Social Question

Kraigmo's avatar

Why is Google tailoring its service to slow people? (In particular, referring to Google Instant, and the drag it causes on fast typists)

Asked by Kraigmo (7802points) December 18th, 2010

Google Instant is supposed to save time. It is supposed to add a few saved seconds a day, and added up around the world, that’s quite a lot of time.

But now, whenever I use Google (unless I’m already logged into it, where my preferences are already set), I have to wait for Google Instant to catch up with my typing. I cannot backspace all in one instant-wipe… I have to wait for Google Instant to catch up with me because it’s too busy spending all its resources looking up millions of documents before I even press ENTER.

People type by feel, and when they make a mistake, they usually know it by feel, before they even see the mistake appear onscreen. Google Instant completely ignores this phenomenon. It seems to be tailored to slow typists who want to search a single subject at a time.

And Google Images no longer appear automatically page by page for people who like to type fast, scroll fast, and scan fast. Now the images load as the user looks at them. Which means, if you are a fast typist/fast scroller… the images flicker at a rate that is far slower than your ability to scan them. So you are losing time. A lot of time!

Why is Google in such denial about this, and tailoring their services for the Slow?

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4 Answers

koanhead's avatar

“Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I turn off Google Instant?
A: If you don’t want to see results as you type, you can turn off Google Instant by clicking the link next to the search box on any search results page, or by visiting your Preferences page.”

source: http://www.google.com/instant/
found in <2 seconds with my Instant-disabled googling…

I can understand your frustration, and appreciate the rant on the subject (google is not the only offender in this wise), and applaud your making this a ‘social’ question (more folks should follow your lead IMO) but surely it would be more useful to ask Google rather than Fluther? I apologize if you’ve already done so- but Google won’t improve unless they get feedback (maybe not even then, but that’s another issue).

Overall, I think if they are going to offer this service it makes more sense to have it turned on by default since there are more slow typists than fast typists using Google (I can only assume this is true, but presumably Google has the metrics to check). At least we can turn it off!

Sarcasm's avatar

You can turn off Google Instant. It’s not a mandatory feature. I’ve had it off since pretty much the day it rolled out, my WPM is quicker than their recommendation engine, and all it had done for me is become a minor distraction.

Since it’s possible to disable it, I really don’t think they’re “tailoring to the slow”. They’re providing an option to help out the slow, but without really impeding upon the fast typers.

As for the images, I don’t really see a difference. Either way, you still have to wait for something to load, just that previously, you waited for whole pages to load rather than individual rows to load.

funkdaddy's avatar

I type pretty fast, and still feel google instant helps in general while searching in a few ways

1) it helps me narrow my search by seeing how terms I’m using would be ambiguous. I don’t remember exactly what the terms were, but I was searching for something to do with grid systems in relation to design and most of the suggested links were coming up in relation to distributing electricity, so I knew right away (in tenths of a second) that I needed to be more specific or rethink my terms
2) at a certain point while searching, adding more terms usually starts taking you to more generalized results rather than more specific because all the words you use are more likely to show up on a page with 5000 words than one with 500… instant gives me an idea of when I cross this line and lets me know I need to rethink the terms

Defaults are meant to serve the largest portion of your audience. For something as widely used as Google’s search it would be hard for them to tailor the defaults to power users over the general population.

poisonedantidote's avatar

I can type quite fast, and for the most part I think it’s a real good feature. I love all this new live stuff, fluther would not be the same without it.

However, when I first saw it, my first reaction was “ffs! now they put this on google too? soon the world will be reduced to idiots who are unable to think. i bet in the future, when people want youtube all they will do is press the letter Y on their keyboard and stare at the screen with an empty blank expression, waiting for the little cat to play the piano, damn i hate the human race.” but now that I have had a chance to get used to it, I see it as only positive.

I’m still not too happy about the whole “mouse over the link to see a screenshot of the site” idea, but it may turn out to be useful too.

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