Saturday, December 12, 2009

Awareness becomes more important

Google implemented a couple of changes recently that I think will make awareness, being fully attentive to what is going on and what you see all that more important.

The first thing they did was a simple usability point. On the Google home page,, they have simplified the display. All you get initially is the search input in the center of the page. The top navigation menu used by those with Google accounts doesnt appear until you move your mouse up in that area. The Google blog post on this has screen shots of the before and after.

The second thing they did was to implement personalized search as the default for all. This could create some interesting situations. Two people go to the Google page to search on the same term and conceptually would obtain different results. Unless they are aware that these settings can be changed, some time at least would be spent discussing how they got different results. I appreciate the personalization to prepare the results based upon my history and apparent preferences but...

More on the personalized search can be found here

Be aware of what you see. It may not be all that you should see!