Interesting facts about Google

Some interesting facts about user experience at Google

  1. 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. Infact 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.
  2. 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.
  3. One of the biggest leap in search usage came about when they introduced their much improved spell checker giving birth to the “Did you mean…” feature. This instantly doubled their traffic, but they had some interesting discussions on how best to place that information, as most people simply tuned that out. But they discovered the placement at the bottom of the results was the most effective area.
  4. 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.
  5. Orkut is very popular in Brazil. Orkut was the brainchild of a very intelligent Google engineer who was pretty much given free reign to run with it, without having to go through the normal Google UI procedures, hence the reason it doesn’t look or feel like a Google application. They are looking at improving Orkut to cope with the loads it places on the system.
  6. 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.
  7. Google has the largest network of translators in the world
  8. They use the 20% / 5% rules. If at least 20% of people use a feature, then it will be included. At least 5% of people need to use a particular search preference before it will make it into the ‘Advanced Preferences‘.
  9. They have found in user testing, that a small number of people are very typical of the larger user base. They run labs continually and always monitoring how people use a page of results.
  10. The name ‘Google‘ was an accident. A spelling mistake made by the original founders who thought they were going for ‘Googol
  11. Gmail was used internally for nearly 2 years prior to launch to the public. They discovered there was approximately 6 types of email users, and Gmail has been designed to accommodate these 6.
  12. They listen to feedback actively. Emailing Google isn’t emailing a blackhole.
  13. Employees are encouraged to use 20% of their time working on their own projects. Google News, Orkut are both examples of projects that grew from this working model.
  14. This wasn’t a technical talk so no information regarding any infrastructure was presented however they did note that they have a mantra of aiming to give back each page with in 500ms, rendered.
  15. Quote: Give Users What They Want When They Want It
  16. Quote: Integrate Sensibly

Interesting Search Tips for Google

Search Tips
Search Tips

These are some built in functions of Google which makes searching even easier.

Find Related Sites – If we find an interesting website and we would like to find some other alternative to this site then we can do so by using “related:” function. For example if we want to search an alternative for vikaskhera.wordpress.com you can do so by entering “related: vikaskhera.wordpress.com”

Find Links to a specific URL – This is quite helpful to find out the pages linking to a page in our site website. To find out these backlinks we can type “link:vikaskhera.wordpress.com” and we will get all the results of the websites that link back to ours.

Google Calculator – We can use google search as a calculator by typing an equation into the search field and it will give us the result. Try this equation in google “3*5 – 24*6 + 999” and see the result. We can use other functions like addition (+), subtraction (-), multiplication (*), division (/), to the power of (^), and square root of a number (sqrt).

Dictionary Definitions – We can get the definition of a word by typing “define:” followed by the word. Example: “define: html”. This will get you the definition of “html”.

Search for a specific title – Suppose we came across an interesting website but we forgot to bookmark the site and only remembered the title of it and wanted to find it again. Well we can search by title with Google to hopefully find that website a bit more easily. All we need to do is type “intitle: Vikas Khera”. By doing this we will only get results of websites with that line in the title.

Google Converter – Using this feature we can convert units like millimeter into inches, kilometers into miles, liters into ml, etc. we can do so by typing ‘5km in miles’ for converting km in to miles, ‘70litres in ml’ for converting litres into ml, and so on.

Compare Currencies – Google search engine has a built in currency converter so we can compare from one currency to another. Try this by simply typing something like “1 USD in AUD” in google search box and press enter and get the result.

Weather Updates – If we want to know what the weather will be like in our area we can type something like “Delhi weather” and it will give us the conditions in that area.

Search for specific file types – If we want to find a certain type of file on the Internet it is normally bit difficult to find what we are looking for but by using Google search we can find file types a bit more easily. We can search for file types by doing something like “Guide to build a good website filetype:ppt”. That will look for files with that name and the file type of a powerpoint presentation.

Search on a particular website – If we want to search a particular website from Google we can do this by typing “html site: vikaskhera.wordpress.com”. By typing in site: and then the website it will search that website for what we have type before “site:”

Get the local time anywhere – If we want to know the time in Australia now then we can do that by typing “what time is it Australia” in the google search box. We can also do it by typing “time (location)” without the quotes.

Remove unwanted search results – If we want to search for something in particular but want to remove some of the search results, we can do this by type -something after the search term to remove it from the search results. Example: Vikas Khera -gadgets. What that would do is remove the search results of Vikas Khera that included the gadgets so we would find other things like html, designer, etc.

Search for URLs – If we want to search for a particular URL, we can do so by putting a “_” (underscore), “.” (dot), “-” (hyphen) in between the words instead of a space. Example: What_are_we_talking_about. This would search for URLs that included those words.

Track Flight Status – We can track a particular flight status and we can do that if we know the airline and flight number. We just need to type in the airline and the flight number to get the status. Example: Jet airways flight 5. This will bring us the results of this flight from this particular airline.

Search Google Groups by the subject line – We can search Google groups by subject line with this little trick. Type “insubject:Vikas Khera” and we will get the Google groups with that subject line.

What is the meaning of appraisal?

SOMETHING VERY INTERESTING AND THOUGHT PROVOKING

A newly joined trainee engineer asks his boss “what is the meaning of appraisal?”

Boss: Do you know the meaning of resignation?

Trainee: Yes, I do.

Boss: So let me make you understand what a appraisal is by comparing it with resignation.

Comparison study: Appraisal and Resignation

In appraisal meeting, they will speak only about your weakness, errors and failures.

In resignation meeting, they will speak only about your strengths, past achievements and success.

In appraisal, you may need to cry and beg for even 10% hike.

In resignation you can easily demand (or get even without asking) more than 50-60% hike.

During appraisal, they will deny promotion saying you didn’t meet the expectation, you don’t have leadership qualities, and you had several drawbacks in our objective/goal.

During resignation, they will say you are the core member of team; you are the vision of the company how can you go, you have to take the project in shoulder and lead your juniors to success.

There is 90% chance for not getting any significant incentives after appraisal.

There is 90% chance of getting immediate hike after you put the resignation.

Trainee: YES BOSS ENOUGH DEFINITIONS, NOW I UNDERSTOOD MY FUTURE. FOR AN APPRAISAL, I WILL HAVE TO RESIGN.!!!!!!!