largest network of translators in the world
They listen to feedback actively. Emailing Google isn’t emailing a blackhole.
I must add that Google has a brilliant help and support team and an help interface that has enabled me to at least lasso the foot of this beast they call Google
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